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Hope for the Week

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” … George Bernard Shaw

      The Bible tells us of two thieves crucified with Jesus, one on each side. In Mark 15:32 it says: “Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.” In this passage both of the thieves mocked Jesus along with the crowd." However, in Luke 23:39 it says: “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” So, do these two passages contradict each other? Absolutely not! If we look closely, we can learn a very important life lesson. The answer lies in Luke 23:32-34 “Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” When the thieves were first crucified with Christ, they mocked him along with the crowed. When Jesus, who was being tortured even more than they, showed love and mercy towards those calling for his death, the one thief was changed. He then rebuked the other thief and said in Luke 23:40-42 “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He changed his mind about Christ and it changed his eternity!

     The lesson for us is this. In his darkest hour, the thief saw who Jesus really was and drew near to Him and Jesus changed him forever. James 4:8 says: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” Who is Jesus in your life? What do you think of Him? Do you trust Him in your darkest hour? We trust God with our eternal salvation, but we don’t trust that He will do what is best in our daily lives. We try to hold on and do it ourselves. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. He always does what is best for us. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6. I challenge you to draw near to God every day.  Pray more, read His word more, love more, and trust more. Change your mind about your relationship with Him and like the thief, you too will find grace, love, and hope in your darkest hour.

Have a good week and God Bless!

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