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A WORD OF HOPE


 

TEXT: LUKE 23:42-43

Eager suitors sometimes despair that they will ever be thought worthy of the hand of the beautiful woman they are pursuing. Mid-level managers wonder if they will ever be thought worthy of executive rank. Bonehead sinners like you and me wonder if we will ever make it to heaven.

 

We do believe in Jesus, but we still keep sinning. How depressing! What if he stops loving us? What if he finally gets sick of us? What if we are disqualified? When doubts and fears like these creep into your mind, let your eyes look at the evil criminal who was being crucified next to Jesus. In shame and urgency he cried out to the Man in the middle, “‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:42,43).

What magnificent comfort! What an incredible display of the gospel! What priceless hope! This man had done nothing to earn his way into God’s favor. All he had was his sorrow and his confidence that Jesus had come to bring him the rescue he needed. Jesus’ mercy was greater than his evil. A lifetime of crime was washed away in the moment of his repentance and faith.

He was now Jesus’ friend. That very day the angels would come to bear his soul home to paradise.

 

 



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As long as you keep searching, comparing, and envying what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough. Only when you rely on God and practice gratitude for all he provides will you be able to overcome the dissatisfaction that comes from envy. Envy causes you to resent God’s goodness in other people’s lives and to ignore God’s goodness in your own.

For people always comparing themselves to others—you know, checking their status and updating their profile—every single day brings more trouble. There’s no way for them to see their blessings because the glass is always half-empty. But people who trust God as the source of their happiness have no desire to compare themselves to anyone else. They know that he loves them and remains in charge of their lives, through pleasant circumstances as well as painful ones.

So enjoy what God has given you, instead of longing for what you don’t have. Be thankful for what God has given you, instead of creeping on someone else’s Instagram: “Oh, I wish I had their life!” Guess what? They’re longing for your life in ways you don’t even know about!

Enjoy what you do have rather than desiring what you don’t have.

With Christ’s help, you can win the battle of constantly comparing yourself and envying others. Social media should be a place to see what’s happening in the lives of those you love—not the place to make you envy. Let’s rejoice with those who rejoice. Let’s cultivate gratitude.

Let’s worship our God, not because he gives us everything we want, but because he is worthy of our praise. Let’s worship him because we’ve learned the secret of being content, whether we’re living in plenty or living in want. That secret is that we can do all things through the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who gives us strength.

Because he is all we need, let’s pursue him with our whole hearts.

Only in him will we find true joy and true contentment.

Because only he is life, and only he truly satisfies.



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Created on purpose for a purpose

 

“God does not create anything insignificant, inferior, or without a purpose.”

In the Christian circle, purpose is a word that is used frequently, yet to me it was just a word. However, if we are to get where we are going in this life, purpose is the defining factor to the end result. On my new venture with my heavenly father, I began to get the clarity necessary for a successful journey and slowly realized the whole point of getting saved was not just to secure a spot in heaven when the Lord returns, but more so that I would be a living testimony for Jesus Christ.

Life is more than just passing through to get to a better place; even though that will be the end result, we have to believe that life is much more, and that the reason we were put on the earth is not to do time or to buy time but accomplish something with the time we have been given. We have to arrive at a place in our lives where we are convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that we have been created on purpose for purpose!

“On purpose” means intentional or deliberate. God’s plan for creating us was intentional and deliberate, and there had to be a process of planning which would have crystallized the details for the finished product. My friends, I want to make this statement a personal one as you say it out loud so you can hear yourself, “I am created on purpose for purpose!”

Power Thought: I don’t just have a purpose, but I have a God-purpose.