Daily Devotion: Two Criminals

“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him.They said, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.’

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’

But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’

Then he said, ‘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 23:32-43

The two criminals that were crucified alongside Jesus can be seen as representative of all of humanity. They illustrate the position we all find ourselves in and also demonstrate the two different decisions that can be made.

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Daily Devotion: “When you have turned back”

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’

But he replied, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.’

Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” – Luke 22:31-34

Jesus is hours away from being betrayed, abandoned, and crucified. He is giving some of His last teaching and instruction before His greatest trial. In the midst of this, Jesus tells Peter he is about to deny Him three times.

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Daily Devotion: God of the Living

“Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?’

Jesus replied, ‘The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.’

Some of the teachers of the law responded, ‘Well said, teacher!’ And no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Luke 20:27-40 Continue reading

Daily Devotion: What truly brings Peace

During the Triumphal entry, this scene occurs when Jesus sees the city.

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” – Luke 19:41-44

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Daily Devotion: Keep Praying

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

‘For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’

And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:1-8

Luke tells us that the reason Jesus told this parable of the persistent widow to His disciples was “to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” 

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Daily Devotion: “Increase our faith!”

“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’

He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” – Luke 17:5-6

The answer Jesus gives to the apostles’ request seems interesting. They ask Him to increase their faith and He responds by telling them that if they have faith even as “small as a mustard seed”–a very small seed–they can tell a tree to Be uprooted and planted in the sea”. 

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Daily Devotion: Sinners drawn to Jesus

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” – Luke 15:1-2

Jesus was perfect, but His righteousness did not drive sinners away, rather it drew them towards Him. Those who would not have been accepted by the Pharisees and who would have been driven away by their self-righteousness were welcomed by the only one who was truly righteous.

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