Then [the criminal] said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23: 42-43
True confession: Sometimes, in the midst of busyness or boredom, my imagination takes me to glorious travel destinations. Maybe it’s a beach, usually there are beautiful flowers and a serene setting; it’s always a peaceful place or somewhere that conjures up pleasurable memories.
Do you crave some peace and relaxation? Maybe you have crazy toddlers running around the house. Or maybe you’re the one running the kids all over town to practices and events. Perhaps you’re working full-time and trying to manage your home at the same time. You might even be retired and still finding yourself busy, or even stressed, on a daily basis.
Peace is a universal need for all people of all ages. How do I know this? Because God has put eternity in all of our hearts. Without God, our hearts are restless.
Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee. --Augustine
The repentant thief got this. He understood that Jesus was Lord and able to save him from his sins, and that Jesus would return to His kingdom that very day.
Can you humble yourself and say the same thing? Do you believe that you are a sinner in need of Christ saving you? The sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross is the reason we can now have peace.
Instead of imagining Paradise when we’re stressed and overwhelmed, we can soften our hearts and depend upon Jesus for all of our needs. No fantasy work needed; truth is found in Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life and there is no other way to the Father except through Him.
If you are hearing this message today, do not harden your hearts. Respond in faith and you will join Jesus in Paradise when this life is over. You’ll have a peace that passes all understanding in this lifetime as well.
Behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6: 2