Tom Scott - 25/02/2018

Luke 23:43

Theme: Jesus promised eternity to those who believed in him

e-Study

Date: February 26, 2018

Burger King has made a name for itself by telling people that they can have it their way.  You can order a Whooper any way that you like (within reason).  People like having the ability to chose the toppings they place on their hamburgers.  Some restaurants offer a menu full of choices when it comes to pleasing people’s taste buds.  There are those who enjoy going to a buffet because you can choose what you want off the counters loaded with different dishes.
Yesterday, I talked about the one choice that matters more than what we fill our plates with.  God has given us the opportunity to chose whether we will believe in him or not.  The criminal on the cross was given the choice of joining the others who were insulting Jesus or accept that this man hanging next to him was the Savior.  We rejoice in the words of Luke 23 that tell us that he turned to Jesus and asked about being with him in paradise.
Let’s take some time to reflect upon the words Jesus shared with the criminal on the cross by working through these five questions.  You are welcome to use these questions as a daily devotion this week or invite others to join you in working through the questions. This second statement from Jesus offers us the blessed assurance of eternal life with God in Heaven.

1. When it comes to the daily choices that we face in life; what are some of the choices that you find most difficult to make?

2. There were two criminals hanging with Jesus on that Friday afternoon nearly two thousand years ago.  Both of them started the day out by insulting Jesus.  What might have caused the one to turn to Jesus in the final moments of his life?

3. The two criminals on the cross both had a request for Jesus in these final hours of their lives.  One asked Jesus to save them from their punishment while the other asked Jesus to remember him when he entered his kingdom.  Why did Jesus promise the man that he would be with him in paradise that very day?

4. During the second half of the message I mentioned four different choices that God gives us today.  The first dealt with the foundation upon which we build our lives and the second dealt with who we serve.  Which one of these choices do you find harder to deal with when it comes to our daily existence?

5. The third choice was between two paths which Jesus mentioned in Matthew 7:13 and 14.  Jesus also talked about the choice between accepting and rejecting God in Matthew 25.  Is there someone in your circle of influence that needs help making the right choice when it comes to accepting Jesus?

Today, we will make lots of choices when it comes to the daily aspects of life.  The most important decision is between turning to Jesus or turning away from him.  Let’s pray that we make the right choice as we continue on with our spiritual journey.

Sunday morning worship
Impacting Lives For God
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I Tell You The Truth

Luke 23:43

Introduction: Jesus spent six hours hanging between two thieves on that Friday afternoon nearly two thousand years ago.  During that time, Jesus got to know them through the conversations they shared.  This morning, we will look at what Jesus said to the one that forever altered the course of his life.  Jesus’ statement can change our lives as well.

I. There are two criminals.

Do you think there is any significance to the fact that there were two men crucified with Jesus?

A. The criminal who got arrested.

Have you heard the story about how the Miranda rights came into existence?

B. The criminal on the cross.

Luke 23:43

Luke 23:43
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

II. There are two requests.

If you were allowed to ask Jesus one question today about his crucifixion; what would you ask him?

A. Save yourself and us!

Matthew 27:44

Matthew 27:44
In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

B. Remember me.

Nehemiah 13:14

Nehemiah 13:14
Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.

III. There are two choices.

This morning we are going to look at the choices which the Lord allows us to make in our lives.

A.  We can choose to build upon the rocks or the sand.

Matthew 7:24-27

Matthew 7:24-27
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

B. We can choose to serve either the Lord or money.

Matthew 6:24

Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

C. We can choose to walk the path which is narrow or wide.

Matthew 7:13-14

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

D. We can choose to make the decision to accept or reject God.

Matthew 25:46

Matthew 25:46
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Conclusion: Life is filled with lots of choices.  Some of these choices are easy to make while others are more difficult.  Jesus gives us a choice today as to whether or not we will accept him or reject him.  Let’s choose wisely this morning because our future depends upon it.

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