Revolution Series: The Thief on the Cross

Is it ever too late to change? Is there ever a point where you are too far for God to work a revolution in your life? We’ve all sinned. We’ve all done things that are wrong. But nothing – no combination or level of wrongs – is too much for God to change. Read today’s section and see for yourself.

Read Luke 23:39-43

Two men hung on crosses beside Jesus when he was crucified. One cursed him and sarcastically asked Jesus to save them all. But the other realized who Jesus was. In that moment, just seconds away from death, this man recognized Jesus as the King of Kings. With no sarcasm in his voice, he asked Jesus a simple request.

“Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.”

No matter what you’ve done, Jesus loves you. He wants to know you and He wants to have a relationship with you. To begin that relationship, all it takes is the same simple step that the thief on the cross took.

Acknowledge Him. Recognize Jesus for who He is – the Son of God.

But that is only the beginning. The thief on the cross was not able to experience the joy of life with Christ until his final moments. But we have the opportunity to experience that joy each day.

God wants a relationship with us. Think about how amazing that is! No matter what we’ve done, He wants to walk with us. Consider that today as you go about your life.

Acknowledge God, and start walking with Him in a revolution of love today.

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Revolution Series: The Transfiguration

Read Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36

Transfiguration: a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state.

This is the moment in the Bible when Jesus reveals that he is who he claims to be.  This is the moment when Jesus demonstrates to 3 of his beloved disciples his divine glory.  His physical body transformed, and he became as bright as the sun.  Moses and Elijah appear with him.  Jesus is fulfilling both the law and the prophecies in this moment, proving that he is the divine Son of God.  The Kingdom of God is near.

Today take time to reflect on this beautiful picture.  What does it mean to you? In this moment Jesus goes beyond claims and shows that he divine.  His real self emerges.  What lives within you?  If you were to change into what lives within you what would you become? Do you need to change?  Where does a revolution need to occur in your life?  

This process of transformation can be painful for us, but it is necessary.  In order to be set free and to learn who we are in Christ we must let go of things we have a tight grasp on.  We cannot merely silence these things but we must remove them completely from our lives.  C.S. Lewis presents this process beautifully in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as Eustace describes his transfiguration from dragon back into a boy.  

“Then the lion (Aslan) said — but I don’t know if it spoke — You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was jut the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.  You know — if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place.  It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.

“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .”

This is the kind of transfiguration we must all go through as broken, hurting human beings.  We are not divine but we have a God who loves us unconditionally.  He is calling and has a seat set for you at the table.  Step forward and allow the love of Christ to tear away the lies and shame.  Allow a revolution to occur deep down within you so that you can better pursue Christ Jesus.  Take time to be still and listen today.  Allow the Spirit of God to fill you and renew your mind.

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Revolution Series – Paul

This year at camp, we unpacked the word “revolution.” We looked at how God offers a revolution of love. We often hear about revolutions of power or influence. But God is love. For our new TAWG Blog series, we’re going to look at people in the Bible who experienced revolution. We’re excited to have you journey with us!

When talking about Bible characters who underwent some kind of change, Paul is probably one of the first that comes to mind. Now we know him as the writer of most of the New Testament, and one of history’s greatest missionaries. But he wasn’t always that person. Before He met Jesus, he was a drastically different man.

Read Acts 9:1-19

Paul’s revolution was so great that everything about him changed – even his name! Before, he was Saul the murderous hater of Christians. Then he encountered Jesus, and his life was changed.

God’s love can change even the worst sinner. There is no one who has strayed too far or done too much for God to love them. That kind of love is hard for us to fathom. Thankfully, God doesn’t ask us to understand it. All He asks us to do is believe and follow.

You may not have ever had God appear to you in a light from heaven. But think about a time when you did hear God “speak.” It may not have been an audible voice, but He got through to you. How did it happen? Was it through a Bible verse, or maybe the encouragement of another person?

God wants to meet with us every day and invite us deeper and deeper into his revolution of love. We must listen for Him. When we hear Him, we must believe and follow. If God can take a murderer and turn him into the greatest missionary who ever lived, just think what He can do with you.

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