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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, April 9, 2017
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May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb ♥
Today’s scripture reading:
Jesus asked God to forgive the people who were putting him to death—Jewish leaders, Roman politicians and soldiers, bystanders—and God answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation even to Jesus’ murderers. The Roman officer and soldiers who witnessed the Crucifixion said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” Soon many priests were converted to the Christian faith. Because we are all sinners, we all played a part in putting Jesus to death. The good news is that God is gracious. He will forgive us and give us new life through His Son. (NLT)
Luke 23:23-42 – But the crowd shouted louder and louder for Jesus’ death, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he delivered Jesus over to them to do as they wished.
As they led Jesus away, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country just then, was forced to follow Jesus and carry his cross. Great crowds trailed along behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ People will beg the mountains to fall on them and the hills to bury them. For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. Finally, they came to a place called The Skull. All three were crucified there—Jesus on the center cross, and the two criminals on either side.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
The crowd watched, and the leaders laughed and scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Chosen One, the Messiah.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A signboard was nailed to the cross above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. –Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
Here is a portion of Kimberly MacNeill’s (Tennessee) story:
“For ten years my husband has participated in international triathlon events called Ironman. . . . At the core, Ironman is a journey of perseverance.
“Perseverance is an attribute that scripture honors and Jesus exemplified. His ministry and journey to the cross is the epitome of grace wrapped in courage. He knew the course set before him as well as the goal. He knew he had the Father’s love to strengthen him. When we face challenging parts of our journeys, we can look to Christ. He understands what a difficult road looks like and knows what it means to keep going. God gives us strength to persevere”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will follow Jesus’ example of perseverance.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, by your example and in your strength, help us to persevere through the trials that come our way. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE FACING DIFFICULTIES
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/