Be­ing with god

Activated - - NEWS - Abi May is a free­lance writer, ed­u­ca­tor, and health­care ad­vo­cate in Great Bri­tain. Visit her web­site at www.abi.may­i­help.co.uk. By Abi May

If there is any­thing that Easter re­minds us, it is that “sal­va­tion”—God’s won­der­ful gift of peace with Him in this life and in the life to come—is not some­thing we achieve by what we do. It’s some­thing that has al­ready been done for us. Je­sus died on the cross for our sins; He rose again on the third day. He did it, not us.

“This day you will be with Me in par­adise,” He told the dy­ing thief, hang­ing on the ad­ja­cent cross. There

1 was noth­ing that thief could do about his sit­u­a­tion, his past, and cer­tainly not his fu­ture, as he was be­ing ex­e­cuted for his crimes. There was, how­ever, some­thing he could think and say. “Re­mem­ber me, Lord, when you come into your king­dom.” An

2 ex­pres­sion of faith was all it took.

That’s a les­son for us. How easy it is to be busy for God for good causes, for other peo­ple. We can fill our days with good deeds, kind words, acts of gen­eros­ity. But that is not enough to rec­on­cile us with God, be­cause just as we have our good mo­ments, we have our bad ones too—the times when our deeds aren’t wise or mea­sured, when our words aren’t as kind as they should be, when we self­ishly think of our own wants just a bit more than some­one else’s. We get an­gry, we don’t for­give, we grum­ble.

None of us quite make the grade. If rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with God were de­pen­dent on the things we do, we wouldn’t get it. That’s why none of our good deeds or best ef­forts will earn us a place at His side.

3 The won­der­ful thing is we don’t have to make the grade. The Son of God took on the life of a hu­man be­ing, lived amongst us, lis­ten­ing, watch­ing, touch­ing, heal­ing. His love for us was so great that even though He knew what He was about to suf­fer, He al­lowed Him­self to be taken, to be beaten and whipped, and fi­nally to be nailed to the cross. And even there His love reigned; He for­gave those that cru­ci­fied Him, He made ar­range­ments for the care of His weep­ing mother, and He gave the thief courage with His prom­ise: “This day you will be with Me in par­adise.” He did it; not us.

No mat­ter our fears and wor­ries, no mat­ter our re­grets and guilt, no mat­ter our feel­ings of in­ad­e­quacy, when we pray, “Re­mem­ber me, Lord,” He does. Let’s set our con­cerns and cares aside and be with Him to­day.

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