Memorise: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.Read: Luke 23:39-43(KJV)39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Bible in one year: Acts 5-6, Isaiah 44:21-45:13, Sing Hymn 6
If you have never faced the punishment of death, bogged down with the weight of sins, you might not fully understand how sweet it is to receive the forgiveness Christ gives. If you have never been condemned to die with no tomorrow to look forward to, you might not fully appreciate what it means to have the assurance of waking up in Paradise. How sweet and marvellous it is to have your sins washed away, never to be remembered again! How glorious it is to have a new beginning where the past is all forgotten! How great it is to have the hope of a glorious tomorrow after living today in shame!
These all describe the experience of the thief in today’s Bible reading who received mercy and forgiveness from the Lord. He is an example of what true blessedness means. While hanging and dying on the cross, this robber suddenlyrealised that through he and his colleague in crime were justifiably condemned by the law, he could still be redeemed. While the other robber was busy mocking Jesus, he was busy pleading for mercy. At the end of it all, he received the blessing described in today’s memory verse.
When you take a look at God’s dealings with mankind all through history, you will realise the true blessedness that lies in divine forgiveness, without which no man can escape the judgement of the Holy God. One man realised this truth and he said in Psalm 130:3-4:
“If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgivenesswith thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
King David is an example of someone who received pardon for sin from God, and this was the reason why he could appreciate what it is to receive forgiveness. Receiving forgiveness of sins is the foundation of all blessedness and a catalyst to being blessed as well. Jesus Christ demonstrated this in His response to the request to heal a man sick with palsy in Matthew 9:2.Although Jesus wanted to heal him, He knew that the barrier of sin must first be removed before the sick man could enjoy the benefit of divine healing, and so, when he saw the sick fellow, Jesus declared in Matthew 9:2c:“Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”
Beloved, true blessedness is founded on the forgiveness we receive of our sins; it is upon this foundation that all other blessings rest. For this reason, if you have not repented of your sins, I implore you to do so without further delay today. Are you weighted down with the burden of the evil acts you have perpetrated? The mercy of God is available for you today, only if you will ask for it like the thief on the cross did. Jesus will forgive you as He forgave him, following which He will also grant you access to the paradise of His blessings here in earth.
Take the weight of sins upon you to the foot of Jesus’ cross, asking for His mercy and forgiveness.ABOUT OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons/guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical Churches in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens Devotional is one of the most wildly read devotionals in the world.
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