Tag Archives: Soldier

Between Two Thieves

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The cross must be raised again at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am claiming that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town garbage heap, at a crossroads so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. At the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble, because that is where He died and that is what he died about and that is where churchmen ought to be and what churchmen should be about.

George Macleod

The Masterpiece

The Masterpiece

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

There is a story about a wealthy man and his only son who travelled the world together collecting priceless paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and many other masters. Tragically, the son died at war while rescuing others. Distraught and lonely, the old man dreaded the upcoming Christmas day.

Christmas morning, a young soldier knocked on his door and said, “I’m a friend of your son. I’m one of the ones he rescued.” Then the soldier presented a picture he had painted of the son. Though the picture lacked genius, the brokenhearted father saw the features of his precious son and immediately valued this painting above all the masterpieces in his home. Every day, the father gazed at the portrait and told his housekeeper of his great love for it.

When the father died, the art world buzzed with excitement over the sale of his extraordinary art collection on Christmas day.

The first item offered was the painting of the son, but no one in the self-important crowd would bid on the amateurish portrait. The auctioneer insisted that the terms of the will required the portrait must be sold before any other paintings could be offered. Finally, the housekeeper, tears streaming down her cheeks, said to the auctioneer, “May I pay ten dollars for it? That is all the money I have. I knew the son, and I know how much the father treasured that portrait.” The auctioneer said, “The bid is ten dollars. Going once, going twice, gone,” and the gavel fell.

The auctioneer then announced that the auction was over. “What do you mean?” said the stunned audience. “There must be hundreds of millions of dollars of art here.” The auctioneer replied, “It is very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son gets it all.”

Like the art collectors, not everyone can see the real value of a relationship with Jesus. John 1:11 tells us that Jesus came to His own but His own received Him not. They did not accept the precious gift of God’s Son, a gift that brings with it all the blessings and love of God.

If you are not intentional about recognizing and receiving Jesus Christ, you will have nothing in the end, and there will be no negotiation of God’s terms. God’s Son may have been born in the most humble of circumstances in a manger in Bethlehem, but He is coming back in power and glory. The next time we see Jesus, things will be very different from His first coming. Not only will He be the King of kings but He will be a judge and we will be held accountable for our lives.

Read John 3:18-36 and Revelations 3:16. Clearly, there are two categories of people: those who fully accept the Son as the only means to the Father and those who don’t. People who are indifferent or neutral about the Son will miss the opportunity to live eternally with the Father in Heaven. It is not enough to believe Jesus was a good man or a prophet; James 2:19 says that even the devil believes and “trembles.”

Have you said “Yes” to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? Luke 15:7 says there will be joy in Heaven when you do. Tell the Father today about your love for His Son. Ask God to protect your heart from being neutral or complacent about your devotion to Jesus. Is there someone you know who needs to acknowledge Jesus as Savior? Pray about being intentional about introducing them to the Son.


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