Jesus will forgive me (Day 11 of 2 Weeks 2 the Cross)

Jackson models his three cross bead necklace.

Jackson models his three cross bead necklace.

Not only did Jesus pay for the sins of the world, He paid for the sins of the two men that hung on either side of Him.

We learn in Luke 23:39-43 that one man hurled insults at Jesus, mocking Him for saying He was the Son of God. The other criminal believed that Jesus WAS the Son of God.

Day 11 Connection Icon: three crosses

Day 11 Connection Icon: three crosses

While Jesus suffered, He also forgave.

The criminal admitted he was a sinner, and asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom.

Jesus promised, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”

When we call out to Jesus, admitting our sin and believing in His sacrifice, our end will be the same.

Today we made cross necklaces to help us remember the salvation Jesus brought to this man who was dying next to Him, and to those of us who have committed our life to Jesus, too.

Find out more about how to KNOW that you will be in heaven when this life is over by reading this. If you have questions, please send them to me here, and I will do my best to share with you what the Bible says about life here, and how through Jesus we can have eternal life with Him.

Learn about our 2 Weeks 2 the Cross journey, and join us as we turn our hearts to Jesus this Easter!

A close-up of the Three Cross Bead Necklace. This simple craft project is easy to modify and great for young toddlers with supervision or grade schoolers who want to be creative.

A close-up of the Three Cross Bead Necklace. This simple craft project is easy to modify and great for young toddlers with supervision or grade schoolers who want to be creative. As a bonus, it happens to be “Wear a Cross” theme at AWANA, so we get to wear ours to church tonight!

New year, New life

Last night I rang in the New Year driving home from the hospital, where I had spent most of the day supporting good friends as they welcomed a son into the world.

Life is such a miracle, and to hold and snuggle a precious newborn baby is to know the tenderness and loving-kindness of the God who created him.

What a way to begin a new year, witnessing new life!

New life in the new year!

New life in the new year!

As I kept the new mom company and watched as she talked with and loved on her sweet child, my mind was drawn to the Scripture passage found in John 3.

Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

“But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”

Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit…”

January 1 brings hope each year, for us to be able to leave the past behind and have a fresh start. We crave that innocence and purity we have lost. Just like a newborn baby, we seek to be cradled securely in loving arms. We look within ourselves, to our relationships and from our livelihood to find the satisfaction and purpose we so deeply desire. And, every year we watch the Times Square ball tumble down, just like all of our independent efforts, and wish this next year would be different.

We have the same questions Nicodemus had.

And, Jesus has the same answer: we must be born again, born of God’s Spirit, and become His son or daughter. We need to be made completely new, just like a newborn baby.

Whatever you are facing in 2013, no matter the obstacles already looming and the mistakes you may be running from, new life is only possible through Jesus Christ.

Your eternal life with God can begin today. Jesus reminds Nicodemus in the same conversation that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. In the same fashion, those of us who have received that wonderfully precious gift need to fully possess it. We must live in God’s power, receive His forgiveness, extend His mercy and proclaim the Good News.

This is how I want to spend the new year.