(Hebrews 12:2 MSG) Keep your eyes on Jesus , who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there , in the place of honor, right alongside God.
(Luke 23:39-43 NIV) One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
• HELP OTHERS who are experiencing your same struggle.
√ Focuses us OUTWARD instead of INWARD.
√ It helps us to OVERCOME our BLINDNESS.
√ It allows proper PERSPECTIVE.
(Isaiah 58:10-11 NIV) and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
(Matthew 6:33 NLT) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-7 MSG) ‘All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.
(Luke 23:43 NKJV) And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, . . .”
1. Offer them STABILITY.
(Psalm 40:2 NLT) He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
(Luke 23:43 NKJV) … today you will be with Me…
2. Offer them SUPPORT.
(Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT) A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
(Luke 23:43 NKJV) “. . . in Paradise.”
3. Offer them SALVATION.
(John 14:1-2 NIV) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
√ Jesus offers more than a BETTER NOW. He offers a BETTER PLACE.