A Heart Filled Faith - 11 of 12
September 15, 2019
“But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” (1 Samuel 16:7, NKJV)
We’ve spent time in the life and times of Noah, Daniel, Caleb, Isaac, Joseph, Gideon, Deborah, and just last week, John the Baptist…hallowed names for certain.
Here’s a quick question: do you know what all of these people have in common?
They all had time and opportunity to display, pursue and give testimony to the matter of God in their lives - to give a bold witness and to pursue God in their lives through faith.
While they each have backstories and resulting legacies, their names are not important. Instead it was how, by their hearts, they were willing to pursue God through faith.
Today we’re going to look at the faith of one whose name we do not speak because we will never know his name, yet his faith was absolute and his testimony glorious.
“There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.” (Luke 23:32-33, NKJV)
"Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’
"But the other rebuked him, saying, 'Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’
"And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23:39-43, NKJV)
The second criminal pursued God by faith because of his heart, and he did this with six actions: 1) he rebukes the other criminal; 2) he concedes his own wrong doings; 3) claims the innocence of Jesus; 4) calls Jesus Lord; 5) requests that he only be remembered by Jesus; 6) he trusted Jesus for the results.
Right here, right now, God sees the heart and while He is saddened by our misdeeds and sins, He wants all to repent and receive the gift of salvation. It is never too late as we never go too far to be out of the reach of God’s love and grace. Without Jesus, we are all criminals in His sight but we don’t have to remain as such…accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior - calling out in His name, we can trust Him with the results.