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One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, 'If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!' But the other answered, and rebuking him said, 'Don't you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? Luke 23:39 WEB

Three men were crucified together at a place called Golgotha. The One in the center was Jesus, the Son of God. There was a convicted criminal on His left, and another His right. One of the criminals ridiculed Jesus, while the other defended Him. Both criminals had been caught, convicted, and crucified together, but yet there were differences between them.

One of the criminals saw himself as redeemable, while the other felt that it was too late. Even though the Son of God was only a few feet away, and would have forgiven them both, one could not see it through his pain-filled past. He thought that he was just human trash and not worth saving, that God could never forgive him for all of the things that he had done. He was wrong.

Each time that I have been hurt in my life, or hurt someone else, I grew a little more calloused. I grew a little thicker shell to protect me. It became a little more difficult to believe that God cared about me, that He still loved me. I was looking at my future through cheap sunglasses and thinking that the future, would only be more of the past. Bad lenses will distort your vision.

What you have done wrong, can be forgiven. What you have broken, can be repaired. What you have lost, can be found. The things that you used to dream about, can still come to pass in your life. The end of one thing, is only the beginning of another. It is important that you realize that whatever you have done, it is not too late, and you can have a fresh start. You are the one that makes the difference, and you are the one that has to make the choice.

One thief was saved, and one was not because those were the choices they made. Have hope. God loves you, and He still has a plan for your life. Do not let the pain of the past keep you from seeing the open arms of Jesus today. He chose you, now choose Him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please forgive me, a sinner. Without You, I am nothing. Help me put my life back together. Come into my heart and lead me from this day on. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, guide my steps, speak to me and through me, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org