Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Luke 23 Devotions by Stephen Taylor

Luke 23:26

As the soldiers led Him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.

If we are going to follow Christ, then we too will have to carry crosses that are not our own at one time or another. Simon's plan wasn't to carry a cross that day and follow Christ, but that's exactly what he did. His plan that day was probably for a normal day, but he was thrust into action and answered the call; will we?

At some point in this walk with Christ, we will be called to carry something that is not our own. Whether it be a hurt, a pain, a sorrow, a truth, or whatever else our brothers and sisters might need us to carry for them and with them. You see, sometimes things are too heavy for us to handle on our own, and we must have help. First off, we have to go to the Lord and then to the faithful Body of believers He has placed around us.

Picking up a cross, whether it is yours or someone else's and following Christ is not easy, nor is it for the faint of heart. It requires a strength that is not of this world but of the One who created it! I believe that Jesus could have carried His own cross that day but chose not to teach us a valuable lesson: we need each other to get where He is going! Jesus is the Son of God, and I believe God could have equipped Him with divine strength that day to carry that cross with one hand, but He didn't. And we get this beautiful truth that even the Son of God had help in getting His cross to the place it needed to be. So, who around you today can you lean on for help, and who's cross can you help carry as you follow Christ?

Galatians 6:2- Carry each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

God bless! I love you all, but His love is perfect and working in us, on us, and through us for His glory! Glory, honor, and praise now and forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit!


Luke 23:28

Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.” 


Jesus says this on His way to be crucified. He has been beaten, whipped, spit on, mocked, abandoned. He is disfigured and probably very heavy in His heart, but He still stops to warn and try to encourage others. So, my question is this: in our worst times, when things seem the bleakest and the world is overwhelming us, are we able to look outside ourselves and show the love of Christ to those around us? Do we determine how we are going to act in a situation, or does the situation determine how we act?


I’m not saying this is easy, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible! God knows that none of us are perfect, but He does expect us to try! When I think of Jesus dragging His Cross, I don’t see just those two beams of wood on His back, but I see Him dragging me and my sins to freedom! Jesus fought to get me there, He fought to set me free, and He fights for me this day! So, I encourage you to fight for each other the way Christ fought for us and to be ready to speak of His glory, His goodness, and His love, no matter what storm you may be facing!


2 Timothy 4:2 - Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage - - with great patience and careful instruction.


That is a command, not just for pastors but for every follower and believer in Jesus Christ our Lord!


God bless! I love you all! Glory, Honor, and Praise forever to God Almighty, The Risen King, and my Counselor the Holy Spirit! 



Luke 23:33

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.

I want to paint a picture for you. It’s a story most of us know, but I want to look at it a little differently. I’m talking about Jesus and the thieves on the crosses next to Him. The one that mocked Him, cursed Him, and wouldn’t accept Him is the old me, the me who thought he knew better and didn’t need anyone or anything, who mocked and laughed at people for trusting in things they couldn’t see. I was angry and bitter, dying in my sins. All the while, salvation was just a few feet away!!


And then I met Jesus, and His love overtook me!!! He transformed me into the one who accepted Him, loves Him, and asked for forgiveness!!! My body may still fade, but I found my eternal peace, love, and forgiveness in Jesus Christ!! Giving Him my life, not because I owe it to Him but because I trust Him and love Him!!!!


My favorite part of this picture is that the only thing standing between the old me and the new me is Jesus Christ!! What bridges the gap between the old me and new me?? Jesus Christ!!!! You get to choose what side of the cross you want to be on!! I urge you, wherever you are, to accept His gift of salvation and let Him take you from criminal to child of the Most High God!! One day, this body will fade and be no more. That’s not debatable; that’s a fact!! The real question is: Do you want to go alone or with the One who gave His life for you???


Be encouraged and be encouraging!!!! I love you all, God bless, and glory to God!!!



Luke 23:34

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” 


I was praying the other night, and God brought something to my mind: at no point during the mocking, beating, torture, or crucifixion of Jesus, did Jesus ever stop loving us! That blew me away, as I had never thought of it like that. God told me, “Not even for a split second did Jesus doubt or regret what He was doing for you and your salvation!!” Thank You, Jesus!!!! Words can’t even describe what that means to me, and He is saying the same thing to you today!!


You know that thing that you hide from the world, that thing that no one knows about but it keeps you bound up? It’s okay; Jesus knows, and He loves you anyway! Jesus is saying, “Stop running, child. I know it hurts, but we will get through this together!! Just let me in, and I will heal you!!! Let’s do this together. I will never leave or forsake you; I will never make you go at it alone!!!”


These are promises from Jesus to us. They’re 2000 years old but are just as true today as the day He said them!! If you’re hurting, lost, broken, or just tired, then look to the only one who willingly went to the cross for you!!! Jesus wasn’t concerned about the humiliation, pain, or death. What He was concerned with was where YOU and I were going to spend eternity!!


Jesus died with love in His heart, and it’s time we start living with it in ours!!!!


I love you all, God bless you, and Glory to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!! 

Luke 23:39-41

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.”

Which criminal are we? Before Christ saved us and set us free, we all stood condemned, whether we knew it or not. We all were slowly dying, our lives ebbing away in our sin before our very eyes. Then one day, we, like these criminals, had an encounter with Christ. He met us right where we were; he didn’t shame or guilt us, but in meekness and love, made Himself available to us.

But how do we respond? Are we like the first criminal, desperate to do anything to save our own skin in the moment? No reverence for God nor a desire to know and be known by Him. Solely focused upon what we can get out of Him instead of what we can give Him. I wonder, if Christ had pulled that criminal off the cross, would he have followed Christ, or continued down that path of destruction and sin?

Or are we the other criminal? When confronted with truth in the Presence of Christ, do we humble ourselves and exalt Him? Can we look at our own lives and realize and admit just how wretched we are and how great He is? Or do we live in denial and thus miss the crucified Christ right in front of us?

We each have a choice to make on how we will respond to Christ. We can respond with selfish and self-serving ambitions and rejection, or we can humble ourselves, cry out to Him, and be saved. It’s interesting to me that the Bible doesn’t tell us what happened to the first criminal, but it makes sure to tell us what happened to the other.

Luke 23:42,43- 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.”

The one who humbled Himself before the Lord and acknowledged his own sin and the perfectness of Christ is the one who Christ says would be with Him that day! I want to be like that criminal whom Jesus called His own; do you?

Luke 18:13,14- “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

God bless! I love you all, but His love welcomes the criminals home! Glory, honor, and praise now and forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit!




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