Joy – Part 2

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Luke 15 verses 5 & 6. “And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ “

 

The one who gets the greatest joy out of your salvation is God the Father. This entire chapter is about the joy the Father receives when his wayward child comes home. God is all about getting lost people back into a relationship with himself. The joy of knowing and loving you and restoring you is the overflow of his magnificent grace and benevolence.

 

The Pharisees experienced no such joy because their aim in life was not to get the “sinners” Jesus was speaking to, back to God. No! Their aim was simply to make themselves holier and in doing so they became more proud, more dismissive of others, and less compassionate. They exhibited exactly the qualities that God detests.

 

The lost sheep wanders away. The focus in this little parable is not on the ninety-nine sheep who were safe in the field, but rather on the dangers confronting this one lost sheep and the great Shepherd’s concern to get the sheep back to the fold. In fact one could go further and say that the point of the parable is to display the great joy of the Shepherd at finding his sheep. For example read verse 7.

 

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

 

Why does Heaven rejoice in this one lost sinner returning? We can make no sense out of it if we do not understand the seriousness of the sinner’s fate if he is not restored to God. So the Shepherd goes after the one lost sheep.

 

Do you realise that this is applicable to you? All those incidents in your life that seemed so bizarre when they occurred, all those disappointments, all those friends that let you down, all the downs of family and professional life might all have been the methods used by the Shepherd to bring you step by step to Himself. And here you are – saved and restored to Him. You may feel weak and unsure but do you believe Jesus is the Saviour and do you trust in Him? Then you are the sheep He brought back from danger. You are safe in the fold – and the whole of Heaven rejoices and God Himself is deliriously happy about you.

 

What! God, excited about me!

You better believe it.

That’s the kind of God He is.

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