Joy – Part 8

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Luke 15 verses 22 & 23. “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.”

Like most people who have wronged others, the young man expected anger, aloofness and abasement. We never expect the victims of our selfishness to be glad to see us. But how wrong he was.

Did he think a father’s heart could ever forget his own son? Did he think that his father had never thought of him or wondered where he was or had never wept for him at night? Here is a glimpse not only into the heart of true fatherhood, but also into the greatness of the heart of our Heavenly Father.

Jesus’ listeners would have expected the young man to at least get a beating for his rebelliousness. But instead the entire story is saturated with GRACE. The young man’s welcome is overwhelming. He is embraced and reconciled with the father and immediately reinstated as a son hence the robe, the ring and the feast of the fattened calf. An animal this size would indicate that the entire village was invited to the feast.

What is the response? It is the response of JOY. It is the same response as the Shepherd bringing home the lost sheep or the woman finding the lost coin. The whole village is asked to join with the father’s joy.

Who is the One who is doing the rejoicing here? Notice in the case of the lost sheep it was rejoicing in Heaven. In the case of the lost coin, it was rejoicing in the presence of the angels. Who is doing the rejoicing? It is none other than the Father Himself.

Do you get this? It is at this point that we need our eyes opened. We who think we are nothing, need to see who God thinks we are and the value he places upon us. He rejoices over us! What a thought! Can you think of anyone who has ever rejoiced over you – overjoyed that you are just you, that you are there and that you are intrinsically valuable?

But that is what God does over you.

Hay! You may say, “Over others, maybe, but me – not a chance”.

Careful!

Do not contradict God. If he places a value on you, who are you to deny it?

Gather your spiritual chutzpah about you and embrace Him and enter into the freedom of His love.

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