November 30, 2011

Sharing in Heaven's Joy

Luke 15

“There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Luke 15:7


Jesus’ lifestyle offended the religious leaders of his day. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them,” they said. So Jesus stated his purpose and priority: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).

In Luke 15 Jesus tells three stories to reveal the heart and priority of God expressed in his mission. All attention is given for one lost sheep and a thorough, constant search for a missing coin. All of heaven rejoices for every positive response to Jesus’ call. And notice the invitation extended: “Rejoice with me!”

The compelling story of the lost son ends with the father saying, “We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Harvest joy is awesome!

Every day you and I and the churches we know set priorities. And it’s so tempting to give in to our consumer culture that says, “Me first.” Will you instead join Jesus in the priorities of his mission?

May harvest joy and the vision of that great day inspire you, when people from every nation, tribe, people, and language will exclaim, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:10). All “praise and glory … be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (7:12).

Lord Jesus, we look forward to the day when we will see you coming again to live with us forever. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen!

About the author — Allen & Lynn Likkel

Revs. Allen and Lynn Likkel have worked in communities across North America for many years—planting churches, nurturing them along, and developing new church leaders. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Allen served with Christian Reformed Home Missions for nearly 40 years, and Lynn, also ordained as a minister of the Word, has served to build leaders and new congregations. In November 2010, Allen entered retirement, and the Likkels moved to Washington, their native state. They have four adult children.

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