Father, I’m grateful for Your Word. May I faithfully read it, eagerly study it and resolutely obey it.
Read LUKE 15:1-10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
God’s joy is threefold: “… in ransoming us, … in dwelling within us … in possessing us, as his bride and his delight” (Hudson Taylor, 1832-1905).
The diamond from my engagement ring fell out somewhere at home. I was devastated and embarked on an enormous searching spree until finally I found it nestling within the wrinkled bed sheets. Instant relief and joy! I hurriedly phoned my mom to share my delight. In the same way Jesus tells of a poor woman who lost one of ten silver coins, maybe part of her jewelry or her closely guarded savings. After diligently searching she found it and immediately called together her friends and neighbors to share her happiness. A shepherd caring for 100 sheep found one of them missing and spared no effort in seeking the lost. He carried his heavy burden back to the fold and called together his friends and neighbors to rejoice.
Women and men both identify with the anxious search for a precious possession and the joy in finding it. How much greater is God’s joy and delight when someone he has created in his image returns to him in repentance! He shares his great delight in their homecoming with all the company of heaven. Joy shared is joy intensified! In today’s passage (2), however, there is a stark contrast to God’s searching and unbounded joy in finding. It is the grumblings of the seemingly righteous who feel no need for repentance, being searched for, or being found by God. Their self-satisfied complacency and rigid law-keeping leaves them unrepentant and resistant to the joyful homecoming God longs for. God wants the lost returned. He is not content with just those who remain. In Jesus’ experience, it was the tax collectors and sinners who socialized with him. Few Pharisees and scribes were ever “found.” Few caused God to rejoice.
How can you know if God is rejoicing over you? Have you acknowledged your need to be “found”? Do you share God’s heart, concern and delight when “lost” folks return?
Shepherd God, it is a joy to know of Your delight when the lost are found. I want to delight and please You as I live for You today.
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