“In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t yet strayed away.”
“In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
“We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!”
— Luke 15:7, 10, 32
The joy reminded me of the days when my own children were born. There was the additional joy of knowing that one of my children was now experiencing what my wife and I had experienced many years ago. I must admit that my feet got “a little happy,” and there were a few shouts in those first moments with Bailey.
Jesus, in relating the parable of the lost, in Luke 15, alluded to the joy that comes when one repents and comes to the Lord. Luke 15 is not the compilation of three parables but instead a single parable which illustrates the terror of being lost and the joy of being “found” in three different ways.
I guess one of the most humbling realities that I experienced this past week was coming to understand in some small way the joy that is in the heart of God and in the halls of heaven when one lost person experiences the new birth through repentance towards God and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ. How awesome it is that the God of glory would rejoice over us coming to Him! How could He love us so? How could He love me so?
Romans 6:6 says, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” What amazing love! When we respond to that love by believing in Christ and entrusting our lives to him, joy explodes! The words of the old hymn creep back into my mind:
Demands my soul, my life, my all!”