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Joy in the Presence of the Angels

By Watchman | September 11, 2010

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!”  I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentence.  Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!”  Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.–(Luke 15:4-10)

     Today is both the ninth anniversary of the bombing of the Twin Towers in NYC  by Islamic terrorists, and my birthday.  I got up determined to write a post that somehow entwined the two to show both the mercy and the judgment of God, but when I started to search for applicable scriptures, the Lord brought me instead to Luke 15, most commonly known because it contains the parable of the Prodigal Son.  Reading the parable of the lost sheep brought me such an immense feeling of joy and gratitude to my heavenly Father that I knew this was really what God wants whoever reads this today to see :  That heaven itself rejoices when a sinner enters the kingdom of God!

     Do you realize that we have the ability to make God happy?  I don’t know why I find that such an awesome fact, but I do.  I’ve written before about our ability to grieve the Holy Spirit, which I suspect we do on a regular basis, but to think that when we accept Jesus into our hearts the Father, Jesus the Son and all the heavenly host rejoice with us!  “Joy in heaven” and “Joy in the presence of the angels of God” sounds remarkably like a real celebration; in fact, like a marriage celebration: the most joyous occasions we attend.  Our salvation from sin brings us into the spirit of rejoicing as we are overwhelmed by the sudden consciousness of the immense love that God has poured upon us through the sacrificial death and resurrection of His Son; that has brought us into communion with Himself and given us a place in His eternal kingdom.  But Jesus tells us something else: all of heaven rejoices with us!  All of heaven is made happy when one more sheep returns to the Father’s fold. 

     It’s pretty easy to be happy for our loved ones when they find the Lord.  Those of us who are believers have probably been praying for a long time that our friends and families will also receive salvation and walk with Him.  Do we pray for the same gift of love and salvation for those whom we dislike?  How about for those in the Middle East who were shown on camera on Sept. 11, 2001 giving out candy in the streets and celebrating the deaths of the 3000 souls who died in the attack on the Twin Towers?  Do we pray for the Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of those who beheaded journalist Daniel Pearl, for the several mothers who made national headlines over the last few years after murdering their children, or for the cranky old lady up the street?  Or is there instead, deep down, a belief that those awful people don’t really deserve to meet the Lord and be saved?  I struggled (and sometimes still do) with this issue, although the Lord showed me long ago that I must pray for and love the unloveable.  For one truth is often an unpalateable one: none of us deserves the grace of God–not one.  Our sins are to us relative:  we deserve salvation because we aren’t as bad as some others we could name!  However, to God, rebellion against His word is rebellion.   Who is to say at what point God will refuse to forgive?  According to the scriptures, God does not want to lose even one of His children, and gives them the option of repentence until the moment of their deaths.  There are, I believe (this is my opinion, NOT doctrine), some people who have so totally given themselves over to evil that they are beyond hearing what the Holy Spirit would tell them.  This is not my call, though.  It is no part of my duty to the Lord to judge someone as being beyond redemption–only He can be Judge of the heart.  My part (and the job of all those who call themselves by His name) is to pray that all will come to a knowledge and love of God and that all will finally accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  When he was very young, 10 or 11 I think, my son asked me if Osama Bin Laden could be saved if he asked Jesus to forgive him.  (In an earlier generation, he might have asked the same question about Adolf Hitler, or Mao Tse Tung or Lenin.)   The difficult-to-swallow answer is “yes, of course.”  Whether or not any of these people who perpetrated so much evil realistically could have come to a point where they desired the salvation of the Lord is not the issue:  what is at issue is that we are called to pray for ALL those who’s eyes are blinded to the truth and goodness of the Lord.  That is not to say that we are to condone even for a moment one bit of the evil that is in the world.  As believers, we must fight evil with every ounce of breath that is within us.  We must pray that evil will be overcome by good; that darkness will be overcome by the Light that is in Lord Jesus.

     Beloved brothers and sisters, have you caused joy to be celebrated by the heavenly host of angels; or  have you, a sheep in the flock of the Almighty, gone astray?  If you have not accepted Christ as your savior, or if you have wandered from His path of righteousness, please go to the Father with a repentent heart today, and experience the life-giving transformation of the heart that comes with loving Jesus and being loved by Him.  Jesus loves you so very much.  It doesn’t matter what you have done or said or thought.  He stands ready to forgive you of all of your sins, and cast them from you “as far as the east is from the west.”  The world may be in chaos, but God is still and always in control.  He is coming for us soon, so take the step now to offer to Him your mind, your heart and your spirit while there is still time; and know that in doing so you will cause much joy in the presence of the Angels!



Topics: A Special Word for Today, Salvation | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Joy in the Presence of the Angels”

  1. Shirley Says:
    September 12th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    What an incredibly beautiful and meaningful “birthday message”!