“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Have you ever lost something of value you ultimately found? I mean things like a wedding ring, a watch, purse, or wallet. Okay. Include the TV remote if you must.
And when you found the missing object, you experienced relief. If it were truly valuable, then you likely responded with joy.
Our focus verse begins with “In the same way…” which means it belongs to what came before it, the context. Let’s look at it.
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’” Luke 5:8-9
The greater the value, the greater the joy. Think about it. How would you respond to the loss of a penny? Would you even bother to look for it? Probably not. Same result for a nickel or dime. Right? But what if it were a $100 bill?
In 1934, the United States printed $100,000 bills with Woodrow Wilson’s picture on the front. Can you imagine carrying one of those around in your wallet? Of course not. That’s why it was discontinued a year later. But let’s say for the sake of illustration you had one — and lost it. Ouch. And then to find it or have it returned. That would be something special.
Jesus’ point is that God cares deeply for each of us. So much so — when one of us who is lost repents and is saved, there is great rejoicing in heaven.
God is not aloof, detached, or disinterested in human life. He cares and doesn’t want anyone to miss out on eternity in heaven with Him. (2 Peter 3:9)
“Nobody cares. I don’t matter. I’m nobody.” Ever thought or said something like that? I know I have. And there’s plenty in this world to make us feel that way. Politicians. Bosses. Corporate officers. Banking execs. People in high places who ignore the plight of the little guy and gal.
Thank the Lord, the God of all creation isn’t like that. The One who is above all cares about you and me.
Recently, a news story captivated the attention of many of us. A teen girl in Tennessee was kidnapped by a former school teacher. An Amber Alert was issued and a nationwide search began. About a month later, the girl was found in California and her captor was arrested.
Those who followed the story were relieved to hear the child had been found and returned to her family. Her loved ones must have been euphoric when they learned she was safe.
Love causes us to care. It drives more than just a passing interest. Jesus said, “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” That rejoicing results from God’s motivation for saving us. “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16)
God’s gift of salvation is the ultimate gift of love. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
We mean more to God than we can comprehend. He loves. He cares. And when the lost sheep come home, there’s rejoicing in heaven, even if it’s just one.
On that day you gave your life to Christ, there was joy in heaven. The salvation team had been pulling for you, concerned for your welfare, and working to help you find your way. When you prayed the sinner’s prayer, repented of your sin, and invited Jesus into your life a heavenly chorus cheered for your victory. It was the ultimate “welcome home” party.
Next time life gets you down, and you think you don’t matter and nobody cares — stop. Think about all that excitement in heaven when you were adopted into the forever family.
The Lord’s love, compassion, and concern for you didn’t end that day. Remember this: “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
For more on this topic, check out this article: God Knows the Reality of Your Heart
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.