Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, July 16, 2017
This is devotional thought number 24 in our devotional series, “Essentials of Faith.” Our subject is: Repentance and Confession.
Here’s the last question for consideration on this subject: What happens in heaven when I turn away from my sins?
Cause for Rejoicing
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).
It is time to celebrate; and it’s been a long time coming! When any sinner repents, all heaven rejoices. Do we the same?
In the parable of lost things recorded in Luke 15, Jesus taught an undeniable message; and it’s quite comforting too—whenever anybody has lost his or her way, God is not happy. Moreover, all of heaven stirs to arrange for the lost soul to be found.
Profiles of the Lost and Found
The imagery is interesting. There was a sheep that was lost away from home (it knew it was lost). There was a coin that was lost at home (it did not know it was lost). There was a young prodigal son who was lost away from home. There was an elder son who was lost at home. With this imagery, Jesus describes overt and covert sinners. Overt sinners like those who openly carouse, cheat, lie, steal, and cannot wait to get away from God’s laws are represented by the sheep and prodigal. Those whose piety, reputation, and pride preclude them from wandering too far from home, yet cherish a self-righteous spirit, malice, etc., are represented by the willingly ignorant coin and elder son.
This is what we know about God, regardless of which type of person was lost. He loved them. He searched for them. He waited with bated breath in expectation of their return. He dedicated all His resources to their return. He called for all to join Him in rejoicing when just one sinner repented.
Look at the Father
While the parable depicts only the prodigal son returning to fellowship with his father, and the elder brother clinging to his indignance and self-righteousness, we find hope in the father’s approach in the story. He went out to tenderly entreat the elder son and reassure him of His value. He assured him that all he had was available to him. And the coin, which represented him, and others like him was found. God is able so save all overt and covert sinners as long as we learn to surrender our wills to Him.
If you see yourself in this story and you need to turn away from any sins or lifestyle, just give in to the Holy Spirit. Let Him help you get your life together. All heaven awaits the opportunity to celebrate your repentance. Don’t keep them waiting