READING: Joshua 5-8; Psalm 15; Luke 15
I still remember some of my favorite birthday parties, even though I’m 59 years old. What I remember even more, though, is the day God called me to be born again in 1974. It was August 18 in a small church in southwestern Ohio. I can still see everything from my first walking into the church to walking out with a sense of joy and relief. It was for me, even as a 13-year-old, a day of rejoicing.
Luke 15 echoes with great joy, too, in the stories that Jesus tells. A shepherd finds a lost sheep. A woman finds a lost valuable coin. A father sees his wayward son returning home. Let these texts take you into the atmospheres of rejoicing:
- “Then he [the shepherd] calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep’” (Luke 15:6).
- “And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin’” (Luke 15:9).
- “But the father said to his servants, ‘ . . . Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’” (Luke 15:23).
Rejoice and celebrate — that’s what we must do when a repentant sinner turns to God! Today, I want to do three things: (1) rejoice when God saves sinners; (2) check my heart to make sure that I will welcome everyone into the kingdom when God saves them—rather than act jealously like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son; (3) keep standing at the end of the drive, praying for guys who are wasting their lives, and trusting that God will bring them home someday.
PRAYER: “God, thank You for finding me when I was lost. Help me to keep these commitments today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Joshua 9-13; Luke 16