Topic: Provoking Divine Joy [January 3, 2017]
Text: Luke 15:1-10
Key Verse: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).
The concept of a God Who possesses a large heart capable of forgiving sinful mortals who approach Him in genuine penitence is incomprehensible. But we run into a more dramatic scene when we are faced with a God who diligently looks for returning sinners and as He sights them, He joyfully forgives and assures them He has given them a sonship status.
That is the story of the Cross that saw God transform into man to die for the rescue of lost souls. It is the narrative of God’s extraordinary love! Copious parables in the Bible demonstrate God’s great love for the lost sinner. The Lord shows that contrary to worldly thinking, it is not unwise for the Shepherd to “leave… ninety and nine (sheep) in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it…” The Shepherd is in no doubt that the ninety-nine are secure in the fold. But He cannot have the same confidence about the lost one roaming in the wild jungle that is home to ravenous beasts searching for a prey. This good Shepherd places premium value on the life of each sheep. One lost sheep is a grief to Him than the others. Conversely, there is joy at the return or rescue of the lost (Luke 15:5,10).
There are two lessons for the Church today. The Body of Christ urgently needs to go out of its comfort zone to look for the straying sheep and bring them back to Jesus Christ. We have stayed too long doing pulpit evangelism. We must imitate Jesus who, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw Peter and Andrew and turned them into fishers of men. Our Lord did not stay in the temple expecting sinners to come to Him. Next, if the Church wants an explosion of joy in heaven, Christians must be more active preaching repentance through Jesus Christ in such public places as markets, bus-stops, schools and in the social media. The souls we win will make God and the angels rejoice.
Thought for the day: A day without evangelism saddens God’s heart.
Bible Reading in one Year: Matthew 6-7
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.