The Lost Sheep
And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:5-7)
God takes great pleasure in the repenting and returning of the wandering!
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9)
Jesus’ rejoicing over the lost sheep that is found certainly displays for us a wonderful heavenly minded perspective! Repentance, the lost one coming home, always brings a smile to God’s face and starts the angels singing! Great rejoicing abounds in heaven when the children of God finally “get it!” We are so earthbound in our thought processes. We rarely think eternally. But one day our partial reflection will give way to perfect vision. If we only truly understood what we are saved for and from, we would be rejoicing over the returning of the repentant.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)
Our verses today in Luke describe what occurs in heaven when a lost sheep is found. Basically, rejoicing abounds! The lost sheep repents, it wants to come home! Specifically, repentance is “to undergo a moral reorientation of the soul”, according to the New Testament Lexical Aids of the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible. It goes on to explain:
“This reorientation acknowledges the error of one’s ways and turns them towards the divinely prescribed way of truth and righteousness. In terms of salvation (or conversion), repentance denotes a turning away from unbelief, mistrust, and rebellion against God and toward complete reliance upon His forgiveness and favor on account of Christ. Although repentance can be attended by and expressed through sorrow or contrition, it is fundamentally tied to the mind or heart and not the emotions.”
Take It to Heart
We simply cannot trust our emotions–they wax and wane like the waves of the sea. If we are basing our belief on this tossing and turning we are certain to be unstable in our ways. When we allow our emotions to control us, we vacillate over trusting in God’s provision and turning to our own fears and anxieties.
Trust in the truth of God’s Word. He is looking for the lost sheep … and rejoices when He finds it!