I was thinking today about the “joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7, 10). At the very beginning of the Church in Acts, this joy and gladness was the immediate result of the Holy Spirit being poured out and “the Lord adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (2:46-47). As in Luke 15, there was repentance as Peter preached because of the power demonstrated in the message of the Word (Acts 2:38).
This type of joy is so different from many today who try to create an entertainment atmosphere so people feel good. Repentance is a humbling process, but it brings the greatest joy. The things that move heaven come from truth transforming the heart so it is in alignment with heaven.
When Jesus addressed the subject of “abiding” in Him, the vine, He gives another reason besides being fruitful. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). We only experience true joy, His joy in us, when we walk closely with the Lord and make sure every part of our lives is firmly connected to Him.
In Jesus’ prayer to the Father, He says that He spoke certain things to the disciples while He was still in the world “that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (17:13). If we better understood the joy of heaven and God’s desire that we share it, we would remove many things from our priority list and enter into the joy of heaven.
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