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Thursday, June 23, 2016

JOY: Lost & Found

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Hope you’ve not lost your personal serving!

            Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel could be considered the “Lost & Found” department.  We read about the shepherd who lost & found his sheep, a woman who lost & found her coin, and a father who thought he had lost his son but was blessed by a joyous homecoming. According to Warren Wiersbe, “the chapter also emphasizes the joy of the people who recovered what had been lost. The shepherd rejoiced, the woman rejoiced, and so did the father. ” Everyone rejoiced except for the elder brother when the younger son came home.

            Do we rejoice when people come to know Christ?  Or are we like the elder brother and sometimes think that person doesn’t deserve The Father’s forgiveness and goodness? 

            It’s easy to see why the older son was resentful.  He had been loyal & worked hard; he had obeyed his father and brought honor to his family.  He was angry at his younger brother who had squandered his father’s wealth, yet now, he was being celebrated?!  We can understand his feelings, can’t we?  Because, if we will admit it, we are a lot like him!

            The older brother’s focus was on himself, and as a result there was no joy in his brother’s arrival home. He was so consumed with issues of justice and equity that he failed to see the value of his brother’s repentance and return.*  How often have we let anger take root in our heart and are unable to show compassion toward a brother or sister?  Do we sometimes let the enemy steal our joy?

                 Let’s ask God to remove any root of bitterness so that we can celebrate our brothers and sisters in Christ…with JOY!


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