this brother of yours…

I’ve heard it said many times that, when someone chooses to believe in Jesus, the angels in heaven rejoice. It’s a great thought that reminds me of just how significant is that decision of faith, but also how valuable we are in God’s eyes: He and His hosts throw a bash for everyone who claims eternal life. But as I read again the parable of the prodigal son, I find myself struck by what Jesus tells us the father said in Luke 15:32: “But we had to celebrate and rejoice because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Did you catch that? “We had to celebrate and rejoice…” As in, there wasn’t a choice in the matter. It was what needed to be done.

God and His have to celebrate when someone spiritually dead is brought to eternal life, someone eternally lost is finally found. And I need to, too.

Now, I admit that this doesn’t seem like a big deal. I mean, when was the last time I didn’t celebrate when someone was saved? I honestly can’t think of one time that I grumbled and complained as did the brother. But then again, I do remember moments when I didn’t really celebrate, either. Instead, the thought going through my mind was something along the lines of, “One more notch.” “Meh.” Or worse, “Yeah, right.”

I needed to be reminded today just how much God loves us. Indeed, He created us. We are His children. And He longs to have that Father-child relationship with us. But our sin was the same as us demanding our inheritance and running away. And so, since sin is a reality for every one of us, God celebrates when any of us returns. Without intending to excuse future sin, it doesn’t matter what may happen down the road. They might wander away from faith again tomorrow, next week, or next year. But for right now, if they’ve honestly, earnestly returned to the Lord, it’s time to celebrate.

I need to better celebrate spiritual breakthrough in me and the people around me.

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