2010-02-17 / Religion

‘Heavenly Excitement’

(Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

As I write, the hot topic of discussion around the community is the cold weather; the number one question seems to be “You think it’s going to snow?” I cannot yet answer the snow question, but I can personally verify that some really cold and miserable rain is making life tough for those who have to be out of doors.

The prospects of snow in our area generate a lot of excitement. So much so, if you listen to local conversation, you might be concerned that a major blizzard is headed our way that would make the storms that have already plagued the eastern states seem like a mere light frost.

I remember the days when we lived in northeast Georgia. Snow was not unheard of there, but it was infrequent enough that when it came--even in small amounts--a lot of the daily activities came to a halt. And it was quite a scene to observe drivers on the highways who were woefully deficient in the skill of maneuvering on snow-blanketed roads.

In spite of the over-rated excitement and very real inconveniences, there seemed to be a peacefulness about a snow covered community. It brought a freshness that was very welcomed.

Maybe the anticipation of snow is worth the excitement that we sun-soaked southerners attach to it!

Luke 15 tells of something that brings excitement to Heaven that we should get excited about too. Verse 7 records these words of Christ as He concluded one of His parables or stories used to make a spiritual application: “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” (NIV).

Christ gave this as a conclusion to a story that He had just shared about a keeper of sheep who noticed that one of his 100 sheep was missing. He left all the rest to go and rescue the one that had wandered away. As it turned out, the lost sheep was found and brought back to safety. This resulted in a time of excitement for the shepherd that he shared with others. He called on his friends and neighbors to “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep” (verse 6).

We get excited about a lot of things in the church--growing attendance numbers, increasing financial offerings, and the constructing of new buildings- -all of which are important and not to be overlooked. Yet I cannot help but consider that we hear so little about lives being changed by the love and grace of Christ. Put very bluntly, I do not think we get as excited as we should when we hear the news that some sinner has turned from the destructiveness of sin to the joy of eternal salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ. Perhaps at least part of the remedy to this pitiful condition of the Church is for God’s people to allow Him to reignite our passion for souls in need of Christ.

If you would be completely honest, what concerns you the most as a Christian--that sinners are being brought into God’s Kingdom through the proclamation of Christ’s Gospel, or that the music level is just right for you and the temperature is perfectly comfortable for you in church?

Are we willing to ask God to reignite our passion for what really matters in light of eternity and cause us to get excited about what excites the angels in Heaven?

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