From the Kitchen Table
Victorious Living Day 34
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:1-7
Heaven deals with reality and heaven rejoices over what is real, not just religious. Looking for “joy”? Get real about what’s wrong. Repentance is about getting real about what’s really, wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being religious unless being religious is about covering up wrong. It’s so easy to be religious in our attendance, our attentiveness, and our appreciation for things that should be appreciated and miss the “joy” of heaven. And it’s so easy to be accepting of religious attendance, attentiveness, and appreciation for things that should be appreciated that pretty soon the room is filled with what is religious, not real. Don’t go there or don’t stay there. Repentance is about being real with God, ourselves and others about what’s real and what really works. There’s joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. Sometimes that’s me and here’s what I know. If I want the joy of heaven, here, it comes through repentance. When we get real about what is wrong, we don’t have to be wrong about what is real and that’s where we find joy. Repentance brings joy in heaven and around here. Don’t be afraid to be real with God, yourself, and others and, by the way, don’t be wrong about being real. This all happens best when it happens in love. Just look at the lost sheep.