Finding True Joy

Jesus taught, "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. "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:4-10 ESV).

The angels rejoice.

Not over Michael Phelps getting the most Olympic medals. Not over Eli Manning throwing a game winning pass. Not over the USA women’s gymnastic team or Gaby Douglas’ victory in the all around. Not over a book being released or some upcoming movie. Not even over the Buckeyes winning a national championship.

Not over you completing a marathon. Not over me losing weight. Not over grades in school or job performance. It isn’t that God isn’t involved in those things, but those are not the most important thing to God.

We get so caught up on the physical things that we forget the most important things.

The angels rejoice when someone comes to the Lord.

We must have that same perspective. We must learn to really value the things that God values and not the things of this world.

Our church will grow when most of us who make up that church body have God's perspective. When we give financially to the mission of the church because we realize that God’s mission is more important than that 10% or more of our income. When we help our someone despite it putting us out because we realize that showing Jesus’ love is more important than our personal space and/or time. When we put time with the Lord above time exercising because we realize that our spiritual health is more important than our physical health.

We must change perspective if we want to have the joy that Jesus wants us to have. We must change perspective if we want our church to grow.

So if we have a joy problem, we have a relationship with God problem. If we have a joy problem, we must figure out why one of fruits of the Spirit is not materializing itself in our life. And if we have a fruit problem. – I’m going with the tree analogy here – then we have a root problem.

May we focus on digging into Jesus.