ARE YOU REJOICING WITH GOD?
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 which was lost!’ Luke 15:6
The more I consider the story of the prodigal son, the more I see the heart of God. He rejoices and throws a BIG party when one sinner repents. Seeing the lost come to Christ is truly God’s greatest joy … and He wants us to rejoice with Him.
The tell-tale sign of a Pharisee (depicted as the elder brother in the parable) is the fact that he will not rejoice with the Father concerning his brother’s repentance. The father pleaded for the elder brother to join the party, but he angrily refused and accused the father of being unjust and unfair. Why would he not rejoice? It is because he couldn’t give a rip about his brother, or repentance, or the father’s joy. When it comes to a pharisaical attitude, the bottom line is this: it’s all about me.
IT’S ALL ABOUT GOD
Whenever I find it hard to rejoice in what the Lord is doing … whenever I sense myself getting jealous at how the Lord is blessing another church or another pastor’s ministry, I immediately have to remind myself that “it’s NOT about me.”
You and I really have just one job on this planet - to please God. Whether we are known or unknown, our reason for being is to please the One who purchased us with His blood. If we are truly right with God, whatever pleases God should please us. If He is rejoicing, we should be too, for His pleasure should be our pleasure.
Let me encourage you as I encourage myself, if you are having trouble rejoicing with the Father, search your heart. Could it be that the elder brother syndrome has taken root? Could it be that you are losing touch with the Father’s heart? Could it be that you need to ask God to do a fresh work in you so that you can join the party and rejoice with Him?
REMEMBER THE NATURE OF GOD
One last point, always remember that God is beautifully depicted in this story as a wonderful, merciful, loving father. He is not mean, cruel, and vindictive. He is "good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in loving-kindness to all who call upon Him" (Psalm 86:5). He did not make his repentant, swine-stained son walk a mile on splintered glass before he would forgive him. The father ran and embraced his broken, returning son ... and he showered his boy with undeserved mercy and grace. He will do the same for you and me.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
Pastor Jeff Schreve has shared many messages that have touched and encouraged people throughout the course of his ministry. In the REAL ONLINE FAVORITES collection, you will receive the most viewed online messages that have spoken to people over the past several years. Our hope and prayer is that these messages would speak new and afresh to you today.
BUT FOR A DONATION OF $30 OR MORE You will not only receive the CD Album “Real Online Favorites,” But you’ll also receive Pastor Jeff’s helpful 7-message CD series “Now That’s a Tough One: Answering the Difficult Questions of Life.”