What if God told you to forgive someone? What if God told you to step up into a role you thought was bigger than you? What if God wanted you to spend more time with Him? What if God wanted you to know how much He loves you? What if God wanted you to spend more time in His Word? What if God wanted you to live according to His plans? What if God wanted you to obey His commands? What if God wanted you to live a life that would raise the bar?
Would you turn back to God if there was an infestation? Would you turn back to God if there was an infection? Would you turn back to God if there was a plague? Would you turn back to God if you were being isolated? Would you turn back to God if you were being separated from others? Would you turn back to God if there wasn’t anyone else to turn to? What will it take for you to turn back to God? The decision is yours! Choose wisely! Your decision will impact all of eternity!
Will you be part of the celebration?
Will you be part of the recruiting team?
Will you be left behind?
Day 77: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge —
— Day 77 —
With February in the rear view mirror, let’s reflect on what we have learned in the past 6 days as we meditate on God’s Word this 7th day. Do you have any highlights or insights from what we have read in the past 6 days? What connections have you made or can you make in relations to our readings from God’s Word? Have you made time to speak with God through your reading time? Have you made time to speak with God as a part of your daily schedule? Are you prioritizing God enough that He gets prime time with you? Have you missed the mark this week and need to turn back to God and confess it and ask Him for forgiveness? Have you taken time to thank and praise Him for the forgiveness that has already been paid for through the blood of Jesus? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the other blessings in your life? Have you taken time to thank Him for all the answered prayers? Do you have any worries? Are you taking hold of His promise not to worry but to give it up into His hands? Let’s ask God for wisdom and guidance for this day! Let’s put our trust in Him!
Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:
(I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)
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.— Luke 15:7
Over one sinner that repenteth (επι ενι αμαρτωλωι μετανοουντι — epi heni hamartōlōi metanoounti). The word sinner points to Luke 15:1. Repenting is what these sinners were doing, these lost sheep brought to the fold. The joy in heaven is in contrast with the grumbling Pharisees and scribes. More than over (η επι — ē epi). There is no comparative in the Greek. It is only implied by a common idiom like our “rather than.” Which need no repentance (οιτινες ου χρειαν εχουσιν μετανοιας — hoitines ou chreian echousin metanoias). Jesus does not mean to say that the Pharisees and the scribes do not need repentance or are perfect. He for the sake of argument accepts their claims about themselves and by their own words condemns them for their criticism of his efforts to save the lost sheep. It is the same point that he made against them when they criticized Jesus and the disciples for being at Levi‘s feast (Luke 5:31.). They posed as “righteous.” Very well, then. That shuts their mouths on the point of Christ‘s saving the publicans and sinners.— Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament – Luke 15:7
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be heaven,…. In the church below, and among the members of it; which is sometimes called heaven, especially in the book of the Revelations; or in heaven above, and among the angels there; see Luke 15:10
Over one sinner that repenteth; for the joy in heaven, is not over sinners as such; for as such, they are not grateful to God, nor to Christ, nor to the angels, nor to saints; only sinners delight in each other, as such; but as repenting sinners, who are truly so: and these are not such, who only legally and outwardly repent; nor all that declare a sense of sin; or that are externally sorry for it; or are terrified about it, and shed tears on account of it; or that cease from grosser sins of life, and outwardly reform: but such who repent in an evangelical way; who are turned to God, and are instructed by his Spirit; who believe in Christ, and have views, at least hopes, of pardon through his blood; and have the love of God and Christ shed abroad in their hearts; from whence arise a true sight and sense of sin, a godly sorrow for it, an hearty loathing of it, shame on account of it, an ingenuous confession, and a real forsaking of it. Now the reason why there is joy in heaven over such persons is, because, without such a repentance, they must perish; and by this they appear to be openly in a state of grace; and become proper subjects of the ordinances of Christ; and this repentance is unto life and salvation; or these are inseparably connected with it; and this joy is abundantly
more, than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance; by whom are meant, either such who are really righteous persons; not naturally and of themselves, nor legally by the deeds of the law, but by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to them: and who need no repentance to be added to their righteousness, it being perfect of itself; nor the grace and principle of repentance, because they have it, and it cannot be lost; or change of life and manners, which is not to be seen in such: and the more joy over repenting sinners, than over these is, because the salvation of the one is before certain to them, and the other is unexpected: but to this sense it may be objected, that saints, even righteous persons, need frequent conversions, and the continual exercise of the grace of repentance; nor does it seem feasible, that there should be more joy over a repenting sinner, than over one, whose life, through grace, is a series of righteousness: rather therefore, such who seem to be just, or are so in their own opinion, are here meant; for only such sort of righteous persons and repenting sinners, are opposed to each other, as in Matthew 9:13 moreover, the occasion and scope of the parable, determines this to be the sense; the Scribes and Pharisees, that murmured at Christ’s receiving sinners, are the ninety and nine just persons, who were only outwardly righteous before men, and trusted in themselves that they were righteous, perfectly righteous, and without sin, and so stood in no need of repentance for it; now there is more joy in heaven over one repenting sinner, than over all these: hence learn, that a self-righteous person, is an impenitent one; that a repenting sinner is more regarded in heaven than a self-righteous man: our Lord here seems to have regard to a conceit of the Jews, who distinguish between penitents that were allowed to be righteous, and such who never were guilty of any notorious crime, and so were perfectly righteous, and needed no repentance, and were preferred to penitent sinners: some of them sayF21, that
“the prophets did not prophesy (good things and comforts), but לבעלי תשובה, “to penitents”; but as for צדיקים גמורים, “the perfect righteous”, to them belongs that, “eye hath not seen”, O God, “besides thee”.—But R. Abhu says, the place in which “penitents” stand, the “perfect righteous” do not stand.’
Though Maimonides seemsF23 to understand this, as if it gave the preference to penitents; his words are these:
“let not a penitent man imagine that he is afar off from the excellency, or degree of the righteous, because of the sins and iniquities he has committed, the thing is not so; but he is beloved and desired before the Creator, as if he had never sinned; for his reward is great; for lo, he hath tasted the taste of sin, and hath separated from it, and hath subdued his evil imagination: the wise men say, the place where “penitents” stand, the “perfect righteous” cannot stand; which is as if it was said, their degree of excellency is greater, than those who never sinned, because they have subdued their imagination more than they.’
However, these instances, with others that might be produced, show that the Jews had a notion of some men being perfectly righteous and without sin; which they oppose to penitent sinners, and which our Lord here designs, and seems to describe in their own language, and serves to confirm the sense given; See Gill on Hebrews 12:23.— John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible – Luke 15:7
As day 77 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.
If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?
Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?