“When we get back home we need to find a church like that!” These words came from a group of high school guys after experiencing a worship service in Africa. Even though the sound system crackled and the decibel level was over the top the worship reached deep into the souls of the team members and brought us into the glorious presence of the King.
What was it about the worship conducted with a simple drum set, a well-worn keyboard, and four young ladies singing? In the states we would consider such a Sunday service unacceptable and hear many parishioners complaining, yet why were these young people so impacted? My brothers and sisters in Africa have taught me that joy always flows out of relationship, a relationship that starts with knowing you belong to the Father. Indeed souls that have experienced the overflowing love of God cannot be contained-joy resounds from the depths of one’s being.
A glimpse of heaven invaded that cinder-block sanctuary in Lesotho as the Holy Spirit flooded the room and those present were ever so gently pushed into the river of joy and the Father’s love. Experiencing such joy is infectious and once tasted will be desired for the rest of one’s life. One of the foundational principles of joy is being FOUND by the love of the Father! The greatest gift of all is that I was lost but the Good Shepherd searched for me and found me and brought me back to the heavenly fold of the Father.
Perhaps you were able to spend some time pondering Matthew 25:31-46 about the Sheep and the Goats. Generally goats are described as fiercely independent animals that don’t listen well. And while sheep may bite and are prone to wander when they come to know and trust the shepherd’s voice they follow. If we know Jesus we will want to learn from the True Shepherd and follow Him into a glorious eternity:
“Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world,” (Matthew 25:34).
What a joy filled verse! It emphatically states that if I am a sheep-The Father loves me! The Father blesses me! The Father gives me a kingdom inheritance prepared for me since the beginning of creation! Read it again and savor the blessings:
- Jesus, the Good Shepherd, brought you to the joyful love of the Father.
- The Father gives you a glorious inheritance in Christ.
- You will reign with Him for all eternity.
At the end of the Easter service several young people heard the voice of the Good Shepherd. The love of the Father captured hearts. Jesus was asked into lives! The room erupted with joy as lost souls were found! Praise from the depths of joyful souls was evident! The joy was contagious!
Do you have joy? It all starts when you come to know that you were lost in sin but a loving Father searched for you through His only Son, FOUND you, and brought you back into His Kingdom of Joy!
“Celebrate with me! (Says the Father) I’ve found my lost sheep! Count on it – there’s more joy in heaven over the sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue,” (Luke 15, the MSG)
““This song says it all, check it out: https://youtu.be/Sc6SSHuZvQE