Angels Rejoice

I heard the news.  Two people recently made a life-changing decision.  That decision.  To follow Christ.  To turn their back on their sins.  To turn their back on themselves.  To turn their back on their old thoughts.  Desires.  Ambitions.  To place their faith, hope and trust in the God who created them.

They humbled themselves and bowed to the only God of the universe.  They bowed to their will.  Their ways.  They have turned themselves over to the one true God.  They have submitted their lives to God.

Their slate of sin has been erased.  Wiped clean.  Any wrong they have done has been removed as far from God as the sea is from the heavens.  Those sins have been forgotten by God.  Oh.  He’s that good.  Salvation is that good.

I imagine the peace these two people now feel.  The burden of sin they carried has been crushed by the weight of the cross that Jesus carried.  The charred blackness of their hearts has been made white as snow.  The weight on their shoulders has been removed.

Once they walked away from their sins, they walked through an open door straight to a new best friend.  God Almighty.  Now they have the opportunity to build a strong, close relationship with their Maker.  They are now learning how much God is on their side.  The one they once shunned is now the center of their life.  I pray they will continue to build that relationship with him.  He is fighting for them.  He is working for them.  He loves them.

They will learn that they still have free will.  Oh.  They can choose to sin.  There will be times of temptation.  Every day when they wake up, they will have to choose.  Will they follow God?  Will they follow their own will?  I pray that as the sun rises each day, they choose God.


There is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.  Luke 15:8


There have been many prayers sent up to heaven for these souls.  There have been tears.  Pleas to God.  Please save our loved one.  Oh.  God was willing.  He’s always willing and waiting.  The decision is in the hearts of each of us.  Will we give our lives to God or will we selfishly hold on to our will and our ways?  We each have a choice.

This news fills me with joy.  It reminds me that God is still bigger and better than all our worries and problems.  It tells me that God is still working in the hearts of men and women.  Teenagers and children.  God is not dead.  God is not done.  He is holding out on sending his son, Jesus, back to earth.  Just for this reason.  He wants all of us to be saved.  He wants everyone who is ever born to join him in heaven.  But we can only do that if we repent of our sins.  If we turn our lives over to him and let him guide us.

Some may think God is not relevant today.  Some may believe God is dead.  Or that he never existed.  Some people think that being good is good enough.  The fact that two more people have made the decision to follow God tells me God is very much alive.  God is still waiting for those who are not yet his followers.  God is still working in the hearts of those who need him.  God is a very patient God.  God is still in the saving business.

Angels in heaven rejoice when a sinner on earth makes the decision to become a Christian.  Heaven throws a party to celebrate new believers.  Has there been a heavenly party for you?  If no, it’s not too late.

 

Attitude of Gratitude

I started a new job today.  Oh.  It felt good.  It felt frightening.  It felt God-given.  After months of unemployment, it felt good to be called an employee.  Again.  God is good.  All the time.  All the time.  God is good.

I want to remember this day.  I want to remember the joy I felt as I walked through the door for the first time as an employee.  I want to remember the expectation of good days to come.  Of successes.  Of new friendships.  Of finding my purpose for being there.

When I’m down in the weeds of work.  Researching.  Writing.  Discussing.  Preparing reports.  Fighting to make the world a better place.  I want to remember the joy of this new beginning.  I want to be thankful for the opportunity to struggle with meeting a deadline.  I want to appreciate the hard fought battle of gathering information and making things right.  I want to feel joyful that God has provided an opportunity for me to serve Him in a new place.  A new setting.  A new beginning.

Oh.  There will be struggles.  There will be deadlines.  There will be too much work and too little time.  There will be differences of opinion.  There will be collaboration.  There will be a plethora of learning.  There will be hard fought battles.


Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  Colossians 3:23


I want the challenge.  I accepted the offer.  Now I must be willing to accept everything that comes along with that offer.  The good.  The bad.  The ugly.  I hope and pray there isn’t much ugly.  But one never knows.  Personalities clash.  Timelines are crunched.  Budgets grow tight.  Tempers flare.  But through it all, I want to remember.  I want to remember the act of walking through the door on this first day.  I want to remember the art of appreciation when I am fed up with the system.  When all I can see is red tape and slowness of progress.  I want to appreciate being employed.  For being employed even in a bad job is better than not being employed.  That’s easy to say.  It’s not always easy to live through bad employment.  It’s even worse living through unemployment.  But both are survivable.  I know.  I’ve lived through both.  That’s why I want to remember this day.  And appreciate it for all it’s worth.

I was welcomed by new coworkers. New names. New faces.  New opportunities.  New office.  New surroundings.  New routines.  I welcome the discomfort of being new.  Of not knowing the system.  Of having to learn the ropes.  Of being the newbie.  Because it will become familiar.

New becomes familiar.  Familiar becomes routine.  Routine become boredom.  Boredom becomes complacency. Complacency becomes death for 40 hours a week.  That is what I don’t want.

So.  For this new beginning, I say thank you to God.  Thank you for providing me with a new job.  Thank you for listening to my heartfelt prayers.  Thank you for all the interviews you sent my way.  Thank you for giving me the ability to earn a living.  Thank you, God.