“Please Stand!” (Luke 15:10)

The conference center was packed and buzzing with nervous energy. Our family was attending a reception for prospective applicants to their university. We knew it was special since not all of my daughter’s friends, who also applied to the college, were invited to this presentation As we found a seat, the lights dimmed and a slickly produced short film introduced the university, highlighting its strengths and unique qualities as well as broadly sketching the future plans. In the end, the university Chancellor appeared was introduced to warm applause. The Chancellor surveyed the audience and with a smile, declared, “Will all the student applicants please stand!” My daughter and hundreds of other students stood up. “Ladies and gentleman. Please give a hand to all the applicants.” We all politely obliged. “You were all invited here because you represent our top applicants to our university.” He paused and flashed an even broader smile. “Congratulations. You are all accepted to the university! You will receive a confirmation by email in two days but we wanted to welcome you in person!”

 

I immediately turned to my daughter who was beaming. We were dumbfounded! What a classy and memorable way to announce a college acceptance. It made a very special event an unforgettable event. My daughter was being applauded by the very people whom we were seeking approval! That sounds familiar!

 

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.

Luke 15:7 (ESV)

 

Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Luke 15:10 (ESV)

 

These quotations by Jesus Christ have always warmed my heart. There is applause in Heaven when a single sinner repents. It almost seems incomprehensible that Heaven would literally stop and applaud a sinner who confesses their sins and repents. And yet, Jesus raises this act of contrition to this lofty height. Why? He loves us so much that He lived a life as a man, completely obedient to God, His Father. He was sinless and was led to die a painful and humiliating death on the Cross, receiving the full penalty of our sins, a penalty all of us justly deserved. Three days later, He was resurrected from the dead proving to all Creation that by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will have salvation and eternal life.

 

Our family will never forget the day that a university honored its applicants. I will never forget the day I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. On that day, God honored me. I will be eternally grateful for His grace and mercy.

 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

 

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