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The Fellowship of Joy

“There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).

In Luke chapter 15 we are presented with three parables which speak of God’s grace in seeking the sinner. In one case, the shepherd seeks the lost sheep “until he find it,” and in another the woman sweeps the house diligently until she finds the coin which was lost. Notice the joy in each case: the joy of God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Father, filling the courts of heaven over one sinner that repents.

Beloved fellow Christians, what fellowship do we have with God in all of this? Are we diligently sifting through our homes and churches for every lost soul, and are we searching the wilderness with the Lord? Rather, aren’t we more like one who seeks a nice green tree, with soft grass beneath, where he may sit in comfort beneath the shade? Have we not sat down and said, “If the lost sheep wanders enough, it will just come to me”?

Jesus says, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17).Surely it is blessed to sit beneath His shadow with great delight, but what about that poor wanderer, God’s lost sheep, far away from the flock? What about the lost ones among the millions that have never heard the name of Jesus? Is it not time to diligently seek the lost until they are found?

When you hear of the conversion of a sinner—the deep repentance of a prodigal—does it give you any joy? How many of us would rather go to hear a sermon from some noted servant of Christ, than go with Jesus to seek the lost sheep? Do you know the joy of bringing that dear lamb to the Shepherd’s bosom? The Shepherd has given us the Spirit, who diligently searches the hearts of lost people, and who enables us to do His very work during His absence. And honestly, are we not asleep instead of seeking diligently?

He says, “I come quickly.” Oh, what a change would take place if the saints of God were to awake, and seek diligently the lost ones, and seek until we found them. Awake, my brethren, awake, and let us experience more of the joy of heaven. Wherever a true follower of Christ is in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, with the Father and the Son, seeking the lost sheep diligently until he finds it, there is blessing. On the other hand, if we are utter strangers to this joy of the Lord, is there any wonder why we find utter barrenness in our lives and local churches? Do not be weary: search the wilderness, and sweep, sweep until you find the lost one!

—Adapted from “Fellowship” by C.S., originally published in Things Old and New.

If we would sweep the house, the good work will be measured, not by the amount of dust that is raised, but by the pieces of silver that we find. For he that winneth souls is wise.—F.W. Grant