4“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

Luke `15:4-7

Have you ever been celebrated? Twice in my life, someone managed to surprise me on my birthday. The first was on my 18th birthday. Mom made a cake in advance (I know this because it was still partially frozen – it is still my favorite cake to this day!), decorated it and brought it to the place I worked. I was in a different office at the time and I couldn’t have been more surprised when I walked in to see my mom there with the cake.

The second was during a time when I lived far away from home. The office staff where I worked always celebrated birthdays but I was pretty sure they had forgotten mine. During a short trip to the restroom, the staff all came into the main office area and when I returned, they broke into shouts of “Happy Birthday,” singing and celebrating just for me.

Some people don’t like to be the center of attention and I certainly understand that. But there is something about being celebrated, noticed, affirmed that is really special.

There are very few events celebrated in scripture, but a lost soul coming home makes the news! All the angels and inhabitants of heaven throw off the fetters and celebrate wildly when one person comes to Jesus. They don’t do it for the 99 that haven’t wandered away; just for the one who comes back home.

I think if heaven does, we ought to as well. So, get out the dancing shoes, hang up some streamers and get ready to celebrate the ones he is drawing to himself! Be ready ’cause it’s going to happen!

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