Repentance, Joy, and March Madness

While continuing my study on repentance I came across the following 3 verses

Luke 15:7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

2 Cor. 7:9  Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

As I mentioned in my first post on this subject repentance is usually connected with personal sorrow.  It then seemed interesting to me that at the same time we are experiencing this sorrow and understanding the need to redirect our lives, in heaven and on earth there is rejoicing.  I think the reason for this is made clear by the story related in Acts 11.  Here Peter has to defend why he shared the Gospel with the Gentiles, a major step forward in the history of the church.  Once Peter explained the situation those that disagreed with his actions now knew the Gentiles had a hope of eternal life because of repentance and could be spared everlasting punishment.

This made me think about the things that bring us joy in today’s world.  Currently we are in the middle of “March Madness”,  the NCAA basketball tournament.   Fans of the teams still left in the tournament are eagerly awaiting the next round of games to see if their team can go all the way.  I understand their excitement as I think about my beloved “Cardiac Pack” winning the tournament back in 1983. Still others are excited about having the opportunity to win one of the many tournament bracket challenges that have become so popular in recent years.

As we live our Christian lives there are many things that hopefully will bring us a joy that far exceeds those of the world.  I hope we can be like Paul as he wrote to the Corinthians and have joy from those that have repented and now can have an everlasting relationship with our Creator.

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