Devotional

Party like you just hit a walk-off

Ready “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” - Luke 15:7
Set I don’t know if you caught any of the highlights on SportsCenter this morning, but if you did, you probably saw Johnny Damon’s walk-off home run last night that gave the Tampa Bay Rays an 8-7 win over the Seattle Mariners. It was a nice shot to right field on the first pitch he was given in the ninth inning. And, as is typical in any walk-off situation, Damon’s teammates gathered around home plate to meet him as he rounded the bases and celebrate the victory with a tiny sports version of a mosh pit. As I watched the scene unfold this morning in replay, I thought about how great a feeling Damon must have had to be welcomed home after a job well-done on the field. It reminded me of the Scripture above from Luke 15 and the parties that take place in Heaven when one of the lost comes “home” to faith in Christ. In this chapter of Luke, Jesus tells three parables about things that are lost being found: a sheep, a coin, and, finally, a son. In each case, there is great celebration over its recovery (salvation). And, I don’t know about you, but I suspect that the parties of angels in Heaven probably put our sports celebrations here on earth to shame. Not that the Rays didn’t do a great job of celebrating Damon’s home run, but can you imagine thousands of angels rejoicing in Heaven? I have no idea what that looks like, but I can’t wait to find out someday. Sometimes life gets rough. We get focused on our to-do lists, our performance, our achievements, etc., and we forget that there is joy to be found in a life with Christ. But I want to encourage you today to take time to celebrate with the Kingdom of Heaven. If God has done something that has blessed you, praise Him! If there is someone you know who was lost but has now come to faith in Christ, praise Him! Even if there is a challenge in your life that you are trusting the Lord to work out, praise Him in advance! Whatever the circumstance, celebrate with the God of joy today, whose love, provision and faithfulness allows us to rejoice in Him always.
Go 1. What is the best sports celebration you’ve ever seen? What made it so great? 2. What do you think the celebrations in Heaven will be like? What does Scripture say? 3. How much time do you spend praising God? 4. Why is it important to praise God in all circumstances? 5. What is one spiritual “victory” that you can praise Him for today?
Workout Psalm 32:11 Luke 15 Philippians 4:4-7
Bible Reference: 
Philippians 4
Sport