“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8-10 ESV
I’ve always only heard this passage talking about lost people deciding to follow Jesus for the first time. When Jesus says, “…there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents”, I have only heard that apply to instances where an unbeliever believes. Like toward the end of an altar call the pastor would reference this verse and say, “All the angels are in heaven right now rejoicing over you!”
There’s nothing wrong with saying that, but the passage doesn’t limit the application to unbelievers converting. It expands it to apply to sinners repenting. This means every time a sinner, believer or not, repents, the angels rejoice. I thought the angels throw a huge party one time per believer, then watch quietly and expect the believer to continue leading a good life.
That’s not the case. Every time I repent, the angels are rejoicing with God in heaven. There is a constant interaction between my faith and the supernatural realm. Also, the heavens have not been idly expecting my obedience ever since my conversion. The heavens have been actively celebrating my slow and daily victory over sin, whether it comes in the form of obedience or repentance.
Jesus, when I repent of my sin, help me not see it as a failure, or something to be somber and ashamed about. You’ve shown me that my repentance, the first or the millionth, sparks celebration in the heavens! Help me to be in tune with the way you see my repentance, and not be ashamed to turn back to you over and over again.
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.