I have a dear friend who sometimes has four big dogs at her house at once. Two dogs live there, and two often come for “doggie daycare.” When I visit my friend, I love it if the dogs are in the yard when I drive up.
They crowd next to the door and all want to get to me. It is several moments before I am able to get out of the car, but I don’t mind at all. In fact, I love it!
Nothing makes you feel loved like the nose-wrinkling smile of one, the full body wag of the second, the tongue hanging out of the third, and the “I can’t get close enough to you” of the fourth.
Each time they greet me, I can almost hear their thoughts. “You’re here! You’re here!” I imagine them saying.
I wouldn’t care if they were all covered in mud. I wouldn’t care if there were twice as many of them. What they display is unbridled joy. And it’s all for me.
Sure, I know they greet everyone like that, but when they are greeting me, I feel like their favorite person in the world. They are a beautiful extension of my friend and her family and the warm welcome I always receive whenever I visit.
I can’t help but think that when the host of heaven welcomes someone who has died, the joy must be like that. “You’re here! You’re here!” they will shout.
Surely they surround the loved one we are grieving for, and give him or her the warmest welcome, making them feel like the most favorite person in the world.
Jesus said that there is more joy in heaven over 1 sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who need no repentance. I imagine this is due to one thing: the sinner acknowledges his need for a Savior. The “righteous person” does not.
The truth is that we all need a Savior. Receiving Him is simply a matter of acknowledging that need. When we think we are good, or not as bad as other people, we fall into the ranks of the 99.
My friend, there are no “righteous people.” I am convinced that Jesus spoke of those who think they are righteous.
Instead of us trying to deny how much we need a Savior, why don’t we admit the truth – there is only One who is truly righteous, and that is Jesus. He lived the perfect life so that He could give us the gift of His righteousness.
For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Romans 5:17 (Amplified Bible)
Receiving it makes you the 1 who stirs up more joy in heaven than for the other 99. It makes you the most favorite person in the world. It makes you the most welcomed.