Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. - 1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV)
It could have been do to the fact that Robert had quietly slipped inside the church without making a sound. It could have been do to the fact that Randy was deeply involved in his study for his next sermon on Love and wasn't expecting it. Which ever it was, when Robert popped through the offices door and hollered SURPRISE, Randy was totally surprised.
“Woe!” Randy hollered throwing his hands in the air and then Robert started singing “Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you. Happy....” “Robert?” Randy interrupted, “Who are you singing happy birthday to?” “Like, you don't know.” Robert said with a smile, “How humble.” “I really don't know.” Randy ensured him.
“I'll give you a hint then.” Robert said and started to sing again. “Happy birthday dear Robert, Happy...” “Stop! Stop! Stop.” Randy interrupted. “What’s wrong?” Robert asked stopping his singing, “Don’t you like surprises?” “Do you like surprises?” Randy answered with a question of his own. “Of course I do.” Robert replied. “Why?” “Because I have a surprise for you.” Randy told Robert, “Today is not my birthday.”
“WHAT!!??” Robert shouted “It's got to be!” “Nope” Randy chirped, “It’s not my birthday. My birthday isn’t till next month.” Hearing that, Robert stood silent for several minutes thinking then proclaimed, “I know, you don’t want anybody to know you are turning 40 today.” “Robert!” Randy said next, “It’s not my birthday and I’m not turning 40.”
“Does that mean there won't be any party?” Robert asked “No party.” randy said shaking his head. “Then what should I do with all this cake and ice cream?” Robert asked next. “I suppose you could feed it to your grandson Harold.” Randy told him, “I'm sure he wouldn't mind.” “And what about all of the party favors I bought?” Robert asked, “I don't want them to go to waste.” “I'm sure the church nursery could find a use for them.” Randy told him
The next thing Randy knew, there was a monkey trying to climb onto his head. “Where did this monkey come from?” he asked. “Oh, “Robert laughed, “He's the singing monkey that came with the package.... that reminds me, I have a big birthday package here for you too.” When Randy heard that he perked up, “You have a big package for me?” He asked.
“It was suppose to be your present but I better save it.” Robert said shaking his head, “I can’t believe I got your birthdays all mixed up.” Who's birthday's?” Randy asked, a little puzzled by Robert's statement. “Why, yours .... and .... Bills.” Robert started to answer. “Oops.” he said stopping himself, “I think I’m in the wrong spot. All this stuff belongs at Bills surprise party. I better be going.”
I could ask if you like surprises but I'll leave the surprises to another day. I could ask if you like birthdays but not this time. But I could ask if you like to party, to celebrate, to rejoice when something wonderful happens.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." So he told them this parable: - Luke 15:1-3 (ESV) Jesus was far from what the Pharisees expected. They didn't think anyone who was religious or godly, as they thought they were and Jesus claimed, should have anything to do with IRS agents and sinners and yet that is where Jesus was found. They grumbled and complained. And Jesus answered them three times over with stories of rejoicing
"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
"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."
And he said, "There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants." ' And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.
Luke 15:4-32 (ESV)
Love rejoices with the truth – what is right and good. The Bible talks of rejoicing when it says:
- Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! - Psalm 32:11 (ESV)
- Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. - Philippians 4:4 (ESV)
- Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. - Romans 12:15 (ESV)
A problem I see today is more people would rather rejoice in what is not true and right and run from what is true but that is not what love is all about.
Here's Something To Ponder
- Do you rejoice in that which is true and right?
- Do you cringe at the truth?