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One of the many services of the American Red Cross is to help locate missing persons—both here and around the world. Who can fathom the joy when lost loved ones become united? Yet even this joy cannot compare to the joy in heaven when a lost person repents and turns to the Lord. Jesus spoke about this, telling three stories to drive home the point—recorded in Luke Chapter 15. One story is that of a sheep that went astray. The owner searched diligently to find it. When he found it, he joyfully carried it home on his shoulders, and invited his friends to rejoice with him. A second story is of a woman who lost one of her dowry coins. She likewise searched carefully until she found it; then invited her friends to rejoice with her because she found her treasure. The third story was of the prodigal son. He left home and squandered his father’s wealth in a far country. When he came to himself and returned home, his father welcomed him warmly and restored his status as a son. By telling these stories, Jesus assures us that great joy breaks out in heaven when a person turns to God for salvation. Heaven rejoices because heaven knows what eternal joy awaits those who come home to God. God loves us so much and desires every person to come to His Son and receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

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