God and the Gamecocks

"The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness.  He will quiet you with His love.   He will delight in you with shouts of joy." (Zeph. 3:17)

One of the most exuberant demonstrations of joy I have witnessed lately was after the South Carolina Gamecock baseball team beat Florida to win the College World Series. Gamecock players threw their hats and their hands up in the air, screamed, shouted, and jumped up and down. Catcher Robert Beary raced to the mound to tackle pitcher Matt Price, who had his hands raised in celebration, a huge triumphant cry bursting from his lips.  The team dog piled into a wiggling, hugging, backslapping heap as they gloried in their hard fought win. It was impossible not to celebrate with them as I witnessed their joy.

These are not the Gamecocks!

A few thousand people got to celebrate with the Gamecocks on that magic night in Omaha, but did you know that a celebration like this goes on all the time in Heaven?  No, I am not saying that God is having Gamecock parties in Heaven, though one of my Facebook friends stated on her status the day of the win that "God smiled on the Gamecocks."  (I wondered, does that mean He frowned on the poor Florida guys? I think not.)

What scripture does say is that God rejoices over us with gladness and delights in us with shouts of joy.  Shouts of joy.  Not a benevolent smile every once and a while when we please Him, but shouts of joy.  Picture it -- like the Gamecock celebration, only happier if you can imagine that.  Loud, exuberant, dancing, yelling, fist-pumping, dog-piled rejoicing.  Over whom?  Over me!

The third chapter of Zephaniah describes the joy we share with God when we live in right relationship with Him.  "Shout for joy, Daughter, shout loudly.  Be glad and rejoice with all your heart.  The Lord has removed your punishment; He has turned back your enemy.  The King of Israel, the Lord is among you." (14,15)

If you have experienced God's salvation, let the mental picture of the celebrating Gamecocks become an example of how excited God is to have a relationship with you.  If you do not know him as your personal Savior, click on the link to the right that says "Do You Know God?"  You are only a step away from the most glorious celebration you have ever been a part of.

"Likewise, there is more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner that repents than over 99 righteous people who need no repentance."  (Luke 15:7)

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