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The seventy-two returned with joy, 

saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” ... Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20 (ESV) 

     Lord Jesus, we’d do well to revisit this story once a week. You’ve given us so many reasons to be grateful and joyful. The creature-comforts with which you’ve blessed us, are more than enough to fuel our thankfulness. Things like our jobs and homes, clothing and food, the wonders of creation and the privilege of vacations. Forgive us for taking these things for granted. 

     And like your first disciples, you give us the joy of being used in your service. Thank you for the privilege of sharing the Gospel and serving in your church and laboring in your Kingdom. Thank you for the honor of loving our neighbors, working for justice, and caring for the poor. Each of us has been given a place in your story of redemption and restoration—a joy-fueling reality, indeed. 

     But as this Scripture reminds us, there’s a joy that trumps all joys, surpasses all gladness, and redefines happiness itself.  Jesus, thank you for writing our names in heaven—for securing our place in your “book,” heart, and eternity. Our names are written with the indelible ink of God’s grace. 

     No eraser can remove our names from the only roll and record that really matters. We are wanted, delighted in, and secure in your grasp and love. We will never be un-born again, orphaned from your family, or have our citizenship in heaven revoked. This makes even we non-dancers want to dance. 

     Jesus may the joy of our irrevocable, free, and all-glorious salvation shut down our whine-fests and pity-parties, our vain regrets and our silly sullennessYou are so patient with us. So very Amen we pray, in your generous and grace-full name. 

 

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