Monday, November 4, 2013

Accepted by Martin Wiles

She looked for acceptance; she discovered condemnation instead.

She went to a local church thinking she’d find what she was searching for. Maybe she didn’t know any better…perhaps it was the best she had. But her blue jeans weren’t accepted in the church she chose. A concerned “Christian” told her so. “But I can take you to a church where they are,” she said. And she took her to the church my wife and I attend. Here she found the acceptance she hungered for. And I think Jesus would be comfortable here too. He tended to hang around those no one else wanted to associate with because they had dreaded diseases, came from the wrong side of the tracks, or worked at the wrong profession.

This familiar verse assures me I’m one of the “everyone’s” God accepts. For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 NLT).

In a world where rejection runs rampant, it’s nice to know I’m accepted by God regardless of whether anyone else accepts me or not. I may be rejected because of my style of dress, my stance on moral issues, my social stratum, or because of the friends I choose, but God never rejects me or anyone else who comes to him with a repentant attitude.

Yet God’s acceptance isn’t based on anything I’ve done or could do; it’s based on what Christ has done on Calvary’s cross. He served as the substitute for the world’s sins. Substitutionary atonement theologians call it. God accepts me because I’ve accepted his Son.

But the best news is that God’s acceptance is permanent. I’m his now and forever. He’ll never reject me once he’s accepted me. And that can’t be said about anyone else.

God wants to accept you too, but you must make the first move.

Prayer: Thank You, dear Jesus, for paying for our sins on Calvary’s cross. And thank You for accepting us when we accept You.

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