Friday, March 13, 2015

God's Unconditional Acceptance

Chuckle: "Why did your mom marry your dad?" An elementary school child replied, "My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on."
Quote: "When I believe, I am no longer a mere man, I am already a son of God." --Carlo Carretto
GOD'S UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE
    "God sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace (reconciliation) between himself and others" (2 Corinthians 5:18 CEV).
Everyone of us has a strong desire to be loved and accepted -- to be found worthy of inclusion. Just to know we are included in a group, organization, or team contributes to our sense of self-worth and perceived value to others. When we think about our sinful condition, it's hard to imagine that Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, has accepted us as we are and desires a personal love relationship with us. He wants this relationship regardless of our past sins -- He accepts us as precious to Him even with all our "warts" and other imperfections.
God not only has accepted us, He took the initiative to let us know how much He loves us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Through Christ, He brings us to Himself and nothing can ever break that bond of love or take away that sense of peace that defies human understanding. Through faith in Christ and the sealing of His Holy Spirit, we have the assurance of an eternal and unchanging relationship with God.
Because we have been accepted by, and made right with, God, we have the responsibility to grant unconditional acceptance to others regardless of their race, ethnicity, or social standing. When God accepted you and me, it was unconditional. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more, or nothing we can do to make God love us less. If we could only accept others with this same kind of love, we would not be so hesitant to tell others the good news of Jesus Christ.
Evangelist Vance Havner, preaching at the Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week in 1974, stated: “Evangelism is to Christianity what veins are to our bodies. You can cut Christianity anywhere and it’ll bleed evangelism. Evangelism is vascular, it’s our business. Talk about majoring in evangelism, you might as well talk about a doctor majoring on healing. That’s our business.”
If out business is to be evangelism, we must see all people through the eyes of Jesus, and unconditionally accept them as Jesus does. When God reconciled us to Himself, he gave us the privilege of reconciling people to Him. "And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV). Oh, that we would be as accepting of others as God has been of us, and turn that acceptance into bold sharing the love of Christ.
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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