Acceptance

January 23, 2010

A cathedral...in MISSISSIPPI!

I’m still working on that journey into deeper faith (I hope). In the midst of this, I felt compelled to do a short word-study on acceptance. I thought I’d share a bit of what I learned. Here is a summary of some verses I pondered in the process:

Job 42:9 – God accepted Job’s prayers for his “friends.” Are there prayers God does NOT accept?
Ecclesiastes 5:18 – Solomon says, “Accept your lot in life.”
Luke 4:24 – “No prophet is accepted in his own hometown.”
John 1:12 – To all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become the children of God” (italics mine).
John 17:8 – “They acepted [my message] and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me” (Jesus speaking).
Romans 11:12 – God made salvation available to us Gentiles in order to make Israel jealous so they would come to Him!
Galatians 2:9 – The early church leadership accepted Paul and Barnabas. That means they believed what the men told them.
Colossians 2:6 – Accepting Christ’s Lordship and continuing to follow Him are both on the continuum of faith.
1 Timothy 1:15 – Acceptance here is Paul urging Timothy to embrace a certain truth and to pass it on. This is an endorsement.
1 Timothy 4:9 – “Everyone should accept it.” Paul is endorsing his message and also giving Timothy his sermon instructions.
James 1:21 – Says get rid of filth and evil from my life. How? Accept the Word means to give in to it; submit to it. The Word has power/authority.

I noticed that accept and believe often appear together. If I accept Christ’s message, I believe what He said about Himself.

How does accepting and believing Christ’s message tie into accepting others?

1. Believing He is who He said He is means Jesus is judge and I am not.
2. Faith in Christ means I don’t depend on others’ opinions for my self-definition. What counts is not what others think, but what Jesus already knows.
2. Faith in Christ = believing and accepting His authority in my life. It means letting go of the desire (self-imposed obligation) to control others. They can also choose His Lordship. My own freedom implies allowing others the same privilege.

The only way I will remember to live this out is if I’m accountable. My prayer is that believing Jesus and accepting His promises as true will radically change how I respond in the day-to-day. Please feel free to hold me accountable. And you’re welcome to pray for me, too.

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