Accept/Acceptance

<<receive, agree>>

God does not accept a person because of their social status, importance, effort, good works, what they have done or will do; rather it is the place they give to Jesus in their hearts that is crucial. It is through incorporation ‘into Christ’, by the grace of God and the gift of His righteousness that believers are acceptable with God (1 Sam 16:7; Rom 5:17; Gal 2:6; Eph 1:4-6, 2:8,9). God doesn’t have favourites – He accepts those who revere Him and do what is right (Act 10:34,35). 

Jesus gives an invitation to all humanity to come to Him and He will accept us as we are without reserve; “Whoever will come to me I will not cast out” (Jn 6:37). The promise is, “To all who receive Him, to them, He gives the right to be His children” (Jn 1:12). The term 'accepting Jesus as Saviour' as often used in the sinners prayer, is not in the Bible but the concept is. The offer of salvation is a gift, and as such can be accepted or refused (Jn 4:10; Rom 6:23; Rev 22:17). It is only as it is received and utilized that its benefits are outworked (Jn 3:16; Rom 10:9). He accepts anyone humble enough to receive Him. However, He loves us too much to leave us as He found us in the grubby, sin-tainted condition. He wants to transform us so His godly character shines out. Believe in His evaluation of us. He sees the worth in us, dying on the cross to redeem us and wants to change us into better people. Satan is out to destroy what God wants to make of us (Jn 10:10). Co-operate with God and do not buy into Satan’s tactics. It is those with clean hands and a pure heart that are able to stand accepted in His presence (Ps 24:3-5). If the willingness is there, what we offer is acceptable (2 Cor 8:12).

In a parable, the different soils had different acceptance levels to the seed planted and so vastly different results (Mk 4:3-20). Firstly, we need to accurately gauge how receptive our hearts are to the Word of God, then also how we receive and welcome others in the name of Christ – especially if they don’t fit into our style. We are told to “make room in your hearts” accepting others as Christ accepts us (Rom 15:7; 2 Cor 7:2).

Love covers many faults (Prov 10:12, 17:9). It focuses on the good qualities, what there is in common and is motivated by goodwill rather than what would divide. Accept others out of love for Jesus (Mt 25:34-46). We should accept others, (not necessarily their teaching or lifestyle) and so together enter into

 Do I accept others with the ‘whosoever’                                   approach that Jesus did?

all that is rightfully ours as children of the King of kings, showing them hospitality so we can present Jesus to them.

Do we accept or reject people depending on their performance, looks, possessions, what they have to offer or other criteria? Jesus said, “If we receive [accept] a child in His name we receive Him” (Lk 9:48). Our acceptance is a large part of contentment. Even when you have made a mistake, God’s love for you is not reduced. Our acceptance with God is because of what Christ has done, not our insignificant works. Do not compromise your convictions or beliefs to be accepted by the ‘in’ group – you are answerable for your life. There are consequences for doing wrong with rewards for doing right so it is wise to “Obey God rather than man” (Act 5:29). 

There will be aspects of our physical body and personality that we would prefer to be different besides many happenings in our lives and even our lot in life that we wish were not as they are. However rather than trying to fight them and resist what we can't change we must accept reality and embrace it as it is from this basis that we can move forward and fulfill our calling in Christ even because of these seeming unwelcome qualities. Rather than becoming bitter because life and circumstances are not ministering to us (as we think they should) allow God to work in your spirit through these undesirable incidents to bring about His higher good in your life (Rom 8:28). Paul pleaded three times with God to be relieved from a 'thorn in his flesh' but the divine answer was "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:7-10). Paul used the weakness (whatever it was), for the glory of God.

See also: approval, not being ministered to, peer pressure, receive/receptive, rejection, salvation, sinners prayer, self-acceptance, submission.

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