Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Acceptance by God

Psalms 24:3-5 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

We talk a lot about serving God, and rightfully so. However, sometimes the emphasis on serving Him gets so loud and imbalanced that we begin to rate our acceptance by God according to our works. We know and freely acknowledge that our salvation is not dependent upon works, but is wholly of God. (Titus 3:5) But with an over emphasis on "getting the job done for Jesus," we sometimes view God's love and acceptance as contingent upon our service to Him. This is faulty thinking. We were saved by grace. We are not kept or made more acceptable to God by our works. We serve Christ because we love Him, not to gain acceptance or love from Him.

Sometimes this thinking is a result of troubled relationships with our earthly parents. If one has a parent that can only be pleased by "doing" then one may think that the Heavenly Father is equally impressed with our works. This is not the case. I like what one father said to his daughter. He said, "The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was come home at night." Although this does not tell the whole story, the sentiment is true. We can never do enough to be acceptable in the eyes of God. That's why Jesus came. His work on the cross is what makes us acceptable.

The little baby that is adopted and brought home by his new parents can do nothing acquire the parent's acceptance and love. However, he has both their love and their acceptance. Why? Because they chose him. It is the same with us. We can indulge our feelings and try in our own strength to gain God's attention, love,and acceptance, and come up feeling empty. God wants us to rest in His adoption. He wants us! This is not because of our service to Him, but because He chose us. He adopted us. He loves us.

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