The I AM says I am accepted!
"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."Ephesians 1:6
My youngest son, Morgan, has wanted to be a doctor since he was a little boy. Now, a college student, he is pursuing his dream. It won’t be easy. He will have to work hard to prove himself worthy. He will have to graduate college with a near perfect GPA. He will have to score high on the MCAT. He will have to complete applications, submit entrance essays, and endure a series of interviews. And then, he will have to wait. Morgan’s acceptance in to medical school is not guaranteed despite his hard work or performance. His fate will be in the hands of a medical school admissions board. Will he be rejected, waitlisted, or accepted?
Being accepted can range from big, seemingly important life altering things, like medical school, law school, advanced degree programs, etc.; to a family or friend group; to a club, social group, or organization; to something as absolutely trivial as a friend request on Facebook. No matter what it is, big or small, we want to be accepted. There is an inherent human desire to belong. We work hard to prove ourselves and meet the expectations of those around us so that we will be accepted.
Is there a sweeter illustration of our acceptance by God than the thief on the cross? At the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, there were two other men, both thieves, also being executed. The thieves and many of the spectators were mocking and criticizing Jesus. In the midst of this Jesus cries out, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). One thief is moved, convicted. This penitent thief changes his tune and defends Jesus. He tells the other thief that Jesus has committed no crime and they are the ones who deserve punishment. He then, with faith, turns to Jesus recognizing Him as King and says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” Luke 23:42. And what does Jesus do…He accepts him. No applications to complete, no interview to go through, just a heart convicted and a faith pronounced. Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise”(Luke 23:43).
Because of Christ, we meet every requirement to be accepted into eternity with God. God doesn’t see our crimes. He sees the crimson blood of Christ covering us and we are made innocent. But I can’t let this devotion come to an end without asking…have YOU accepted this gift? Have you said, “Lord, I recognize you as my Savior and I surrender my life to you?” If not, why wait another minute? There’s freedom at the cross! Perhaps this is hard to believe; how can it be that easy? You have worked your entire life to be accepted by someone and find yourself repeatedly rejected. Do not despair, even if you’ve never felt like you were fully accepted, even by your own parents, your Heavenly Father will greet you with open arms! “Though my father and mother forsake me the Lord will receive me” (Psalm 27:10).
Ladies, there is cause for celebration today! We are accepted into God’s family! All we have to do is RSVP; accept His invitation, and He welcomes us. I don’t know about you but this work-a-holic, is comforted to know that I don’t have to labor my way into the Kingdom of God. Jesus already paid the price for my admission. No waiting list for us…we are accepted! So today, when you’re feeling weary from working to be accepted in the world, wake up and walk to the mirror proclaiming, “Iam accepted…because He said so!
Additional Reading: John 2:25; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Romans 15:7; Ephesians 1:4,6; 1 John 2:17; Titus 3:7; 1 Peter 2:5, 9:10
I praise You today for all that You are; You are the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are the I AM! I know that You created me on purpose for a purpose. I am who You say I am. The enemy wants to hold me back from living out the calling You have placed on my life. Lord, saturate my mind with the truth of Your Word so that I may remember that my identity is found in You and only You. Remind me throughout the day, when the world comes tumbling in, that You are in control. Reveal Your will in my life as I only want to please You. No matter how difficult my day becomes I will remember that I can do all things through You (Phil 4:13). In Jesus' name. Amen