Accept One Another
by Jon Walker
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7 NIV)
Jesus loves us even at our worst, demonstrating “his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV)
He accepts us among his beloved children, despite our messy lives, impure motives, and irritating attitudes. (Ephesians 1:6) His acceptance of us doesn’t condone any sin, rather it recognizes we are God’s workmanship, each of us a uniquely shaped child of God created for a specific purpose. (Ephesians 2:10)
One of the ways we reflect God’s love is to accept each other just as Jesus accepts us. This brings glory to God. (Romans 5:7)
Jesus was not afraid to be friends with non-believers, looking past the sin in their lives to see who God created them to be. (Luke 19:7) He understood that accepting the person is not the same thing as accepting their sins. As the old saying goes, “Love the sinner, not the sin.”
Jesus was ridiculed for being a friend to sinners. He accepted prostitutes, lepers, publicans, and the poor. He believed the kingdom of heaven was available to any who would turn to him.
When Jesus called Matthew to be a disciple, the tax-collector got a bunch of his tax-collecting friends together for a large banquet with Jesus. (Luke 5:30) Jesus jolted the religious culture by hanging out with a group of people who were stereotyped as spiritually bankrupt.
Some religious leaders approached Jesus’ disciples to ask why their master was associating with people they judged should be outcast – people who should not be accepted. Jesus responded to their inquiry by saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Luke 5:31 NIV)
Like a doctor accepts a patient, regardless of the disease, Jesus accepts – he loves – us in our present condition and, like a doctor, his intent is to heal us of our sin.
In the story of the prodigal, we find Jesus talking again about this counter-cultural acceptance. (Luke 15) The father in the story unconditionally accepted his son back into the family. He embraced his son, despite what he’d done and where he’d been. Isn’t that what we all want from Jesusí Isn’t that how we’re all greeted by him?
· No matter where you are, Jesus meets you there – Ask God to help you as you let this truth drench your being: You are accepted by God. Some of us find it hard to accept others because we reject ourselves. (Pray about the meaning of this statement and see what God reveals to you.)
· Jesus looks at you with the eyes of love – Jesus knows everything you’ve ever done, everything you’ve ever said, everything you’ve ever thought – or ever will do, say, and think – and yet he still loves and accepts you. That doesn’t mean he condones your sins, but it does mean that, in his acceptance of you, he forgives you of your sins and he’s actively working within you to transform you into someone who is holy and Christ-like.
· No matter where they are, Jesus meets them there – and so should we. Ask God to help you embrace this truth: Other people are accepted by God too, just as much as you are. Again, this does not mean God, or you, condones their sins; rather, you’re on a mission to lead them to the Great Physician, who will heal them of their sins.
· Jesus looks at them with the eyes of love – Jesus knows everything they’ve ever done, said, and thought, yet he still loves them. Jesus forgives them of their sins and he’s actively working bring them home to him. Will you join Jesus in his work?
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Devocionales Cristianos www.devocionalescristianos.org