Most of us are blessed to have people in our lives who accept us with loving and open arms. Yet not one of them really knows us like God knows us. Even if our acceptance is found in the holy covenant of marriage, our spouse does not know us like God knows us. “Even before a word is on my tongue,” David marveled, “behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:4).
Yet the Bible tells us that in spite of being fully known, we have the assurance of being fully accepted by God.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)
Think and meditate on this truth: that God knows everything about us and still delights in accepting us fully and completely. He knows all our . . .
- Defeats and distractions
- Failures and faithlessness
- Blemishes and brokenness
- Self-righteousness and self-centeredness
- Idols and insecurities
And He knows every one of our sins, each one an affront to His holy, righteous, just, and perfect character. Yet in spite of being fully known for the broken sinners we really are, God has accepted us in Christ without placing any conditions upon His acceptance. WOW! Can you think of anyone in your life right now who, if they knew everything about you, would accept you as freely and fully as God does?
Imagine a video of your last 30 days being played before your closest friends and family members—every action . . . every word . . . every thought . . . every desire . . . being played on the big screen for all to see. Now that’s a thought to make your stomach turn over, isn’t it? What would everyone think about you after watching that video? What would they do with you? Yet the God of the universe knows all the details of your life—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly—and still accepts you fully and completely. What a friend we have in Jesus!
Think about the times you’ve debated with God like Job, denied God like Peter, and doubted God like Thomas. And yet even in your debate, denial, and doubt, God never stopped accepting you with a love that is as total as it is transforming. “Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,” David wrote, “your faithfulness to the clouds” (Psalm 36:5).
But it doesn’t end there! Because we are fully accepted, we are to accept others even those we consider unacceptable. Those we dislike we are to accept. Those we judge we are to accept. Those we avoid we are to accept. Those we condemn we are to accept. Those we disagree with we are to accept. Jesus told us, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?” (Matt 5:44-46).
To be sure, we cannot do any of this in our own strength. That is why we need the power of the Gospel pumping through our veins. As we deepen our understanding of the acceptance God grants us in Christ—in spite of how unacceptable we really are—we are empowered to accept others . . . all others.
We must remember God is at work in every one of His children, no matter what we might think about them! And what God began in each one of us He will one day complete (Philippians 1:6). God is not finished with any of us yet, and He won’t be until we pass into glory; so let us accept others even as we have been accepted . . . if for no other reason than to bring praise and glory to God.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!