I doubt if anyone reading this meditation loves rejection. We much prefer acceptance. At His baptism, where Jesus came up out of the water, we read in Matthew 3:16b-17 …”At that moment heaven was opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Jesus is the beloved Son of God and the Father is pleased with Him. One of the reasons the Father was pleased with His Son, is because the Son lived to please the Father. In John 5:30, Jesus said, “By Myself, I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.”
In Ephesians 1:6, the apostle Paul was talking about being accepted. He wrote, “He (the Father) has made us accepted in the Beloved.” Jesus Christ is the ‘Beloved’ Son of God. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we read, “God (the Father) made Him (Christ the Son) who had no sin to be sin (literally an offering) for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (NIV)
I love the way the (NLT) puts it — “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
Folks, it is because of the fact that Christ died on the cross to atone for our sin, that we can be accepted by the Father, when we receive His beloved Son as our Savior. SALVATION IS TOTALLY OF GOD.
I will never forget the night I asked Joyce if she would marry me and become my life partner in serving the LORD. She said “YES” and accepted me. What a joy flooded my entire being.
The Greek word for accepted is ‘kariteo’ and it means to be “endued with special honor.” This word only occurs one other time in the New Testament and that is Luke 1:28. There, it is what the angel said to Mary, when he shared with her that she was chosen by God to carry and give birth to the promised Messiah.
“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, to you who are highly favored! The LORD is with you!” (NIV)
Over the years it was probably the desire of many Jewish women to be the one to give birth to the promised Messiah. BUT — when it came right down to it, only one woman would have that privilege — Mary.
When we admit that by nature and practice, we are sinners and we repent of our sin, and accept or receive Jesus as our Savior, we are born again spiritually. It is the only way for us to be accepted into God’s family.
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
In Acts 4:12, the apostle Peer declared, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Dear friend — Peter says that we must be saved.
There is only one way to be saved.
That way is by trusting in Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
· Talk about acceptance!
· Talk about being highly favored!
Let me close with one more passage of scripture that I hope will put this in perspective for all of us. It is found in Ephesians 2 —
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. BUT, because of His (God’s) great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.” (1-5 NIV)
If you don’t feel highly favored, blessed and accepted by God now, after reading these simple thoughts, the enemy really has you deceived. I pray that the scales may fall from your spiritual eyes and that you will be able to see how much God loves you and that you will accept Christ right now. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”
Grateful for His favor,
END OF YEAR GIVING — Someone reminded me the other day that in the two plus years, since Jubilee was born, that I have not given one sermon on tithing or stewardship. I don’t know if that is a weakness on my part, but part of the reason is due to your generous giving. We have been really blessed by your faithful giving. As we come to the end of 2019, I would like you to pray about a really strong finish.
· We are paying $18,012 per month to lease this building. That will be going up due to the landlord being hit with a hefty tax increase.
· Our monthly costs to operate the ministry here are increasing.
· We hope to have a new Associate Pastor on board early in the new year. I know you have a good idea what it costs to live here. In all likelihood, an addition to salary and benefits, we will be having moving expense. So, your faithfulness is really important.
· We plan to put a very exciting new entrance into the building that will be very inviting. It is a costly project, but we feel very necessary.
· We have several major ministry events already scheduled for the new year, including …
Josh McDowell, January 25-26, 2020
Dr. Robert Morgan, March 13-15, 2020
So, though this isn’t a sermon, it is coming from my heart to yours, as your pastor and shepherd.