You are Accepted

Thank you to Jennifer Rothschild for today’s message:

Several years ago, my friend Lisa was going through a crafty phase and wanted to make a piece of word art for me. So, she texted this question: “If one word could become a reality in your life, what would it be?”

Girl, this took me awhile! The one word that kept coming to mind was “accepted,” but I was too embarrassed to admit that feeling accepted was what I really longed for.

I was a Christian, so I knew God accepted and loved me unconditionally. Wasn’t that already a reality in my life?

The reality was, I was afraid God accepted everyone but me.

In pondering my one word, God began to show me that I associated my performance with my acceptability.

Here’s what I (wrongly) believed: If I am good, I am acceptable. If I help people … if I am a blessing instead of a burden … well, then I am accepted. But, if I fail, blow it or mess up, then I feel like a reject — not acceptable to me, not to others and certainly not to God.

My skewed belief was I was acceptable only when I was at the top of my game or in the center of God’s will. Clearly, I had not truly embraced my identity in Christ because acceptance is what I already have.

So, I texted Lisa back with my one word that I needed to embrace and believe: accepted.

Lisa’s gift showed up in the mail a week later. It was a wooden ledge with the Scrabble letters A-C-C-E-P-T-E-D glued on it. This is a treasure to me because it is a constant reminder to see what I already have in God rather than seek it in the wrong ways and places.

Lots of us struggle with trusting the truth that we’re acceptable to and accepted by God. We are accepted not because of what we do or don’t do; we are accepted not because of how we succeed or if we’re good. We are accepted not because of who we are, but because of who God is.

God loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and to as many as receive Him, He gives the power to be sons and daughters of God (John 1:12). Talk about accepted!!

We are not only accepted “in” the beloved, we are accepted “by” the Beloved Himself!

My Scrabble word “accepted” reminds me I already have what I want. When I am feeling less than acceptable, I hold it in my hand, wrap my fingers around it and the truth it represents, and tell myself, “This is what God gave me. This is who I am.”

Can you take that truth in?

If you feel invisible, it may be because, deep down, you never really embraced the truth about yourself — that you are accepted by God, admired by Him and have His full and unconditional love.

Just like Lisa glued the word “accepted” to a Scrabble ledge for me, ask God to glue the word “accepted” to your heart so that, with every heartbeat, this truth is reinforced and becomes woven into the very fiber of your being.

Oh my friend, you are accepted by God. That is your reality.

When you accepted Christ, He accepted you. You may sometimes feel rejected, but how you feel is not who you are! You are acceptable, accepted — no exceptions!

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

Seeing Yourself as God Sees You

unknown
Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message:

For many years after I became a Christian, I operated under a false sense of who I really was. I had no idea the change that occurred in me the moment I accepted Christ. I did not see myself as God saw me. I had a grid system or a sieve of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy over my mind. When I processed information about my world and about myself, it had to first filter through that negative grid system.

If someone canceled a lunch date, I interpreted that as “she doesn’t like me.” If I didn’t get invited to an event, I interpreted that as “I’m not worthy.” If my husband didn’t give me enough attention, I interpreted that as “he doesn’t really care about me.” If someone asked me to take on a project, I immediately thought, “I’m not capable.” My interpretation of events and other’s actions were distorted by the devil’s lies.

It was not until my thirties that I began to realize that how God saw me and how I saw myself were very different. Like a hungry child, I began to research and write down verses about who I really was in Christ–my true identity as a child of God. I learned that I was a child of God (John 1:12), chosen and dearly loved (John 15:16), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), a joint heir with Jesus (Romans 8:14), a saint (Ephesians 1:1), righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24), dearly loved (Colossians 3:12), completely forgiven (1 John 1:9), totally free (John 8:36), and uniquely designed (Psalm 139:14).

I also learned that it was Satan who held that negative grid system in place, and it was up to me to demolish his stronghold by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I came to a crossroads in my spiritual journey. I could continue believing the lies or I could begin believing the truth. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). I decided to believe the truth. It was difficult and didn’t feel comfortable at first. Like the lame man who regained the movement of his legs, or the blind man who received his sight, I had to adjust to my new belief system.

Oh my friend, God has so much planned for you to do and to be, but if you are operating with a false sense of who you really are, you may be paralyzed.

On Jesus’ first day of public ministry, He walked down to the river and was baptized by His cousin John. As Jesus came out of the water, a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). God says the same thing to you…and to me.

“You are my child…whom I love…with you I am well pleased.”

This devotion is very personal for me. I’ve told you some of my deepest struggles. But I want you to examine your own thought life. Do you believe lies about yourself or do you believe the truth?

Here’s my challenge to you at the start of this New Year: Start believing that you are who God says you are. That truth will set you free!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!