1. Completely Accepted
(Appeared in Upper Room Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 Issue)
Read Ephesians 1
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight”.
-Ephesians 1:4 (NIV)
All my life I have clamored for acceptance. Getting good grades, working to exhaustion on the job, even accepting unkind treatment from others; anything to win their approval. I suppose some of this need was birthed in a strained childhood with an absentee dad. I felt I wasn’t as worthy of love as other people.
But now in my mid years, I realize that regardless of background, many of us struggle with feeling unaccepted and un-affirmed. We all need that stamp of approval that says “I am accepted.” This is why some public figures live or die by the whim of a fickle public.
Here’s the great news. That empty unsure feeling we detect, even after winning applause and trophies, can be filled by God. Because when we believe in Him and his son, we become the children of a Father who loves and accepts us unconditionally (see John 3:16). Not because of what we’ve done since there is no virtue, performance, or goal we can achieve to earn God’s acceptance. There’s nothing we can do to earn this gift. God accepts us out of His love for us and His boundless grace.
So despite our childhood, our failures, our sins, God accepts us still.
Lord, thank you for completely accepting me. My heart smiles knowing that I am approved in your sight. Please help me to remember that you accept me completely and unconditionally.
Those tolerating abuse
Approval Addiction by Joyce Meyers
2. A Perfect Friend
Read John 15
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
-John 15:13 (NIV)
Often, my teenage daughter has a friendship drama to tell me about. The girl who thought she walked on water yesterday won’t have anything to do with her today. Her best friend is “dissing” her for the cute guy in her class. The friendship roller coaster never stops and even gets stuck in reverse at times.
From creation, God recognized our need for friendship. He knows our need for camaraderie—our strong desire to be known and to share life with another human being. He gave Adam, Eve; David, Jonathan; and Paul, Barnabas. And yet, even the best of friends fall short.
Thankfully, we have a perfect Friend. He doesn’t gossip about us or ignore us or leave us for someone wealthier or more popular. His love for us is complete and unchanging. When we acknowledge that He loves us so much that he laid down his life just for us and defeated death by rising from the grave, He becomes our friend forever. Thank God for Jesus!
Alicea Jones (Texas, USA)
Lord, thank you for my earthly friends but most of all, thank you for my Perfect Friend Jesus. Please help me remember that even when my friends disappoint, you will never leave or forsake me.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
When we have Jesus, we are never without a friend.
Those who have been abandoned
Streams in the Desert