Monday, May 10, 2021

How Can You Know You Are Accepted By God?

Acceptance is important to everyone. Most people love family because families are usually a little more tolerant and understanding, a little more accepting. Yet, when that is not the case, we associate with a circle of friends who accept us for who we are, warts and all.

Acceptance comes through positive affirmation: tangible rewards, special favors, verbal affirmation, overlooking mistakes, ignoring personal weaknesses, etc. We know when we are accepted because of quantifiable affirmations. What I mean is that we can actually refer to something said or done to us or done for us that validates our acceptance. For example:
  • A person pays you a compliment.
  • A grandparent sends you a birthday gift.
  • A friend invites you to a party.
  • Coworkers laugh at your witty remark.
  • You receive a firm handshake that goes beyond a casual, “Hey, how ya doin’?”
  • You get a genuine pat on the back for your efforts.
  • Someone goes out of their way to do a favor for you, whether you need it or not.
  • Someone stands up for you and supports you when you are at a disadvantage.
And the list goes on and on.

Are you accepted by God? How can you know? How does God give you positive affirmations? Some people live by the thinking that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Yet…
He [God] causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 
—Matthew 5:45
And don’t forget Job. He was a blameless man, yet he suffered catastrophic loss.

I think we need a different way of thinking…
  • God gave His only begotten Son as a sacrifice to pay your sin debt. (John 3:16)
  • Jesus said that He was leaving to prepare a place for His followers and that He would return to take them home. (John 14:3)

Those are amazing promises of acceptance. Yet, they deal more with the future. What about now? Can I know that God accepts me now?

  • Faith: “He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
  • Character: The beatitudes of Jesus describe godly character and behaviors for which we are assured divine acceptance and blessings. (Matthew 5:3-12)
  • Pursuit of God: By putting God first in life, He has promised to take care of our physical needs in this life. (Matthew 6:25-34)
  • Service: When a disciple of Jesus looks after the needs of a fellow believer, he is actually serving the Lord and is assured a reward. (Matthew 25:31-40; Mark 9:41)
  • Sacrifice: Those who have sacrificed possessions and even family for God are promised blessing in this life and in the life to come. (Luke 18:29-30)
  • Godliness: “Godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)

God has made promises. We can respond by adjusting our attitudes and behaviors to conform to His instruction. When we do, we can know by divine promise that we are accepted.

But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. 
—Isaiah 66:2

Mark Stinnett
May 9, 2021