Acceptance is the Norm In God’s Family
The other day I watched a girl put a wrinkled dollar into a candy machine and it took it right away. Do you remember when vending machines first took dollar bills? They were finicky. There were times when you could put a perfectly good dollar in it and it wouldn’t accept it. You tried again, same results. You flattened it out and tried again and nope. Then you stepped aside and the next person in line put in their dollar that didn’t look any different from yours and it went right in. I know it seems crazy but at some point it becomes personal. Why is it the other person’s dollar is accepted and yours is rejected?
Chances are you’ve had days when you felt like that dollar bill, that is, if dollar bills had feelings. No one likes rejection. We all want to be accepted by people and by God.
When God created Adam and Eve they enjoyed all the benefits of being accepted members of God’s family. Every day God came to the garden and spent time with them. After they sinned they changed. One of the first noticeable consequences of their sin was they no longer felt accepted by God. When Adam and Eve heard the Lord walking in the garden they reacted differently. They hid. When God called out to them Adam said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” God hadn’t changed but they no longer felt accepted by God.
Jesus died on the cross to take away the guilt and shame of our sin, to make us acceptable to God. Ephesians 1:5-6 says
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
God the Father has made it possible for us to be fully accepted children in His family. This blessing only comes through the Beloved One, Jesus.
Later in Ephesians we’re given a glimpse of what it is like to be an accepted member of God’s family. Paul’s instructions regarding how we are to treat one another reflect how God treats us.
5 Characteristics of Being Accepted In God’s Family
- There’s no place for harsh actions, words or attitudes toward others Ephesians 4:31.
- Be characterized by kindness and graciousness Ephesians 4:32.
- Treat everyone with tenderness and compassion Ephesians 4:32.
- Forgive others since the Father forgives you Ephesians 4:32.
- Order your life in love, following the example of Jesus Ephesians 5:1-2.
Can you imagine living in a family where these things are true, all the time? How wonderful would that be?
This is how God the Father treats you as His child! It is God’s desire that you know this, believe this and feel this!
What has helped you to feel loved and accepted by the Father?