Gifted with Acceptance
We all want to be accepted, don't we? We yearn to find those people, places and events where we feel like we truly belong, where we can "be ourselves" and not have to put up a false front. What if there is a place we can always go and be accepted immediately—just as we are, even when we are most messed up? What if there is someone who will never push us away, but always welcome us with open arms? Wouldn’t you want to go running to that Person? Wouldn’t you always want to be with that Person?
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6 KJV
God’s Invitation? Come as You Are!
The wonderful thing about dogs, best friends and grandparents is that we can usually go to them and be loved and accepted just as we are. This is all the more important because we secretly know deep down that we aren't as we ought to be. We aren't really acceptable, not even to ourselves, if you take our moral failures into consideration. Don’t believe it? Would you want your innermost thoughts displayed on a screen above your head—at all times and in all situations? Enough said.
Yet, God our Father accepts us just as we are! Once we've turned to Jesus and asked God to forgive us and save us, God "is able" to do something absolutely remarkable and outrageous: He places us "in Christ" and completely accepts us, holding nothing back. He accepts us as fully as He accepts Jesus! Then, He goes even further. He promises to never leave us, forsake us, or reject us. Trusting to His unbounded acceptance frees us to finally and fully accept ourselves and live with grace and freedom, confident that even if we need correction, it will come with a soft touch, not hard blows. This is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
This does not mean, of course, that He accepts or approves of our sins. No, He loves and accepts us perfectly, but He continues to hate and oppose our sins. Thanks to the reconciliation Jesus accomplished (at the His request), the Father is able to justify us—to look upon us or relate to us just as if we didn't have any sin. He is not blind to what is there, but He sees our sins as no longer who we are, but as something clinging to us like dirt. Just as we "reject" the dirt that is upon us and wash ourselves to get free of it, so too the Father wants to cleanse us of any sin He sees. But He is singing gently as He draws the bath.
When you think about it, that's just the way we would want it. As attached as we may be to some of our more "cherished" sins, we still recognize deep down that they are wrong and therefore harmful both to us and to the ones we love. We really do want to have a God who can ultimately "go to war" against our sins and liberate us from them—so long as we are not destroyed along with them in the process. What we don't want is a God who hates and rejects us for being stuck to them like glue! What we want is what we have, a simply divine Friend who loves us enough to accept us just as we are, while all the while drawing out of us our better side. We are truly gifted with acceptance—all we could ever desire or need.
Next "Free Gift" to Open
Gifted with Adoption Maybe you don’t think you need this one or that it could possibly apply to you. Maybe you were one of the fortunate ones who was never abandoned by either or your birth parents. That’s a good beginning, but it sure isn’t the end of the story. The truth is you were abandoned long ago and the consequences have been showing up painfully in your life ever since. Our Father has the perfect remedy, but first you have to recognize the disease.
And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Genesis 4:4-7 ESV
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."
Acts 10:34-36 ESV
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ESV
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Ephesians 1:5-7 KJV
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:19-20 ESV
For he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV
Scriptures and Foot Notes
 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Ephesians 1:5-7 KJV
 For he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV
 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 ESV
 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. Romans 7:18-20 ESV
 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV