Week 25 Word: Accepted
Week 25 Text: Romans 15:7
Written by: Mendy Shriver
“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” (Romans 15:7 NLT)
Today I sat on my back porch to take a break from the kids. I fell into a trance as I watched the tree limbs sway in the wind. Then I attuned to the birds chirping, and I realized there were three boys (not my own) fishing in the pond behind our house. After about ten minutes, it began to sprinkle, and I continued to sit on my covered porch with my eyes closed. It was a peaceful moment. Before I knew it, I was praying.
It was soothing.
It was slow.
It was Jesus.
I felt connected. I felt… accepted.
Sometimes I forget that the God who created this big world, is the same God who longs to accept me into His arms. Even when I’m insecure and tired, He accepts me. Even when I’m feeling like my personality is too outrageous for others to handle, He accepts me. Even when I fail, He’s big enough to hold all my “failure feelings” in His hands.
There’s not one human who will ever be able to accept me, fill me, encourage me, lift me, hold me, and love me like Jesus does. While being a Christian is never “all about me,” it feels amazing to know that God will always embrace and accept me–even in simple “back porch moments.” It’s in these basic, slow and tender times where He reveals Himself as “The Great Acceptor” and “The Best Connector.”
Today, on my back porch, I wasn’t being intentional about spending time with Jesus. I was just an exhausted summer-time mom who yelled out to my household, “I’m going to the back porch for some alone time–no one is allowed to bother me for 20 minutes!!!” Still, in the midst of my mom-stress, God met me on the back porch. He’s a masterful connector. He’s The Great Acceptor.
Just as I sit here typing and reflecting on my personal “back porch moment,” I am reminded that we can all do a better job accepting others by first taking time to slow down and connect with them. As I mentally playback my experience, I realize that God first connected with me by having me notice the swaying trees. Then I heard the birds and felt a sense of calming. After that I noticed the boys fishing, and it gave me joy to see teen boys enjoying nature. Lastly, the rain came; I felt my body melt into my chair as I closed my eyes and began to pray. That sequence was all Jesus, settling me into His presence so I could feel His continuous love and acceptance.
In what small yet meaningful ways can I accept others into my daily life and help them feel loved, connected and comforted? How can I be Jesus to others? It’s as simple as looking the cashier in the eye with a smile and saying, “Thank you.” Or asking the elderly man at the gym how his day is going, or putting my phone down when my children try to talk to me. I first need to slow down long enough to see these little gestures through. No action is too small. No task is too big. We all need connection to Jesus.
In Romans, He tells us to accept others just as He accepts us, but we’re often moving too fast to connect. So unfortunately, we miss out on the accept part. I don’t have all the picture perfect answers, but I do know this: I want more people to feel loved and accepted by Christians, by the church, and by anyone who claims to love Jesus. I’m sure you do, too.
To be accepted is to be connected, and connecting is what Jesus does best. Let’s follow in His footsteps.
I’m ready. I hope you are, too.
1. What past experiences prevent me from feeling worthy enough to be fully accepted and loved by Jesus?
2. In the midst of my busy life, how am I creating intentional times to be quiet and calm so that Jesus can show me His beautiful affections for me?
3. Because Jesus loved, accepted, and died for every human – in all of their many beautiful colors and personalities – what am I doing daily to show the same unconditional acceptance and love for others?