Just as Christ

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

Romans 15:7

Everyone is walking around seeking to be accepted and when it is found, that's where influence makes a real impact on their lives. Skin color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, intelligence, political beliefs, financial status, are often reasons why we refuse to reach out. Remember this, acceptance is not synonymous with approval, but we are called to love everyone. Does Jesus accept you even though you do things He doesn't approve of? Absolutely!!! So why would we expect others to change before we can accept them?


The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

(2Co 8:9)

God wants us to know His grace. He wants us to learn about it, and then to experience it at work in our lives. Grace has rightly been described as “unmerited favor.” The acrostic, “God's Riches At Christ's Expense,” catches more of its majesty. Grace is God freely providing for us (as we trust in the work of His Son) all that we will ever need, all that we will ever yearn for, all that He has commanded us to walk in and become, realities that we could never produce on our own, could never earn, and could never deserve. Grace offers what every human desperately needs, but what God alone can provide.

This grace is found only in a person, the Lord Jesus. It is the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thus, it is accessible only through an ongoing personal relationship with Him.

Grace was made available to us by Jesus' willingness to take our spiritual bankruptcy upon Himself, that we might be able to partake of His spiritual richness. Before coming to earth below, Jesus enjoyed heavenly riches above (“that though He was rich”). He knew the infinitely rich fellowship of the Father and the Spirit. He received the rich worship of angelic beings. He enjoyed the limitless prerogatives of deity.

Then, for our benefit, Jesus voluntarily became poor (“for your sakes He became poor”). He humbled Himself to walk as a man among sinful humanity. He who was adored above became despised below. He who shined forth in glorious divinity in heaven was clothed in humble humanity on earth. He who created all things was slain by those He created. He who always existed in eternity past died in time. He who was holy took our sin upon Himself.

Through these workings of His grace, all who believed in Him would become spiritually rich (“that you through His poverty might become rich”). Now, we whose “righteousness were as filthy rags” (Isa 64:6) have become “the righteousness of God in Him” (2Co 5:21). We “who once were not a people . . . are now the people of God” (1Pe 2:10). Now, we have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3).

Dear Lord, I thank You and praise You for Your great grace toward me. May I increasingly know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, through a growing relationship with Him. May I become an instrument of Your grace in the lives of others, all for Your glory and honor, in Jesus name, Amen.

~ Bob Hoekstra ~