Summary: Some things never change – and Jesus is One of them! He still accepts people!!! He doesn’t wait until they measure up or become nice enough to be accepted. Let's look at some ways God accepts us and learn to accept others!
John 6:37 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”
Intro: One of the greatest needs people have is arguably the need for acceptance. That doesn’t necessarily mean acceptance of everything a person thinks or believes or says or does, but acceptance as a human being who has immense value as the most treasured of God’s creation. Why? Because they carry the image of God. Acceptance is part of the language of love that helps a person know they have a place where they belong. It helps form the basis of friendship. Friends accept one another without allowing differences to keep them closed off to the other.
-Jesus spoke the language of acceptance to most of the people He met. However, He had some harsh things to say to people who were blatantly misrepresenting God to those around them. Some of His harshest words were directed at supposed spiritual leaders of the day who were portraying a God who was angry, who was a harsh taskmaster, a God who did not accept common people because of their sins, failures, and general uncleanness. Yet Jesus spoke life, hope, and comfort to people who came to Him. The Bible says He healed all who came to Him. He deeply cared for people. He wasn’t just putting on a show to gather a large following and receive large offerings. He accepted people just the way they were, but spoke truth and life to them.
-Some things never change – and Jesus is One of them! He still accepts people!!! He doesn’t wait until they measure up or become nice enough to be accepted. He accepts them now… with all their current problems, all their wrong thinking, all their wrong beliefs, all their sins and wrong choices… Jesus accepts you! He welcomes you! He is the One Who Accepts you just as you are.
-I’d like to look at some ways God has shown His acceptance to us.
1. Through Gestures of Grace
(Rain on just & unjust; common grace)
Matthew 5:45 “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” God loves those who love Him, but He also loves those who do not! That is the point of these verses in Matthew 5:43-48. Love your enemies b/c God loves His enemies!
2. By Becoming Accessible
(Reachable- He became like us so we could become like Him)
Romans 8:3 “God [sent] his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man….”
Philippians 2:7-8 7 [Jesus] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
-And when we call on the Lord and turn to Him, here is what happens:
2 Corinthians 3:18 “Now all of us, with our faces unveiled, reflect the glory of the Lord as if we are mirrors; and so we are being transformed, metamorphosed, into His same image from one radiance of glory to another, just as the Spirit of the Lord accomplishes it.” (VOICE)
3. By Picking Up the Tab for Us (The Cross)
NLT Colossians 2:14 He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross.
NIV 1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
4. Through an Open Invitation
Matthew 11:28-30 28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
(The Message) 28 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
-Jesus says, “Come to Me….” Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
(A Perspective one might have who rejects Jesus)
I will live my life according to these beliefs
God does not exist
It is just foolish to think
That there is a God with a cosmic plan