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Summary: God has accepted you through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. In this message we learn how to develop a culture of acceptance

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13 April 2016

THREE STRANDS (Part 3)

Key Scripture for series: Ecc 4:12 (NLT)

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer. Three are even better for a triple braided cord is not easily broken.

What happens when a group of people love without any condition, accepts the rejected intentionally, and brings an atmosphere of healing? It creates a culture of acceptance. Because Jesus loves us unrelentingly, we can fully accept people without overlooking their behaviour. This week we are looking at how to open doors for people to meet with God who brings about change and healing.

Through him you believe in God who brought Christ back to life and gave him glory. So your faith and confidence are in God. (1 Peter 1:21)

Love each other with a warm love that comes from the heart. After all, you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth. As a result you have a sincere love for each other. (1 Peter 1:22)

You have been born again, not from a seed that can be destroyed, but through God's everlasting word that can't be destroyed. That's why Scripture says, (1 Peter 1:23)

"All people are like grass, and all their beauty is like a flower of the field. The grass dries up and the flower drops off, (1 Peter 1:24)

but the word of the Lord lasts forever." This word is the Good News that was told to you. (1 Peter 1:25)

Key Scripture: 1 Pet 1:22

Love each other with a warm love that comes from the heart. After all, you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth. As a result you have a sincere love for each other.

The word love in the abovementioned Scripture is the strongest form in the Greek. It is the word agape. It means to love without any condition and that is the love Jesus displayed in giving His life for us. The object of love determines the heart of the person who is giving. This type of love is recognized as well as released through acceptance.

Jesus left that place and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. (Matthew 15:21)

A Canaanite woman from that territory came to him and began to shout, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." (Matthew 15:22)

But he did not answer her at all. Then his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away. She keeps shouting behind us." (Matthew 15:23)

Jesus responded, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)

She came to him, bowed down, and said, "Lord, help me!" (Matthew 15:25)

Jesus replied, "It's not right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." (Matthew 15:26)

She said, "You're right, Lord. But even the dogs eat scraps that fall from their masters' tables." (Matthew 15:27)

Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, you have strong faith! What you wanted will be done for you." At that moment her daughter was cured. (Matthew 15:28)

1. You will only fully accept a person when you come to the realization that you have been fully accepted

Eph 1:3-6

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. (Ephesians 1:3)

Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence. (Ephesians 1:4)

Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ. He freely chose to do this (Ephesians 1:5)

so that the kindness he had given us in his dear Son would be praised and given glory. (Ephesians 1:6)

We are the object or target of grace and honour because of what Jesus did for us.

2. In order to accept somebody, I need to break down walls and my acceptance must be intentional.

Remember that once you were not Jewish physically. Those who called themselves "the circumcised" because of what they had done to their bodies called you "the uncircumcised." (Ephesians 2:11)

Also, at that time you were without Christ. You were excluded from citizenship in Israel, and the pledges God made in his promise were foreign to you. You had no hope and were in the world without God. (Ephesians 2:12)

But now through Christ Jesus you, who were once far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

So he is our peace. In his body he has made Jewish and non-Jewish people one by breaking down the wall of hostility that kept them apart. (Ephesians 2:14)

He brought an end to the commandments and demands found in Moses' Teachings so that he could take Jewish and non-Jewish people and create one new humanity in himself. So he made peace. (Ephesians 2:15)

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