Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”
Psalm 32: 8
“We must not be in a hurry to fix and choose our own lot; we must want to be guided. We are led on, by a way that we know not. It is a vain thought to flee from the work that God appoints us, for the sake of finding a greater blessing to our own souls; as if we could choose for ourselves where we shall find the fullness of the Divine Presence, instead of seeking it where alone it is to be found – in loving obedience.”
Today’s Study Text:
“Say a quiet yes to God and He’ll be there in no time.”
James 4: 8
The Message Bible
“Received and Accepted”
“Accept me, Lord, as I am, and make me such as Thou wouldst have me to be.”
Missionary in Africa
“Acceptance” – Willingly received. Approved.
Have I accepted the reality that God loves me?
Do I believe God loves me as I am?
“How blessed is God! Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love…Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!)”
Ephesians 1: 3 - 6
“Accepting God’s Love”
“Sometimes there is an expression of an almost physical longing to experience the presence of God, without whom life seems to have little meaning: ‘God, You are my God; I search for You, my soul thirsts for You, my body yearns for You.” (Psalm 63: 2).
In order to better understand what it means to be accepted, we are going to pull back the curtain and look into the life and interaction of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.
John reveals that Jesus, “being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well” (John 4: 6, K.J.V.). As the Samaritan woman approached, Jesus asked her for a drink of water. Recoiling at the thought of a Samaritan doing a favor for a Jew, the woman launched into a verbal assault letting Jesus know that His request was improper.
In John 4: 10, these words are recorded: “Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘If thou knewest the gift of God.’” I want to stop here and focus on this question: “do I know the gift of God?”
I invite you to ask yourself the same question. “Do you know the gift of God in your life?” And perhaps you are asking yourself, “What is the gift God gives me?”
If we go to the beginning of the book of John in verse 1: 11 there is this statement: “He came unto His own.” In these five words we find the clue to help us understand the gift of God. This gift is the revelation or revealing of God to the human race. It is God communicating personally with His family here on earth. It is God coming “unto His own” calling back His children who have wandered away from the Father’s home. As Dr. David Read writes so eloquently: “For God, the Incarnation (the gift of Jesus), was the supreme act of God’s parental love…it was God coming unto His own.” It was God saying, “You belong to Me, you are accepted by Me, You are Mine.” It was God saying, “Dorothy, you are accepted.”
How does it make you feel to know the Creator of the universe, the infinite God, the Giver of all good things accepts you today just as you are – no questions asked? I don’t know about you, but I find this to be quite an overwhelming thought.
What is so essential about the belief that I am accepted into the circle of God’s love is that this single piece of knowledge does more to change the way I think about myself than anything else in the world. As a treasured child of the King and Creator of the universe, I begin to realize my worth…my potential…my value. And once I begin to comprehend my own worth – it changes how I treat those around me. It affects the way I want to live my life. It changes my dreams and goals.
These words by Julian of Norwich help me understand in greater depth the acceptance I have in the presence of a God who has and always will love me unconditionally:
“Before God made us He loved us, which love was never abated and never will be…In our creation we had beginning, but the love in which He created us was in Him without beginning.”
God’s love is the core of His character. By “coming unto His own” and inviting us into the warmth of His eternal love, we are brought into the unity that once filled the universe with the everlasting love of our Heavenly Father.
“I want to want to want to want you God.”
“Let me seek you in my desire,
Let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
Let me love you when I find you.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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