Bring It On… - Encouragement Café - November 7, 2016


Bring It On…
By Paris Renae
Monday, November 7, 2016

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.  Romans 15:7 NIV

Middle school is just downright hard.  Even back in the ‘70s (yikes) when I was in middle school.

I lived in a Navy town and no sooner did I make friends, only to find out their dad was transferred.  I had made it through sixth and seventh grade, but eighth grade was hard.  My closest friend moved over the summer and I had no one to hang out with.

We all feel that way sometimes.  No one to hang with, no one to make us feel worthy.

So we put up our fronts.  Smiles to hide the hurt or loneliness.  Airs to hide our past or our fears.  Sometimes we just retreat.

Worse yet --- we don’t accept others because of our perceptions or because their different or because of past offenses.

But there is a tug at our heart.  A reminder that there but for the grace of God or once you were there.  The tug is often ignored.

“just as Christ accepted you” --- filthy rags and all He not only accepted, He hung on a cross for you, for me.

Just as conjures up all kinds of images.  The me before the righteousness of Jesus covered me.

Naked, bare, shameful me – now clothed gloriously.  

Makes me think about my judgmental thoughts, not just about others, but when I feel the need to hold up my masks of insecurity.  When I dwell in what I call failure.  When I long for a re-do, a makeover, or to be like someone else.

That leads me to another verse:

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? James 2:5 NIV

Poor in status, or wealth, or number of friends, or whatever.  We are RICH in faith - and our inheritance.  A promised kingdom.

Don’t you just love Him?!

Let’s not pretend anymore.  We don’t have to be ‘all that’, because He is our all in all.  No more comparisons, because in Him we are made perfect.  Most of all, let’s extend that same grace, then we can truly be free – and so can those He puts in our path.

Father, we are often lost in the standards of the world and what the voices tell us we should be like.  Yet You have said to come to You, to rest in You, to accept Your grace and freely give it to others.  We need You to constantly remind us.  Help us, Lord, to see ourselves and others with Jesus’ eyes – the eyes of love.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2016 by Paris Renae.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 07 November 2016.