TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, May 01, 2020:
Generally approved; widely regarded as normal.
To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved.
Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
While we were raising our children, we saw firsthand the pressures that were on our children to be accepted by their peers. It seems that “THE WORLD” thrives on being accepted. And when you stop and think, the way a non-believer thinks, ask yourself the question, “What do they have to rely on to obtain acceptance?” Usually it means following the crowd, doing what they do and saying what they want to hear.
Everywhere that the Apostle Paul went among believers he was accepted. But that was not true from the world of non-believers that he ministered to daily. He was persecuted verbally and physically for his preaching Christ and Him crucified. In his “world” centuries ago Paul was not accepted among non-believers, because not only did he not do what they did, he spoke against the sinful things that they did and he did not say what they wanted to hear.
The world of non-believers is quick to react against something or some person they do not accept, especially if it goes against what they seem to believe or against what they live by in their “ME” philosophy. We all have our own ideas and we find it hard to accept what does not conform to them.
We also see the problem of acceptance at times in the church. If someone different attends a service -- maybe his dress, his actions or his beliefs are different -- he or she is often looked upon negatively and not accepted. The same happens for children in school. If a child is different than his or her peers by the way she or he dresses or acts or thinks, he or she is not accepted by “the group.” Think what this does to the self-esteem of the one not accepted?
The scripture is clear. We are all sinners and as sinners we are unacceptable to God but Ephesians 1:6 tells us that God has provided a way for us to be acceptable. By His grace God gave us His Son Jesus to provide that way. “He made us accepted in His beloved.”
We may look different, think different or talk different but God loves us all and all that accept His Son are made acceptable to God. Jesus died for all of us. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were yet sinners.”
If God could love us when we were still unacceptable, and what is even more incredible, love us so much that He was willing to give His only Son to die to pay the penalty for our sins, how much more should we be willing to accept others.
Children can be very cruel to other children who are different in some way. They can be unmerciful in mocking and teasing those who do not fit in. As parents we must teach our children to accept others no matter who they are or what they represent. To do this we must look at ourselves first and evaluate how we accept others. Our children will learn from our actions more than our words.
Dottie was with one of our grandchildren and knocked something over. In reaction she said: “That was stupid of me.” Our 4-year-old grandchild replied by saying, “Grandma, we do not say stupid.” The thought hit Dottie immediately how important our words are. It also brought home the fact that our words have an impact on children. They hear us. What if I had called someone else stupid? Our grandchild was being not to call other people stupid just as we had taught our children. Our grandchild’s reprimand demonstrates that children hold us as parents and adults accountable to live up to what we teach them.
What a thrill it is to our hearts when we see our grandchildren making Godly principles part of their lives. It also makes us so thankful that our children are raising their children to do what is acceptable in God’s sight.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Romans 6:23.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Help me to accept each person that I meet today as one that You love and care for. Help me, both by example and with my words, to teach my children to accept others and to never be cruel to others who are different.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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