Affection and Acceptance
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:13-14
Jesus was tender and tough. He took the time to love little children, but He was also bold to confront greed in the face of businessmen using God for personal gain. However, most of the time Jesus modeled affection toward those who could or could not reciprocate—and acceptance toward those who had experienced rejection. He graciously extended both.
Do you daily receive the affection and acceptance of Almighty God? Have you begun to comprehend the depth and breadth of His magnificent love? Oh, what a Savior and lover of your soul! A close friend may give you the cold shoulder, but Jesus warmly embraces your cares and concerns. Perhaps a fellow Christian rejected you for your indiscretions, but Jesus accepts you despite your failures and lifts you up to walk faithfully with Him.
“Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:10-11
Acceptance is a magnet for those feeling isolated and misunderstood. It is a remedy for realized or unrealized rejection. Your spouse caught up in their own concerns can communicate insensitivity and lack of intimacy. It’s when you feel this relational distance that you turn to Christ and enjoy His closeness. Only Jesus provides acceptance all the time. His approval gives you confidence to go forward by grace through faith.
Affection is a tender touch, an empathetic ear, a compassionate conversation and a patient prayer. It looks beyond the ugliness of sin and the harshness of humanity—and engages the heart. Affection is not concerned about getting—but is consumed with giving. An affectionate heart cannot wait to love those dismissed or discounted by others.
Who in your life needs your affection and acceptance? Does your child feel your support and sensitivity? Do you honor your distant parents with love and respect? What about friends and family who are consumed with their own concerns—do you invite them into your life to experience your family’s joy and the compassion of Christ? Reach out to those whom others have rejected and watch the Lord do a work of redeeming love.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." John 13:20.
Prayer: How does Christ accept me and show me His affection? Whom can I serve in the same way?
Related Readings: Deuteronomy 10:15; Acts 15:8; Romans 14:1-3; Philippians 1:8