Because of Jesus, God Accepts You
“God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us ‘not guilty’—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like.” (Romans 3:22, TLB)
Would you be surprised to know most people do not accept themselves? I’ve been a pastor now for over 40 years. I’ve talked to tens of thousands of people, and I’ve found that most people really don’t like themselves. They wish they were different. They wish they looked different. They wish they acted differently.
If you’re like most people, you don’t accept yourself -- so you spend your life trying to find acceptance among other people.
And you don’t just work hard to get other people to accept you. You work to get God’s acceptance too. You know in your heart you have a big problem: God is perfect -- but you’re not.
But there’s good news. God recognized the problem too and has a plan.
First, let’s make sure you understand the problem: God lives in a perfect place called heaven. And if he allowed imperfect people into a perfect place, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore.
Next, the plan: God’s plan is what is sometimes called “The Great Exchange.”
The Bible says, “God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God's goodness into us!” (2 Corinthians 5:21 TLB).
You’re not perfect, but Jesus is. So God says, “We’ll do an exchange here. Jesus will take your sins, and you’ll get his goodness in your life.”
Because of Christ’s death and Resurrection, you don’t have to work to be good enough. Christ’s goodness makes you acceptable to God. And it will allow you to live with him one day in heaven, his perfect place. That’s quite a deal!
Many people feel trapped by their past. They say, “If you knew what I’ve done, you’d know I’ll never be acceptable to God.”
I don’t know what you’ve done, but God does -- and he still accepts you: “God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us ‘not guilty’—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like” (Romans 3:22 TLB).
It’s time to stop living your life trying to be acceptable to God and to other people. Because of Jesus’ death and Resurrection, you are acceptable.
Talk It Over
How have you worked to gain acceptance from other people? What have been the results?
In what ways are you tempted to work to earn God’s acceptance?
What practical difference does it make in your life to know that, because of Jesus’ death and Resurrection, God accepts you?
Stop trying to be good enough for God!
No matter how hard you try, you will never be good enough for God. It’s impossible. That’s why you need Jesus. Are you ready to stop trying to earn God’s acceptance and, instead, accept his free gift of salvation? If you do, pray this prayer today:
“Dear God, I know that when I die I’m going to give an account of my life to you directly. I confess I have spent my life trying to earn acceptance from other people and from you. I know I have sinned against you, and I have lived by my plan, not yours. I want that to change, starting right now. I want to turn away from my sins toward you.
“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for all I’ve done wrong so I don’t have to pay the penalty. I know I can’t earn your forgiveness and acceptance. I know only your grace and Jesus’ goodness can save me, Lord.
“Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you took all my guilt on yourself. You made me acceptable for heaven, and I humbly ask you to save me. I believe in you, Jesus. And I believe \ you will keep your promise to save me instantly, certainly, completely, and eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
If you prayed the prayer above, please write and tell me at Rick@PastorRick.com. I’d like to send you some materials as you begin your journey with Jesus.
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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