January 23

Rejection is a painful experience, and we all take some steps to avoid it. Even those who rebel against the system have some inner need to belong. Often they have felt the sting of rejection, because they just couldn’t measure up to the required standards. Since they are no longer “one of them,” they seek out some other identity. Some become skin heads, nerds, and others dress in goth or join a gang. Being the member of a gang provides an identity and a sense of belonging, but it is destructive. Others strive for acceptance in the system, but often feel like second class citizens and live off somebody else’s identity or reputation and regularly drop their names. Some are determined to beat the system to make a name for themselves, and long for a lasting legacy.

Christianity can be separated from all other religious orientations by asking one question. On what basis are you accepted? Every other religion requires you to jump through some hoops, perform some service, or measure up to some standard. That may even be the case for membership in some local churches, but that is not the case with God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). God loves and accepts us unconditionally, gives us an identity, makes us a part of His family, and meets our greatest needs of acceptance, security, and significance. Because you have believed in God, you have been accepted as follows:

            Jn. 1:12        You are God's child.

           Jn. 15:15        You are Jesus’ chosen friend.

            Rom. 5:1        You have been justified by faith and have peace with God.

          1Cor. 6:17        You have been bought with a price and belong to God.

         1Cor. 12:27        You are a member of Christ's body and part of His family.

            Eph. 1:1        You are a saint.

            Eph. 1:5        You have been adopted as God's child.

           Eph. 2:18        You have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.

           Col. 1:14        You have been bought back (redeemed) and forgiven of all your sins.

           Col. 2:10        You are complete in Christ.

Welcome to the family of God.

Dr. Neil

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