Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Thursday, October 30
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you.”
Ro 15:7 NIV
Sometimes people don’t make it easy to accept them. They can be cranky, selfish, critical, irritating, dismissive, aggressive, and pompous. Sometimes you want to give them a piece of your mind; give them what they deserve—anything but acceptance. The command, “accept one another,” is inconvenient. And if Paul had stopped there we might dodge the directive by saying he obviously meant good, reasonable, acceptable people. Alas, he goes on, “just as Christ accepted you.” Were you good, reasonable, and acceptable? No, but He accepted you—flaws and all—and He still does! You say, “Somebody has to straighten these people out and require them to act right!” You mean like what Jesus required before He accepted you? Roman Christians had difficulty accepting their less experienced brothers, and Paul corrected them: “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment…for God has accepted him” (Ro 14:1-3 NIV). Straightening people out isn’t our department; accepting them is. God calls us to accept messed-up, unspiritual, carnal, obnoxious, doctrinally misled, “just plain wrong” people. You don’t have to approve of, like, or agree with them, but accepting them isn’t optional. There’s no elite, privileged, insider class. We occupy level ground because of two realities: our sin and the cross! Jews and Gentiles despised each other, even after salvation. Each wanted the other to change and become like them. But Paul laid the axe to the root of that tree: “For Christ himself…reconciled both groups…by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death” (Eph 2:14-16 NLT). Our job is to accept people—and let God adjust them.
Friday, October 31
“God places the lonely in families.”
Ps 68:6 NLT
TAKING YOUR PLACE IN GOD’S FAMILY
Life in God’s family can be challenging. To enjoy and fulfill your role as a family member you must understand three things: (1) Your rights. When you trusted Christ as your Savior you became a member of God’s redeemed family (See Jn 3:3-6). That means you have the right to be accepted, loved, protected, respected, provided for, trained, equipped, and rewarded. Regardless of your past mistakes, God guarantees you these rights, so embrace and enjoy them. (2) The rules of the house. Without the rule of law, you end up with anarchy. And it’s the same in a family. Can you imagine what would happen if the kids ran the house? Well, God’s family isn’t a democracy. You don’t get to vote on the rules. God has established unchanging principles in His Word that guarantee His blessing. “If you are…obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isa 1:19 NKJV). (3) Our responsibilities to one another. You’re called to accept, love and help your brothers and sisters even when they’re selfish, immature, critical, and irresponsible. Remember that God’s family is still “under construction,” but it’s way better than any other alternative! You need to participate in regular family life and activities. Early church believers met together “daily” (See Ac 2:46); as a result they survived all Satan’s attempts to destroy them. So support the life and mission of your church family with your tithes, talent, and time. Don’t just be a taker; “God loves a cheerful giver” (2Co 9:7 NIV).