“To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6, NKJV).

If you have ever applied for a bank loan, employment, or admission to your favorite university, you know how satisfying it is to be accepted. We all want to be accepted by our peers, our parents, our family, our teachers, our spouses. Acceptance gives a feeling of self-worth.

Acceptance is what the gospel is all about. In Christ, we are unconditionally loved and fully accepted. The most powerful illustration of divine acceptance is the story of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11-32). Lost, friendless, penniless, homeless, hungry and lonely, the prodigal finally “came to himself” (Luke 15:17, NKJV). Hoping at least to be accepted as one of his father’s
“hired servants” (verse 19), he memorized his repentance speech and retraced his steps back to his father and home. The father’s outstretched arms, his paternal kiss, the robe, the sandals, the ring and the rousing party–all spelled out one electrifying word, “Accepted!”

We have all been prodigals in our own far-away countries. Hungry, lost, and hopeless, we, too, have tried to survive on food for hogs. But when we come to ourselves, we can be sure of loving acceptance. The young prodigal, though repentant, was still dirty, hungry, penniless, and in need when his loving father embraced him–dirty as he was! And so it is with us. Christ’s vicarious death and perfect life have made us accepted before God. Only in the Beloved is there acceptance. It is the righteousness of Christ that makes us accepted. This exquisite gem says it all: “And every soul that abides in Christ and has Christ abiding in him, is as dear to God as is his own beloved Son. Accepted in the Beloved, He is an object of the Father’s tender care.”–Signs of the Times, August 10, 1891.

My Prayer Today: Lord, thank You for loving me and accepting me in the Beloved. Amen.