Monday, August 24, 2015

Accepting One Another

31 Day Challenge Part 2

Photo by: (c) huhulin www.fotosearch.com Stock Photography

A thought to ponder...
What if we didn't judge by appearances or differences but simply just accepted and loved each other for who we are, just as Christ accepted and loves each and every one of us.

In my previous post, I described a 31 Day Challenge for One Courageous Community within our churches that we were encouraged to partake in by Christian speaker Kari Patterson.

I would like to share another challenge I battle with - Romans 15:7  "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."  How typical it is for each and every one of us to reject or to exclude each other because we have a weaker or stronger faith, dress differently, behave differently, look differently, come from a lower class, are from a different generation the list goes on and on. When Jesus approached someone, did he look at their status, their knowledge of the law, the way they dressed or the way they looked?  No, he did not. He looked at the heart and he was deeply concerned for the spiritual welfare and heart of the non-believer. As it shows in Matthew 9: 10-13 10 gNow it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with htax collectors and isinners?”
12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: jI desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, kbut sinners, 2to repentance.”

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to love one another, encourage one another and help each other grow closer to God. Churches need to be as one unifying spirit in worshiping God, not a dividing spirit segregated into groups and ostracizing each other. A person should walk through the church doors and feel loved, welcomed and a part of a family not hated, unwelcomed and treated as strangers just because of who they are. How many of you have felt this way? I know I have many times and it made me not want to go back to church. It made me want to give up on church altogether. But I wanted to be obedient to God. I wanted to learn more about God, so I endured despite my unhappiness. Many times I would feel excluded and left out of conversations in a Bible Study because my knowledge of the Word was not as strong as those surrounding me. No one invited me into their conversations and I never even tried to partake. So I would leave or just tune those around me out. So imagine how others might feel. Look around on a Sunday morning or during a Bible study. Do you see someone sitting alone?  Do see others being excluded? Are you judging someone because their faith and knowledge of the Word is not as strong as yours? Think to yourself, what would Jesus do? Let us ask God to give us courage and guidance. Let us join in unison in building each other up not down. Let us join in unison in growing closer to God and reaching those who do not know Him.

Love to you all and God Bless!
Carol