April 15, 2014
“To Be Accepted." – Part 1
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
James 4: 8
“Acceptance” – Willingly received. Approved.
What does the word “accepted” mean to me?
“Across the gateway of my heart
I wrote: ‘No Thoroughfare,’
But love came laughing by, and cried
‘I enter everywhere.’”
“I will accept you with your sweet savour (fragrant incense)…I will be sanctified in you.”
Ezekiel 20: 41; K.J.V., N.I.V.
For the next few days we will study about a woman I call the “Rejected Woman” in my book, When A Woman Meets Jesus. This is the story of the Samaritan woman – better known as “the woman at the well.” In John 4: 5-9, the Bible tells the story of Jesus entering a town called Sychar in Samaria. He stopped to rest at a well while His disciples went into the village to get something to eat. As Jesus rested from the heat of the noonday sun, a lone woman approached to draw water. At this point in time, a rather hostile conversation ensued and the Samaritan woman, in a confrontational style, tried to engage Jesus in a discussion about where the correct place to worship God was.
As we learned from the dialogue recorded in John, by discussing the “where” about God – “where” to worship Him --- the woman was trying to divert Jesus’ attention away from the question of the “how” about God, which was, “How could God love me?” With her dubious track record, five marriages and now just living with guy number six, it isn’t difficult to understand how this woman could have questioned, not only God’s love for her, but His acceptance of her as well.
This brings us to the word which we will be looking at in relationship to this woman’s life and it is the word acceptance. In my opinion, there is no better story in the Bible to teach us about “acceptance” than the story of the Samaritan woman. A careful examination of this woman’s contact with Jesus will help us understand, not only God’s generous love and acceptance of us, but also we will see revealed, in the way Jesus treated this woman, how we can accept others and ourselves as well.
In the words of George MacDonald, “This is and has been the Father’s work from the beginning – to bring us into the home of His heart.”
“Acceptance means you are valuable just as you are. It allows you to be the real you. You aren’t forced into someone else’s idea of who you really are…You can talk about how you feel inside and why you feel that way, and someone really cares. Acceptance means…you feel safe…and it doesn’t mean you will never be corrected or shown to be wrong; it simply means it’s safe to be you and no one will destroy you out of prejudice.”
“All whom my Father entrusts to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out. I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me.”
John 6: 37
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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