by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday September 1, 2004
InTouch Early Light Devotional
How the Truth Can Set You Free
Human beings are united in the desire for acceptance and appreciation. In general, we want our peers to express approval so we can experience the feeling of being accepted. Though Christians know that emotions are unreliable indicators of truth, believers fall into this pattern of searching for tangible approval too.
Truthfully, one of our most priceless possessions is God's acceptance of us as we are now. Thanks to Jesus Christ, we own a full measure of God's grace. The Father does not say, "When you clean up your life, I'll accept you." Grace plus performance is not a workable formula in God's economy. If being a Spirit-filled believer meant achieving some lofty standard of behavior on our own, we would all wear ourselves out in the attempt.
We borrow this idea of performance-based faith from the world. People alter their clothes, habits, finances, and jobs to gain acceptance from their peers. The only problem is that the folks who like your appearance today won't like it tomorrow. It is true you can't please everybody, but you can please the Lord by recognizing His unconditional acceptance of you. We have all the status we need: we are the children of God and ambassadors of Jesus Christ, living in the kingdom of light!
If we ignore our primary possession - acceptance by God - then we will end up in the world's vain cycle of constant effort and activity as an attempt to earn the Lord's acknowledgement. Freedom and intimacy are rooted in His freely given acceptance. Instead of shielding ourselves from His judgment, we can bask in God's gracious love.
What if you and Dr. Charles Stanley could study God's Word together, one-on-one, at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home? Now you can! Enroll today at the Charles Stanley Institute For Christian Living. www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com
For broadcast schedules, outlines, expanded studies, audio, and video of Dr. Stanley's sermons, visit In Touch's Broadcast page: http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/broadcasts/index_76108.html.