Wow, it's been for-evah since I have written a blog post. I bet no one even reads this thing anymore. Which is really not a big difference from before, when I think about it. ;-)
Today at church we talked about the Scripture from Romans 15:7 that says "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." I now have that memorized because we sang a song on Praise Team this morning which came from that Scripture. The song is really cool, but more importantly, this Scripture is amazing. I mean, it's one sentence, but in that one sentence there is so much that you can take away from it.
A lot of times, I bet we would all say we do a pretty good job at accepting others. We may have diverse groups of friends, and maybe even we've befriended that one person that no one else will seem to befriend. But wait--did we label that person in our minds as "That-Person-No-One-Else-Will-Befriend?" God doesn't label us that way. He calls us things like "My Son" or "My Daughter" or "Beloved." So when we label did we accept others as we were accepted?
When I think of how much love (real Love like 1 Cor 13 Love) it takes to accept someone the same way Christ accepted, I know that I am falling way short of that goal. I need accept people and love them completely, even when they've annoyed me, hurt me, betrayed me, slandered me, let me down, hurt someone else I love, etc.
What's more is that when we do this accepting others thing, we're bringing praise to God. When I welcome someone into my life and receive them in Love, God is glorified, because the bottom line is I could never do that on my own. All the glory is due to Him.
I pray for opportunities this week, for myself and the rest of the Body of Christ, to bring praise to God in this way, and I pray that I would be able to know when I'm not really accepting someone the way Christ accepted me. He's forgiven me much, and shown mercy and grace beyond understanding. High standard right there.
Oh Shannon, dear, I am pretty sure you will actually read this blog at some point, and just cause I've been giving you a hard time about it, I want to know when you do read it. Like exact date and time. ;-) or should I say (type?) ;p