Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100:1-5
Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods .... Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker. Psalm 95:1-3, 6
Our "New Person" series seeks to help us transition from the old person we were with the old life we lived to the new person we are and the new life we live. An important part of this journey is addressing those things that interfere with our transitioning from the old to the new. The things that interfere are things that we carry over from the old person and life into the new person and life. Our focus this week is on "Acceptance." Our "old way" was seeking to earn acceptance. In the "new way," God bestows acceptance as a gift of grace. So, God gives the gift of unconditional acceptance so that the more fully it is in place, the more readily God can change us into all that he wants us to be.
But let's consider something else. Perhaps the underlying reason things like trying to earn acceptance are carried over from the "old" into the "new" is because we have not dealt adequately with the issue of who is in charge. We need to make a commitment to the lifetime
pursuit of surrender to God where we say to him: I want you to be in charge of my life. I want to be the new person with the new life that you have in mind for me. This is what being a follower of Christ is all about. It is in the place of surrender to God that we find our entrance into the fullness of God's unconditional acceptance. Our surrender does not gain God's acceptance but rather releases us from the darkness of trying to earn acceptance and brings us into the light of true unconditional acceptance.
This is what happened to the adulterous woman in this week's story. Her encounter with Christ and his unconditional acceptance released her from her past and allowed her to go forward as a changed person. What a beautiful example of the life of someone where Christ miraculously changes them through his gift of his love and acceptance. The woman is no longer the adulterous woman. She is a follower (surrender and unconditional acceptance) of Christ who no longer walks in darkness (old person and old life) but walks in the light (new person and new life) that leads to an amazing transformation.
Lord, like the Psalmist above, we acknowledge that you are God! You made us, and we are yours. We are your people, the sheep of your pasture. You are a great God, a great King above all gods. We come in worship, and we bow down. We kneel before you, the Lord our maker. Your unfailing love continues forever, and your faithfulness continues to each generation. Amen!