Will God accept me even if I'm not that good?

Will God accept me even if I'm not that good?

We all want to be accepted, but there are very few relationships we may ever experience that show us unconditional acceptance. That isn't how people typically operate. I learned very early in life that many people in this world accept you right up to the point when you stop giving them something or stop doing something for them.

But thankfully, that's not how the acceptance of God works. His acceptance of you and me is not linked to what we can give Him or do for Him. Rather, His acceptance of us is forever tied to what He did on our behalf, and what He gave us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The difference it makes to know that you're loved

The difference it makes to know that you're loved

One of the messages that God goes to great lengths to communicate is that He loves His children. Regardless of what your past history or present day struggles might look like, this is a truth that He wants you to understand and embrace. Knowing you're loved makes a big difference in your life. It impacts your perspective toward your circumstances, your relationships, and your eventual future. It also impacts the way you relate to God Himself. Romans 8:31-39 demonstrates the depth of God's love for His children with the goal of thoroughly convincing our hearts of this truth.

We may groan now, but we won't groan forever

We may groan now, but we won't groan forever

There's a form of groaning that we're all doing right now that might feel uncomfortable or exhausting at times. It's a groaning that shows that we're longing for something better than what we've already experienced. And we're not the only ones who are groaning. The entire creation groans along with us, waiting for restoration. The good news is that while we may be groaning now, we won't groan forever. God has good things in store for us and Romans 8:18-30 speaks about that greater glory that He has in store for those who trust Him.

Don't fall back into fear

Don't fall back into fear

Unhealthy fear isn’t something you want to welcome into your life. At times, it takes the form of insecurity and willful ignorance. Unhealthy fear exists when we believe circumstances are out of control and we're reasonably certain there's a good chance things won't be working out in our favor. Maybe you're afraid of someone who has the capacity to harm you. Or maybe you fear experiencing circumstances that resemble painful events from your past. Maybe you're living in fear right now because you aren't confident about what's in store for your future. But fear can be overcome. Here’s how.

A snapshot of your new, Spirit-led, life

A snapshot of your new, Spirit-led, life

The longer we walk with Jesus, the less we resemble the person we once were. The longer we walk with Him, the more distant we start to feel from the life we once lived. In Christ, we have been blessed with a brand-new life, and there are aspects of this new life that we are invited to gain a better understand of through looking at His word.

Romans 8:1-11 gives us a snapshot of the new life we have in Christ. It's a life that isn't being led by the priorities of this world or passions of our old nature. Our new life is a life that's being led by the Holy Spirit.

Why do I do what I don't want to do?

Why do I do what I don't want to do?

Have you ever made a regretful decision or tried to live your life outside of God's will, only to look back at what took place with confusion about what you were thinking when you made those choices? I certainly have, and I suspect we all have. Even though we know Christ, we can still make very poor decisions, particularly if we're treating the tempting influence of sin too casually. Why do we do what we don't want to do?

5 reasons I'm glad people bring their babies to church

5 reasons I'm glad people bring their babies to church

When parents have babies, they’re often worried about bringing them to church. They wonder if people will be disturbed if they cry. They also know it can be quite difficult to get a child ready in the morning in time to get to a worship service on time. It takes an extra dose of patience and effort to pull it off successfully.

It is a relief to belong to Christ

It is a relief to belong to Christ

We belong to someone who loves us. Before we came to know Christ, we were unhealthy, without hope, convinced we needed to fend for ourselves, and resigned to the fate of an outcast. But now, Christ has redeemed us. He has cleansed us from our sin and given us new life. He has also given us His name and a permanent place in His family. In Christ, we are shown that we belong, and we are relieved from our attempts to survive on our own. Romans 7:1-6 explains additional details of the benefits we are blessed with as those who belong to Christ.

Jesus brings light to those in darkness

Jesus brings light to those in darkness

Light is useful. Light is something we need. Light defeats the power and effect of darkness. Jesus is the light that has come into this word, and He lives within all who trust in Him. As He lives within us, He enables us to walk in the light while He also radiates His light through our lives.

Heaven rejoices when the lost are found

Heaven rejoices when the lost are found

Getting directionally lost isn't pleasant, but living in a spiritually lost condition is even worse. It was because we were spiritually lost that Jesus came into this world to find us. Many people were critical of Christ's willingness to seek the lost, but Scripture shows us that Heaven rejoices when the lost are found.

The broken find healing in Jesus

The broken find healing in Jesus

Humanity experiences spiritual, relational, emotional, financial, and physical brokenness every day, but Jesus delights to heal broken people. He finds us in the condition we were in, then offers to do something about it.

Jesus treated outcasts like family

Jesus treated outcasts like family

Imagine if you lived in a context where you felt like no matter what you did, you were never going to be accepted or welcomed? For many people, that's the way they would characterize the bulk of their daily experiences. They feel unloved and can give you many examples of how they've been treated like unwanted and unappreciated outcasts. That was certainly the case during the days of Christ's earthly ministry as well. But Jesus didn't avoid the outcasts. He offered Himself to them and gave them the opportunity to become part of His family.

The most obvious mark of a true believer

The most obvious mark of a true believer

Commitment and faithfulness are traits the Lord makes visible in the lives of those who trust in Him. When we come to a place of genuine faith in Jesus Christ, a transformation takes place in our lives. Instead of running away from God, we embrace Him. Instead of ignoring Him, we strive to hear Him. Instead of disobeying Him, we find delight in obeying Him. That obedience becomes the most obvious mark of our genuine faith in Him.

Rewriting the story of your life

Rewriting the story of your life

God is giving us the opportunity to do a "rewrite" with our lives. Prior to coming to know Him, we were spiraling downward, bent on defiance toward Him, and idolizing our own ideas as if they were superior to His omniscience. We were lost, and we didn't really want to be found. But through Jesus Christ, we're now given the opportunity to experience a full rewrite of our life story, and the story that He's crafting is a masterpiece.

When God's grace abounds in your life

When God's grace abounds in your life

Grace is an undeserved gift. When we're shown grace, we're given a blessing that we didn't do anything to earn. Displaying grace is a wonderful trait to practice in life, but there is no greater example of it than the grace we have been shown by God through Jesus Christ. In fact, He wants our lives to abound with His grace. But to fully appreciate the depth of His grace, it's helpful to understand just how bad things would be for us without it.

Four reasons not to lose hope, even if you're tempted to

Four reasons not to lose hope, even if you're tempted to

I'm a big fan of multiple genres of music, and there's a song that was released some years ago that speaks about being "stuck in a moment." That's probably a concept most of us can identify with to some degree. Sometimes our circumstances can feel so "all-consuming" to the point that it's hard to see beyond them. We get stuck in a moment. Instead of seeing what's further up ahead, we struggle to see much further beyond the four walls that surround us. But hope is a very real thing and something we shouldn’t let go of. So what truths should we hold onto if we’re tempted to lose hope?

Believing God can do the impossible

Believing God can do the impossible

There's a curious trait that we all possess, and it has a habit of showing up in interesting ways. In general, we prefer to place our trust in what we can observe. We want our eyes to be convinced of something before our hearts are willing to trust in its reliability.

But in regard to our faith, God is honored when we trust Him for what we cannot yet see. Anyone can walk by sight, but not everyone is willing to walk by faith, and God has promised us many things that can't be facilitated through natural means. Naturally speaking, His promises seem impossible, but God wants us to trust Him to do the impossible. So, what does that look like?

Does God have something against me?

Does God have something against me?

Have you ever wondered if you’ve offended God? Maybe you've spent your life avoiding God, but now you're becoming conscious of His presence and you're curious about what He thinks of you. Maybe you've been walking with God, but lately you've been experiencing trials and difficulties that feel out of the norm. Is He angry with you? Does He want to have anything to do with you? Does He have something against you that needs to be dealt with and brought out into the open?