In my morning devotions I came across 2 Corinthians 5:9, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.” And the word accepted rang true. I thought in the sense of recovery as we are all in recovery. One may ask. “How am I in recovery?” We are all recovering from our sin nature. It is the battle field just as much so, as the addict battles with an addiction.

The word accepted is most probable way to the road to anyone’s addiction. When we were younger we were looking to find “our self” and wanted to be accepted by our peers. One of the worst things that could happen to me was to be embarrassed in front of a large group of acquaintances. (Acquaintances, as how can I defend myself when they do not know the truth about me.) The best thing to do, to avoid those situations, was to get in close with those peers no matter what it takes.

Therefore, we labor to be accepted by our peers. This road may lead to disaster. When I was growing up the road was alcohol. The best way to be accepted was to see who could “hold their liquor”. This was also hard labor, because most would find out that too much liquor would eventually come back up. After a period of time drinking like that, you usually practiced in their presence or in their absence just so you could be accepted by them.

Now as new creatures in Christ, how much more should we practice doing the right things, so we can be accepted by God? God, Who both sees us when we are present or absent from our peers? In recovery from our old nature we must seek a higher goal and look for our acceptance from our LORD and Saviour. We can do this by facing our Lord Jesus Christ. When facing Him there may be many personal aspects. For me, it is the cross before me the world behind me no looking back, no looking back… But in this devotional I was reminded of the CMA’s four fold gospel doctrine; The Saviour, the Sanctifier, the Healer, and the Coming King. This is more than just keeping the cross before me thinking and pondering on “I dare not lay one more sin on my Saviour.” But knowing He is more than the One Who bore my sins and has given me Salvation.

When we face our Lord, in all four areas of the four fold gospel message, we can find a three dimensional truth in each area of the four fold gospel message:

First, the Saviour, has saved our body and soul from the wrath and wages of sin, while He has regenerated our once dead spirit that we my live for His greater purpose.

Second, the sanctifier, Jesus sanctifies or sets us apart for His good pleasure. Our body becomes His temple, our soul longs to live for truth being set apart from worldly desire, and our new regenerated spirit leads our soul to be accepted for a higher calling

Third, the Healer, Jesus can heal our body from the destruction of sin, sickness and disease. Our soul from our old desires, emotions and thoughts which can lead us down a path of demise; and the spirit which was once dead, now grows healthier and can thrive in communion with the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, our Coming King. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; {glorious…: Gr. the appearance of the glory of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ} (Titus 2:13 KJV)”. Oh, how should we labour to mortify the old man and live in the acceptance of the new man (man being mankind here) toward our Coming King and Saviour, Jesus Christ; knowing Titus 2:13 says it will be a glorious appearing.

I feel like Paul in so many ways, e.g. I find a law that when I would do good evil is always present with me. And “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV). Here Castaway is from a Greek word dealing with metalurgy, the metal which is not suitable for the purpose it was made. Therefore I labor, that, whether present or absent, I may be accepted by Him.

Life is a journey we all want to be accepted and not rejected, but where is the value and your need for acceptance measured from, is it the world or is it the Kingdom of God?  I find a greater value in knowing that God accepts me. I can live in right relationship with Him and His children rather than trying to live upside down in a world being deceived and misguided.

In Christ’s service,

Greg Dodge

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2 KJV)

May God bless you and keep you. May He be gracious to you and give you peace.