"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Ephesians 1:6
Keith Hernandez is one of baseball's top players. He is a lifetime .300 hitter who has won numerous Golden Glove awards for excellence in fielding. He's won a batting championship for having the highest average, the Most Valuable Player award in his league, and even the World Series. Yet with all his accomplishments, he has missed out on something crucially important to him -- his father's acceptance and recognition that what he has accomplished is valuable. Listen to what he had to say in a very candid interview about his relationship with his father: "One day Keith asked his father, 'Dad, I have a lifetime 300 batting average. What more do you want?' His father replied, 'But someday you're going to look back and say, "I could have done more."'"
As fallen human beings, our thinking is almost completely bent towards being transactional. In other words, if you do this, then I will do that. Or, if you don't do this, then I will not do that. When I read Keith's story, it reminded me how insecure we really are by nature. We want to be accepted, loved, and appreciated and many are driving themselves insane looking for the approval and acceptance of others.
Child of God, relax. Stop auditioning, you've already got the part! You have been accepted into God's family not based on your works, your performance, or even on the basis of your obedience. You are accepted totally on the merit of Jesus Christ!
God and His Son made a transaction on your behalf on the cross. Jesus took all of your sin, shame, guilt, insecurities, and fears. In exchange, He offers you His grace, confidence, righteousness, security, and boldness before God the Father!
He has declared you as righteous before God the Father, you are a joint-heir with Him, all of your sin has been washed away, and you are safe and secure 100% because of Jesus Christ alone! No wonder Paul wrote, "To the praise of His glory...!"
Find your security and strength today not in trying to bat 300 spiritually, but because Jesus went to the plate for you! We find our acceptance totally in Jesus and His relationship with God the Father. Today, I choose to praise a perfect Savior who is still working with me and on me until we stand before the Father together in perfection! Until then, I choose to rest and hope in Him alone! I will never be enough but He is enough and He has already declared me and you as ACCEPTED!
*The illustration about Keith Hernandez can be found in Gary Smalley's book The Gift of Honor (page 116)