Meadows Church
Stronger Together: Exploring the power of one-another
Welcome to Meadows - in person AND online! We believe that God is with us in both the times of peace and the times of uncertainty. As you learn to navigate these days, we are here along side of you. Thank you for joining us virtually today!
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  • Meadows Church
    3001 Los Rios Blvd, Plano, TX 75074, USA
    Sunday 10:40 AM, Sunday 11:00 AM

Fred McFeely Rogers was the creator and producer of the world-famous children’s educational show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001.

He was a devout disciple of Jesus Christ and a Presbyterian minister. The television was his pulpit and children were his congregation. His wholesome and biblically inspired approach helped children deal with their struggles, recognize their worth and find hope for the future. His kind and soothing manner as well as his reassuring message helped to imprint millions of children with the innate, God-given value of the human soul. One of Mr. Rogers’ favorite messages is captured in his original song, “It’s You I Like.” Listen for the biblical ethos of the lyrics.

It's you I like,

It's not the things you wear,

It's not the way you do your hair--

But it's you I like

The way you are right now,

The way down deep inside you--

Not the things that hide you,

Not your toys--

They're just beside you.
But it's you I like--

Every part of you,

Your skin, your eyes, your feelings

Whether old or new.

I hope that you'll remember

Even when you're feeling blue

That it's you I like,

It's you yourself,

It's you,
It's you I like.

Sin has sabotaged our self-worth. We either erroneously compensate by shifting our value to external factors, efforts and achievements or we languish in the darkness of doubt, insecurity, guilt or even self-loathing.
There is a better way. Jesus opened a path to redemption, deliverance and wholeness.
One of the most profound aspects of our new life in Jesus Christ is that we are accepted; we are valued; we are seen for who we truly are and we are embraced.
The life of faith and surrender to Christ allows us to lay down our pretenses, our facades and experience the divine acceptance of God.
This miracle of acceptance does not mean that God is unconcerned with our hearts, our attitudes, our behavior or our way of life. However, it does mean that He values us and loves us not because of what we do or how we look or even how we behave; rather, his divine love and acceptance emanates from his own divine nature. We do not inspire God’s love nor can we diminish it. Paul testifies to the astounding love of God that is not earned but freely given: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
God loved me before I was saved, before I repented, before I read the Bible through, before I aspired to live a godly life, before I preached a sermon, before I pastored a church, before I led someone to Christ. In fact, God loved me before I was even born. And He loves you the same way.
Sadly, we still often struggle with the concept and the experience of divine acceptance. And when we stray from the pure joy of God’s acceptance, we muddle up the commandment to accept one another.
When is the last time the feeling welled up inside of you, “God likes me”? He knows me, he sees me, he accepts me, he delights in me!
When I relish the true acceptance of God through faith in Christ, it doesn’t leave me with a sense of dangerous entitlement to do whatever I please without consequence; on the contrary, it frees me, inspires me, empowers me to grow, to mature, to develop, to become more like my Father in my desires, my attitudes, my behavior, my life.
In our new series: Stronger Together: exploring the power of one-another we have seen that God’s marvelous design for the church is for us to find supernatural power in our togetherness. We have explored
the power of belonging to one another;
the power of serving one another;
the power of forgiving one another;
the power of submitting to one another;
the power of encouraging one another.

This morning, I present to you a sixth reason we are stronger together as the church, the body of Christ as we explore
the power of accepting one another.

“Divine Acceptance”
Exploring the power of accepting one another

We are stronger together as we practice the discipline of divine acceptance. Paul helps us understand and develop this discipline in the three parts of our biblical text.

There is first a prerequisite experience:
“just as Christ accepted you”;
There is second a personal expectation:
“accept one another then”;
There is thirdly a powerful exaltation:
“in order to bring praise to God.”
Let’s explore the first step of divine acceptance . .
A Prerequisite Experience
- “. . . just as Christ accepted you . . .”
- προσλαμβάνω: to receive, to welcome, to accept,
- A picture of acceptance (Acts 28:2)
- We learn acceptance from experience.
++ From family: nurtured or neglected
++ From peers: included or excluded
++ From society: praised or punished
++ From God: merit or grace
- How does Christ accept us?
- Sacrificially (Romans 5:8)
- Graciously (2 Corinthians 8:9)
- Perpetually (Hebrews 10:14)
- Completely (Hebrews 7:25)
- Miraculously (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Redemptively (Galatians 2:20)
Are you embracing or frustrating the acceptance of Christ?
A Personal Expectation
- “Accept one another, then . . .”
- Acceptance received turns into acceptance extended.
- How are we to accept others?
++ Freely (Matthew 10:8)
++ Undiscriminatingly (James 2:1-4,8-9)
++ Maturely (Romans 14:1,4)
++ Intentionally (Philemon 1:17)

A Powerful Exaltation
- “. . . in order to bring praise to God.”
- The driving motivation for accepting others is to glorify God.
- What a wonderful desire to live life by!
- How does my acceptance of others glorify God?
++ Acceptance reveals God’s character (John 8:10-11)
++ Acceptance rewards God’s sacrifice (John 3:16)
>>> Biblical acceptance is based on the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross and when we accept others we bring honor to Christ.
++ Acceptance renews our perspective (Micah 6:6-8)
>>> To walk in the discipline of acceptance is to walk in humility.
How accepting are you of others?
- How many friends do you have that are of a different ethnicity?
- A different economic status?
- A different political party?
- A different religion?
Benediction Blessing
May you know the joy of God’s gracious acceptance in Christ.
May you feel the thrill of God’s delight in you.
May you see through the fallacy of merit-based affection.
May you learn to master the discipline of accepting others.
And may your daily goal ever be to honor and glorify God.