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To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved. ~ Ephesians 1:6

You might be tempted like I am at times to feel that we are only accepted by God when we're feeling His presence. It is when our spirit feels alive and our hopes bright; when we feel heavenly-minded and drawn above the earth -- surely then God accepts us. But when we don't feel that way -- when, as Spurgeon puts it: "our souls cleave to the dust," then there can be a terrible fear that we are no longer accepted.

The word that is translated “accepted” means more than that in the original Greek. It signifies, in fact, that we are the objects of divine favor, even of divine delight!

The truth is that all of our high joys do not exalt us, and all our low despondencies do not diminish us in our Father's sight. We stand accepted in the One who never changes, in Christ who is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle!

If we look within ourselves, we're sure to see that, "There is nothing acceptable here!" But look instead at Christ and see that there – in Him – everything is acceptable. In His righteousness, our sins are cast so far away from us that they are declared to have never even existed. Even those glorified saints who are already in Heaven are not more accepted than we are right now.

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: ~ Ephesians 1:4

The choice spoken of in this verse is God's decision to blot out our sins. It refers to the collective, "us," all of those who trust in the astonishing kindness and righteousness of Christ. Although we fight with corruption and wrestle with temptation, we are already accepted in Him, who has overcome it all. The devil tempts, but he cannot destroy us. We are accepted in Him who has broken Satan's head.

This choice of God's is completely undeserved. It's unreasonable and even reckless that He should treat us this way. It is a choice that is not sprung from reason but rather from love. We have here the date of this act of love: it was before the foundation of the world!

Inspired by "Accepted in the beloved," Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, September 23rd
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