In Chapter 11 of Soul Keeping, John Ortberg states that Jesus “lived in a divine rhythm where grace was constantly flowing into him and then flowing out from him.” For the rest of the chapter, Pastor Ortberg presents four movements in the Cycle of Grace. The first movement, Acceptance, is discussed today.
1. Acceptance. For Jesus, identity and acceptance preceded His ministry and achievements. No one can take away the joy of acceptance. Acceptance cannot be earned. It is interesting to note, John adds, that your birthday is a celebration of the day you came into existence. You get no credit for your role in your birth at all. We must remember that life is a gift from our heavenly Father.
God’s acceptance of Jesus was essential because Jesus faced massive human rejection. When He was baptized and again just prior to His death, Jesus heard the words: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
The alternative to soul-acceptance, John observes, is soul-fatigue. Our bodies grow weary when we choose unhealthy options. Attempting to push unpleasant emotions under the surface or being bombarded by information wearies our minds. Multiple choices stress our will. Altogether, John states, “they combine to make us feel separated from God, separated from ourselves, and distanced from what we love most about life and creation.”
Today’s question: To what degree have you struggled with acceptance following your vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Sustaining grace”