[forthright] Christ Accepts Me

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 16:36:11 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Final Phase

Christ Accepts Me
by J. Randal Matheny

"Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ
also accepted us to the glory of God" (Romans
15:7, NASB).

"Just as I am." Christ accepts me just as I am, in
order to make me what he wants me to be.

Just as I am, with all my hangups, problems,
neuroses, and unresolved issues. And sins.
Especially with all my sins.

After acceptance comes transformation, not before.
"Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse,
relieve."

Christ never ignores, excuses, or overlooks my
sins and all the rest of my ugliness. Never. But
he takes me in, just as I am.

"Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down."
I am afraid, unsure, halting, uncertain. But his
open arms assure me that when I take the first
step, he will accept me.

"Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone." Slowly he
peels away the hardness, the scabs, the layers of
hurt and resentment, the knots of pain and anger.
He pours off the dregs of my darkness.

I am still in process. The sculpted image of God
stands yet incomplete.

Wherever I am in this process, Christ still
accepts me.

And as frustrated, discouraged, tired, as I may be
with my progress or lack of it, Christ still
accepts me.

And bids me accept myself, where I am, with the
warts and wrinkles and worry lines. With the scars
and cuts and bruises. Spots and all.

This is me. Much of it from long ago, still
lingering, still limping, still aching. Just as I
am.

"O Lamb of God, I come, I come!"

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