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Jesus Accepts You and God Loves You, But it Won't Matter if You Don't Do This.

Why do clubs exist? Clubs exist to keep people out. In Galatians 4:14, the Apostle Paul warned about a faction that created a club to keep people out. "They eagerly seek you," he said, "not in a commendable way, but they want to shut you out so that you will seek them." Clubs exist to create camaraderie among a select group of people. Or, to put it another way, clubs exist to make a kind of family.

The world is full of clubs and cliques because humans universally hunger for family and acceptance. The Bible often describes Jesus as a "stumbling block" for human wisdom and ambition, which is undoubtedly true for our thinking regarding acceptance and family. Is Jesus exclusive or inclusive? The answer to that question is a stumbling block to many.

Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6. That statement is as exclusive as it gets. Nobody on earth enters The Father's house except by entering through the door of Jesus. Many people find that statement offensive. But who does Jesus let inside His door? ANYONE willing. That fact causes other people to stumble.

Nobody commends themselves to God by their merits. Wealth, fame, intelligence, appearances, etc., do not make you more loved by God. Poverty, self-sacrifice, generosity, and self-denial also fail to make you more lovable. Jesus is highly inclusive because He welcomes ALL comers regardless of race, gender, status, talent, morality, etc. Nevertheless, every man believes that one or other of these things will do the "trick" and cause God to love them. The truth is that God cannot love you any more than He does right now, and He loves you fully right now. God desired to create you as His own, and that is what gives you innate value. No matter who you are or what you have done or failed to do, Jesus loves you and is willing to accept you.

When a young man feels rejected by his father or if he feels his father's approval is unattainable, he often will go to great and extreme lengths to prove he is good enough or belongs to a group. The young man feels the need to recreate his "family" somewhere else because he does not feel he belongs in his natural home. This sense of rejection is why fatherless men tend toward cults, where the lines of "in" and "out" are drawn clearly. If you follow the rules, you become the "in" crowd, and you will be accepted. Unfortunately, acceptance and love are not the same things. You can receive acceptance without receiving love, and you can receive love without receiving acceptance.

Jesus accepts you for the person He designed you to be. Jesus has placed value on your existence because it is His idea. Jesus loves you because, as His creation, He wants what is best for you. Jesus accepts you and loves you without any merits to commend yourself to Him. But your acceptance of Jesus' love will require you to be conformed to His image too. Love changes us, not by compulsion but by its very nature.

Jesus loves you, period. Nothing can ever change the fact. But you cannot and will not benefit from Jesus' love if you refuse to trust Him. If you believe that Jesus loves you, why don't you obey His commands? His commands are for your good. Jesus' commands are born out of love for you. Obey them because you believe in Him.

Your faith does not earn a place in God's house or make you lovable. The Jesus Club is not exclusive. ANYONE willing may enter. There is no more need to ask the question, "Does God love me?" To enter the family of God, you only need to answer the question, "Am I willing to believe that God's commandments are for my good?" Every day, you are already acting out your answer. If your life is in shambles, or if it isn't producing the peaceful fruit of righteousness, today is the day to change your beliefs and trust in the love of Jesus.

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