John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
Matthew 24 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one,
and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
The Good Shepherd knows His sheep. He would lay down His life for His sheep. In return, His sheep
follow Him everywhere. They are accepted by Him as being His sheep and they have accepted Him
as being their Shepherd. If a stray enters the herd, the Shepherd would know it was not one of
His and if another shepherd called, the sheep would know it was not their Shepherd's voice. They
have total trust because they have totally accepted each other.
The word accept means to receive with gladness; to regard as true; believe in. We must
believe in Him, we must accept Him, in order for Him to accept us! We can't accept Him and accept
the things of the world at the same time. No man can serve two masters.
Jeremiah 14:10 "Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the
LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. 11 Then said the LORD unto me, Pray
not for this people for their good. 12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation,
I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence."
The children of Israel had wandered away from God, they had "not refrained their feet" from going to other gods.
They had forsaken God and turned to idols. Jeremiah was praying for them but God told him to
stop praying. He said even if the people would fast or offer burnt offerings he would not hear
their cry. You see, when we refuse to accept God then He will refuse to accept us. God expects
us to put Him first in everything we do. No idols! If you are trusting in something other than
God when your life is running smooth will you be able to trust in that when problems arise? God
did not promise He would be there in time of trouble if you turn to something else when things are
Genesis 4:6 "And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be
accepted and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door."
Some believe that Cain's sacrifice was not accepted because it was not a blood sacrifice, but look at what God says in Genesis 4
verse 7, "...if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." Evidently, there was more going on here than just the type
of sacrifice offered. Cain's sacrifice was not accepted because of his attitude and because he had sin in his life. His heart wasn't
in the sacrifice to start with. God said "if thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted." He could have repented and brought
back a different sacrifice. But instead, he chose to commit an even worse sin and kill his brother. God will chastise us and He
will convict us of our sins but if we do not repent we will not be accepted. In verse 14 Cain said,
"Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid;" and then in verse 16 the
bible says, "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."
Cain could no longer stay in the presence of God because he was no longer accepted. Yet all he had to do to gain that acceptance
was repent and ask forgiveness. If we do well, we will be accepted, if we do not well, sin lieth at the door. It can't get any
simpler than that!
Esther 3:5 "And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath."
Esther 3:9 "Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate,
that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai."
Esther 7:10 "So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified."
The book of Ruth is one of my favorite books of the bible. If you have never read it, now might
be a good time. Haman wanted to be accepted in the royal circle. At the same time, he hated the
Jews. He wanted power. He wanted to be accepted. When one Jew wouldn't bow down to him he was
so full of wrath he plotted the man's murder. He was going to have Mordecai hanged - he even had
the gallows built before the order for the hanging was given. When the king discovered the plot
Haman was cooking up to have Mordecai killed,
he had Haman hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Sometimes we want something so badly
we get our priorities mixed up. Haman's need to be accepted was so great that he focused on only that and
forgot all about the other things that were important in his life. In the end, he lost everything.
Job 42:7 "And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My
wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job
hath. 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a
burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have
not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar
the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job."
Job's friends were convinced that he had committed some great sin that had caused him to
lose all his children, possessions and health. But Job knew better. He tried to tell them that
he had done nothing wrong. When all his possessions were taken from him and his children died,
the bible said he Blessed God and "sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." And when his
wife walked by and told him to curse God and die in chapter 2 still he, "sinned not with his
lips." If you read the whole book of Job, you'll see that he took a lot of verbal abuse
from his three friends. It would be really hard to sit and listen your friends
trying to get you to confess sins that you knew you had not committed. Then, finally, God stepped
in and let it be known that Job's friends were wrong. They were judging Job without knowing what
God was doing. (Have you ever done that to anyone?) God was allowing Satan to test Job to prove
to Satan that Job loved God. No one knew this but those in the heavenly realm that had been there
the day the "sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord." (See Job 1:6) God
still did not feel the need to explain what He was doing, He is God, He can do whatever He pleases!
He simply told them he was angry with them because they had not spoken what was right as Job had.
They had to take a sacrifice and go to Job and ask him to pray for them. But notice what God
said about Job 42:8"...and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I
accept: 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did
according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job." Job wouldn't give up on
God. Even when things seemed out of control, he knew God was still in control of his life!
Then God gave Job back
more in the end than he had at the beginning. You can't out give God. You just have to accept
Him as being God Almighty and accept that He knows what He is doing at all times. Accept that
what He is doing in your life is the best thing for you and that it will all come out right in
the end - just like it did for Job!
2 Corinthians 6:2 "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee:
behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)"
If you don't already know Him,
Now is the accepted time!
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