"Acceptance in the Here and Now" by Joseph Scheyer

We are accepted.  One of the wonderful things about being a Christian is that we know God accepts us for who we are.  Yes, God loves us right now… just the way we are.  God doesn’t fret about what we might have done in the past (nor does God keep score) and God does not worry about how we might stray in the future. Right now, right where we are… God finds us completely and absolutely acceptable.  So much so, in fact, that God sent Jesus here to die for our sins.   

While it’s good to learn from the past, we do not have to be held down by our history.  Similarly, while it is wise to plan for the future, attaining goals is not the key to happiness and fulfillment. God does not operate in the past or future… access to God can only occur in the present moment. Our eternal God is an abiding presence.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

All too often I realize I am mentally beating myself up over some careless, selfish, wasteful or just plain stupid action from my checkered past. We’ve all done things we regret and while it’s important to learn from those mistakes, while we ruminate and revisit that past, we are prevented from experiencing God’s presence. The slate has been wiped clean through the blood of Jesus so that we can be free to abide in Gods presence.

“Honor and majesty are in His presence; strength and joy are in His sanctuary.”
 1 Chronicles 16: 27

I’ve also spent most of my life operating under the impression that once I achieve that goal on the horizon, I will find happiness and fulfillment. From acquiring the degree or finding my soul mate or landing that job or that promotion or getting that house/car/boat (or that winning lottery ticket) or whatever it might be that is out there that seems like it will make my life better. My mind tells me that I need time to find, achieve, acquire, become or understand something before I can be free or complete. But really, I can only be free and complete right here and right now.  There is nothing I can ever do or attain that will get me closer to salvation than I am right now 

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”
 Psalm 139: 7

Salvation is not a concept for the future or the past.  Salvation can only occur now. God’s acceptance of who I am right now means that I am saved.  There is no condition necessary for salvation… Jesus took care of that on the cross.  The only way I can access that salvation is to accept myself… who I am and where I am right now. God see’s me as a beautiful, loveable human being… worthy of Love and acceptance. Only when I am present in the moment can I begin to see myself as God sees me. 

“And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33: 14

Learning to live in the moment is the trick. And only in the present moment can we gain the deep understanding that we have everything we need to find happiness and fulfillment right now. Only then can we simply move forward as each moment presents itself and do the next right thing; listen deeply… experience God in each other… be fully engaged and know that the miracle of the Kingdom of God is right here and right now and we are privileged to be able to participate in it.