Wednesday, July 31, 2013

As Many as Receive Him...

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 NKJV

But as many as received Him...

When ever a verse starts with a word like "but" or therefore I figure its a good idea to see what happened in the previous verses. In this case what happened is "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him."

His own would be the Hebrew people. When he came the people who should have seen the signs - missed them. His birth was attended by shepherds. His birth was in a cave barn not in a royal palace. When he was a toddler wise men who followed a star from the east brought him gifts. 
How is it possible that His own people could miss the promised coming of the Messiah. 

That would be a great study to lay out for you but I'm too tired tonight. I suppose we just need to look in the mirror and ask why we who have been given so much can so often fall so short. Its easy to say if we were in the shoes of another that we would behave differently.  

The good news is....But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

If you receive Him, he gives you the right to become his children. To you who believe in His name and who are born of God.  It is not about how together you are. Not how cleaned up your life may or may not be. There were two thieves who hung on the cross next to Jesus. One of them believed and Jesus said he would be with him in paradice. That guy never got to go forward for an alter call. He never got to repent of the wrongs he had done or the people he had harmed. He never took communion, never was baptized, never attended a church service. He never did any of the things we typically think one must do to be saved. He was one of those we were part of the "as many as received him." I'm not saying you should live your life like the thief on the cross and wait for the last moment to receive Jesus. I am pointing it out to show you that it is not about how good you are. It has nothing to do with your merit. It has everything to do with His. 

Prayer: I pray that you will lay aside trying to tip the scales in your favor and trust that Jesus is all that He has said. His promises are true. If you receive him you become one of His children. I pray that where ever you are in your journey to know him, that this truth would become very clear to you. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father except through Him.  (John 14:6)

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