“…including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”
I took the StrengthFinders assessment last week and my number one strength is connectedness. Perhaps our strengths are built from what we value most. I took another type of wiring test a few years ago and my contribution to a group or a team is my value to “stay together.”
Togetherness. A sense of belonging to someone or something is a deep need most, if not all people have. Certainly, I have a need to belong but what drives me in all I do as a parent, a shepherd and a leader is that we all need to know that we belong and to Whom we belong. It’s important to me that you know you are included. It upsets me when someone feels left out. Party invitation lists are stressful to me because I want everyone to know they are welcome.
Paul was greeting the Romans when he introduced himself as a bond servant, one who was enslaved to the One he belonged to. Jesus, His master not only called him to ignite the movement of Church, the hands and feet of Christ, he had set him apart for it and given him every thing he needed to make it happen. The confidence Paul had in this was so deep and so true that shipwrecks, torture, time in prison and the loneliness of being single at times could still move him to rejoice, always.
When we know without a doubt who we belong to and the price He paid so that we could indeed belong, the fullness of his love extended to those whom He gave His very life for, the fact that He initiated this love before we even knew which end was up, we can really buy into this truth that anything is possible.
The dry bones of a dead marriage can be resurrected.
The hope of healing the darkest of wounds.
Forgiveness in what was once thought unforgivable.
These words, penned by Paul… the one who once breathed out murderous threats against the same people he gives thanks for here.
I used to work with a really great guy named Jeremy. He would always say the same thing when things were hard for him. When he lost his beloved dad suddenly one afternoon in August, when ministry was challenging and when his precious babies were born too early and their lives were so delicate. During these tenuous times, I would ask “How are you doing Jeremy?” His response would go something like this: “It’s really hard, but I know God loves me so it will be okay.”
I know God loves me.
I know the One to whom I belong.
For all those times I lay awake worried about what tomorrow may bring. When I sit face-to-face with a woman who is crying out for her horrible marriage and I have to muster up faith for both of us that God can do something… is this what it means?
Jesus himself had answers to these concerns:
The One to whom we are called to belong said it… shouldn’t we take Him at His word? I sometimes forget.
If you lived full well with the knowledge that you belong to Jesus, how could things be different? Would you approach any circumstance or relationship in your life differently?