Those words stand by themselves, demanding more context. Belong to what? Why do I belong? Is my belonging conditional?
There are many things we can belong to by choice. For example, a Sam’s Club or Costco membership is something I can choose to belong to. Because of my belonging, I get certain rights and rewards. Of course, if I ever leave my Sam’s Club membership behind, I no longer “belong” and the benefits go with it.
Psalm 100:3 says “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”
Accepting our belonging may be our choice but belonging to God is something we can never get away from. It’s the one type of belonging that can never be lost or rejected by not paying dues. The love of God for His people never goes away, never fades, and cannot be lost. There is nothing you can do to make God stop loving you. You Simply Belong!
Because we have received this amazing gift of belonging, we have the privilege of extending it to others. We get to invite people into relationship with God and His church, an earthly example of the belonging we can experience through Father God. Our churches and faith communities need to be microcosms of belonging, providing comfort and shelter from the world and its problems of abandonment. We must become places of refuge for those who feel marginalized and a source of comfort and healing. Most of all, we must be a place where the love of God is clearly expressed. Where His presence dwells and the fruit of His spirit is abundant.
How have you found belonging in Christ? How have you been able to then extend that belonging to others? I can’t wait to hear from you, and share your testimony. Let’s be a Fellowship that welcomes people to open arms and helps people find belonging in the family of God.