We Belong

Ephesians 2:11-13 So remember that once you were Gentiles by physical descent, who were called “uncircumcised” by Jews who are physically circumcised. At that time you were without Christ. You were aliens rather than citizens of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of God’s promise. In this world you had no hope and no God. But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

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I know everyone one of us has felt like we wanted to be part of a certain group, but for some reason we felt like we did not belong. We have also felt like we do not deserve to have the people in our life that we have because we feel unworthy. This kind of attitude and mindset seems to be prevalent. There is only one problem with this kind of thinking: we devalue ourselves.

Yes, there is part of us that has made mistakes and has lived a life we did not want to live, but there is something incredible about grace. God grace is pulling us in and is giving us a new life that we never expected to have. Yes, we live lives separate from God. Yes, we do not have everything in a row. Yes, there are parts of our past that we wish we could escape from. Yes, yes, yes. This list of reasons why we do not belong goes on and on. We focus on our failures and God focuses on our future.

Our lives, without Christ, do not have the joy and peace; but when we realize Christ is already here and is calling us to know and follow Him, then we become filled with His Spirit. It is by the grace of God that we belong. We belong with groups who desire to help us live right. We desire to be loved. We desire to be with someone in life that will help us live out the life God has in mind. We desire all of this stuff and we belong.

We should just lay down our past, look to Christ and ask Him to be the central focus of our life. This makes Him Lord and Savior, and us His people. Our lives take on a whole new meaning because it is from a payment that we belong to God. This is a payment we did not give, but was paid for us. This payment was the blood of Jesus Christ who lived an incredible life that God wants us to live, died this death that is so incredibly cruel and humiliating and rose from the dead. He rose from the dead because, even though the world showed it did not want Him, He wanted to show the world that it was wanted.

What are you struggling with today that makes you feel like you do not belong? I hope you can see and hear the soft voice of God so loudly that your perspective changes and that you can see and know that God is pursuing you and even believes in you. You and I belong, we just need to believe this and trust this. Because of Jesus Christ everything is different. What once caused division and rule keeping, now invites all people to know grace. Your life will be drastically different if you find the grace that is around you.

#TheGospelChangesUs

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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