August 1, 2023 – Reflections on “The Joy of Belonging!”

      And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39.

       He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11. This is in the same chapter where eight verses declare, a time to…! Psalm 139 tells us how involved with each birth!

       For you formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139:13-15.

When we look deeply into the face of another person, we are seeing another soul God created, not an enemy. A deep belonging begins, first to God draws us to God first and to others second. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” I Samuel 16:7.

Where did Peace, one of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, come from? Without Jesus, there is no Peace – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:26-27.

Have you considered that man-made Peace accords last only a few years, but the Peace of God lasts forever with the Presence of Jesus? This Presence provides Belonging to someone for an eternity. When Man desires to have life his own way, without Jesus, he loses that Presence that brings the Peace.

          These verses show how deep the peace of God is: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:7-8. What do we fill our minds with?

      I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? Psalm 77:11-13.

      Why did Jesus endure the pain and anguish of the cross? He gave us a way to be reconciled to His Father God because He loves us. Each time I repeat/or read these verses, it means more. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:16-18.

     Loving God, Believing in Him, and Trusting Him, brings Peace and Love with others. Being an Ambassador of Christ means responding with Love, Joy, and Peace to Him with our actions, words, and thoughts that reflect His Love.

      Will we obey the commands of God? “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35.

     The one thing that gives us Hope, is the promise of tomorrow and looking up! The one chapter that fills me with hope is Romans 8, that begins–There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1.

     With faith in Christ comes hope. So, now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13.

      We wonder how long this reconciliation and hope remains. There is no man-made insurance policy that we cannot be separated from God, wants we have belonged to Him, by believing and obeying His commands! “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39.

To be sure you belong, this scripture reveals a place to be when we no longer have a home on earth. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am, you may be also.” John 14:1-3.