Sunday, April 27, 2008
BELONGING TO SOMETHING
"Looking at both sides of the coin makes us question which one to pick--but how often do we wish we had chosen the other side once we commit to heads or tails--is this what belonging looks like?" Jeff Johnson April 2008
Seeking is a term that is used in various circles to describe someone who is looking around, trying to decide, or just visiting. Everyone is a seeker in something. It could be a career move, a new location to live, a church to join, a religion, or a GOD to trust. Seeking periods are both healthy and necessary, however, commitments to joining must be the end result of seeking. Joining something is the first step in belonging. Let's look at some modern day examples of belonging.In 1981, when the decapitated head of his abducted 6-year-old son Adam was discovered, John Walsh pledged to turn his grief into action. More than two decades later, Walsh is a well-known victims' rights advocate and host of the long-running TV show "America's Most Wanted." "America's Most Wanted," is a television show that has aided law enforcement in the capture of more than 1000 fugitives around the world. It's the fifth longest-running show in television history. Walsh said recently, "I didn't want to be on television ... didn't want to hunt men down, but you know what, as my wife always said to me, 'Let's make sure Adam didn't die in vain,' "
In 1980 Candy Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter Cari was killed by a drunken hit-and-run driver as she walked down a suburban street in California. The 4 time convicted drunk driver received a 2 year sentence served in a work camp for this murder. Candy Lightner responded, "I promised myself on the day of Cari’s death that I would fight to make this needless homicide count for something positive in the years ahead." Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) soon grew into a nationwide organization with almost two million members and supporters and with more than 600 affiliates in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain. Since MADD was founded, traffic deaths have dropped by 44 percent and helped save over 300,000 lives, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. These stories and your favorite stories bring home Matt 6:21 which says simply, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Can you see the heart in these organizations founders? If you were asked does John Walsh belong to catching criminals? or does Candy Lightner belong to stopping drunk drivers ? The answers are unquestionable. This is what belonging looks like. In 1John 2:19, he writes, "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."
When we look at the Bible Rev 3:15-16 15 tells us, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Everyone wants to be accepted. Many of us struggle with wanting to join something, but fearing rejection we hesitate--sometimes for 30-40 years. Jesus has died for you, in whatever sin, in whatever lifestyle, in whatever----PERIOD. Jesus will not reject your request to forgive ALL sin, accept YOU completely and absolutely if repentance is true. This makes joining to HIM easy. The understanding that Jesus died for YOU, gives reason greater than John Walsh's story and Candy Lightner's examples go from joining to belonging. The question now is do I belong to something? Is there a 'standout' part of my life that could give an unquestionable 'YES' I belong? Jesus made a belonging statement on the cross by dying for YOU and I and RISING FROM DEATH so that we may live forever. Be a FORWARD STEPPER from joining Jesus to belonging to Jesus.
I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,
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