1 John 5:9-13
No matter how individualistic our thinking may be, we are social creatures. We have an inherent need to belong to a group. The family, in all its various shapes and sizes, is the primary group to which we belong. Family gives us our earliest and, perhaps, our most lasting sense of belonging. Notice how the celebration of this belonging has become embedded in our celebrations of birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and in some Island cultures, Children’s Day. Fundamentally, we all belong to God. In him we live and move and have our being. The whole universe belongs to God, belongs to its Creator. All people belong properly to the family of God. At our deepest level, we know this. It is deep in our subconscious. But just as living in a family brings with it restrictions on selfishness – it calls for give and take, for empathy, compassion, understanding, forgiveness and sacrifice – so living as those who belong to God brings with it restrictions on our selfishness. There is a tendency among people of all races and throughout history to balk at this requirement. They then live as though they belong to themselves and not to God, or they make gods that are more compliant with their whims and fancies. This is what Jesus was referring to in John 17:14 when he spoke about belonging to the world. It’s the self-centred world that people make for themselves. Jesus said that those who follow him do not belong to this world. They belong to God’s world, the world where people love God and neighbour as he did. So the question about belonging is constantly with us. By the way we act, speak, and think is it apparent that we belong to a self-centred world or do we belong the God-centred world of love?
- What does belonging to a family mean to you?
- What restrictions does belonging to Christ place upon you?
- What are the benefits if belonging to Christ?
- What do you mean by a worldly life and a godly life?