“You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together.”
-Ephesians 2:19-22, MSG
What happens in your soul when you know you belong? It often feels like walking into a safe space, into comforting arms. To know you’re accepted ushers in a sense of peace, of freedom, a finally-home kind of feeling.
In order to belong to any group, you have to know that those people are for you and not against you. True belonging is steeped in unconditional love—even when you disagree, you’re still in.
This is why we say that at Northpoint that you can belong before you believe. It’s amazing to be accepted by Jesus and His people before you’re ready to accept Him. It’s actually a beautiful thing to be enveloped by love before you even ask for it. It’s proof that it’s not something we can earn—He truly does first choose us.
We want to welcome people into a church home that shows the unconditional love of Jesus. A love without strings. A love that communicates that we thought about them before they walked through the door. A love that shows the creativity, warmth and acceptance that is characteristic of Jesus.
This kind of posture takes intentionality. It’s easy to let disagreements keep us from loving each other well. It’s easy to start making lists of rules that delineate who is in and who is out—because of what they say, what they wear, what they do. But at the heart, if we participate in this process, we’re at risk of being cut out, too.
Brene Brown says this:
“You’re imperfect and you’re wired for struggle, but you’re worthy of love and belonging.”
Through Christ, you’re in, not out. When you believe this, you’re able to communicate that kind of love to others around you—in the foyer, in UpStreet, in your row, in your circle. To the person who has never experienced the love of Christ, this is gold. This is relational security—something you’re wired to need and to give.
Where/how have you experienced a sense of belonging? Who do you know that needs this kind of love right now in their life?
Jesus, show me who needs You and give me the courage to love them with Your kind of love—unconditional. Amen.
Run With It
Invite someone you know who needs to know that peace with God is truly possible to Northpoint next Sunday. Encourage your kids to do the same. Make a plan to get some lunch afterwards so they have space to possibly process their thoughts.