Have you Lost Your Sense of Belonging? Let’s Open Another Gift

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Where do you spend Christmas? Who do you spend Christmas with? We all want to belong to a family or a group of friends. Many of us still have families that we visit or are with at Christmas. Some this year has lost a loved one and they feel lost. Some have not had the gift of children for one reason or another and now their spouse is gone and they no longer feel like they belong anyplace.
One of God’s great gifts is the gift of family. Once we have accepted Christ into our lives we belong not only to Him, but we are now connected to God’s family.”In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises.” Galatians 3:28-29 Heir in my Thesaurus says this: child, offspring. So here you can see you belong to Christ’s family. 
Earlier in Galatians 3:26 it says this, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.…” Again it says we are all sons (and daughters) of God through our faith. You belong to God’s family. Are you beginning to get a sense of belonging?
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” John 1:12 I could go on and on with scriptures that talk about us belonging to God’s family. I hope you are getting the idea that you belong to a much bigger family than the one you were born in to. You belong; you matter. You need never worry about not belonging. 
I have always been concerned about not belonging. I was never one that joined in a lot of groups. I couldn’t do sports so I was excluded from that group, I couldn’t play a musical instrument or sing, so I was excluded, I couldn’t cheer (even though every year I tried out) and so I was excluded from that. I did have friends and we did hang out together, but like me they were all misfits. We belonged to one another because we didn’t belong anywhere else. Just recently I have found myself with a group of women who have made me feel like I belong; they have welcomed me, reached out to me and have loved me for who I am. I have a sense of belonging. 
But what I was missing was God telling me all along I do belong. I have always belonged to God’s family. I have been a part of God’s family for a long time. I love my friends, I love my family, but if they weren’t in my life I’d still have family and friends in Christ. God wants to give us this year the gift of family and friends. He wants to give us the sense of belonging to the greatest family anyone can have. 
Matthew 28:48-50 read this way, “But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” When we go to church we need to see each one of those we worship with as sisters and brothers in Christ. There is a song that has been around for a long time. In case you have forgotten or haven’t heard of it let me share it with you.
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God.
You will notice we say “brother and sister” ’round here,
It’s because we’re a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear. 
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God.
From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I’m not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong! 
I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God
As brothers and sisters in Christ we also need to remember those who don’t have blood related family members. We need to step up and step out and include those who don’t have family into our family gatherings. This year for the first time in ten years we were included into a family gathering for Thanksgiving. It was one of the best Thanksgiving we’ve had in years. 
God has given us the gift of belonging. This year let’s pass that gift on to those brothers and sisters in Christ that have lost their sense of belonging. Let’s reach out and give the gift God has so freely given us. 
Just because your spouse is gone, or you have no children you are not alone. If you have given your life to Christ you belong to Him and His family. He’s handing you one of his greatest gift…the gift of family; take it and open it and know you belong. God loves you as His Child and I love you as my brother and sister in Christ. 
Dear God, thank you for the gift of belonging to a family. Sometimes I feel lost without my family, but then I look around and I see family all around me and I know I am blessed. Be with those who have lost family and have lost their sense of belonging. Help them realize they belong to you and your family. Help me to reach out to those who have lost family. Thank you for those brothers and sisters in Christ I have been blessed with. Let me through you be a blessing to others. Amen
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