Monday, June 8, 2015

Longing and Belonging

Corinthians 3:23 - And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. 

Our God not only desires we belong to Him but He longs that we belong. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (‭2Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭9‬)

Just as Christ is God's Son, when we receive Jesus we become adopted heirs in the inheritance, children of God. We are Christ's and because He is God's, so are we. It comes through Christ alone. His Son loved Him so much He gave His life for the forgiveness of our sins. When we come to repentance and receive Christ, we are forgiven. 

The story of Abraham has intrigued me for years since I realized the importance of his two sons. God covenanted with Abraham that his descendants would be too numerous to count, greater than the number of stars he could see. One problem, Sarah was beyond child bearing years. But God promised...!

They took the situation into their own hands, however, figuring they had missed something somewhere. They went ahead of God's timing and devised their own plan, that Sarah's handmaid would bear Abraham a son. But this son, Ishmael, was not to be the rightful heir in this proposed and covenanted line of descendants. Years later, after Sarah was over 100 years old, she conceived and bore Abraham another son, Isaac.

Isaac would be the rightful heir and in the line of the descendant of Christ, who would play such an important role in later history. Not Ishmael, although he was the descendant of another great nation. Sarah's hand maid was not of their heritage; she was Egyptian, a foreigner. There began a contention between the two brothers, perhaps more from Ishmael than Isaac. The descendants of Ishmael have held this contention toward Isaac's descendants ever we see in the news today between Islam and the Jews and Christians, nearly everyone. A description of Ishmael: He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him...(‭Genesis‬ ‭16‬:‭12‬).

But we, Jew or Gentile, any race or color, who have received Jesus, who call themselves Christ followers, are part of that very covenant and promise of God to Abraham. We are grafted into the lineage through our faith in Jesus Christ. We receive Him, we are co-heirs. What a privilege. It still brings some contention with those who do not agree with our beliefs, but we can know and trust in God's covenant. And when we are Christ's, we are God's. That's good news. 

Galatians 3:27-29 - For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

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