“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:46-47 (NLT)

Belonging is important. In fact it is said that today’s generation wants to “belong” before they “believe.” I have found it to be true. Brené Brown, author of “The Gifts Of Imperfection”, and an expert on shame, writes, “Of this I am actually certain. After collecting thousands of stories I’m willing to call this a fact: A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all women, men and children. We are biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually wired to love, to be loved and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick. The absence of love and belonging will always lead to suffering.” God knew this about us so He sent His Son to redeem us and give us His love and a place to belong. He gave us His church and told us, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” And that is what the early church did. They shocked the Roman world with a love they never knew before. It was a love from God and a love from the community of believers. It was a sacrificial love, a caring love, a belonging love. Jesus has called us to do the same. Today, all around you and I are people who want to be loved. They want to belong. Why not introduce them to the love of God and His family where they too can find all their heart desires.

Father, help me love in the same way You have loved me. Help me be open to those that are full of shame and rejection. Help my community of believers be a place where those that are weary and broken can belong. In Jesus’ name.

I will reach out to others with the love of God
Love does not always come natural. You must be intentional about loving. Today visualize yourself being filled with the Holy Spirit and genuinely loving others. Sense your own joy as you help someone belong and you see a smile develop on their face. Sense their relief, their joy, their being overwhelmed because you cared enough to embrace them. Today affirm with a deep sense of calling, “I will reach out to others with the love of God.”


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