The powerful heart of the Gospel message is that God made a way for us when there was no other way. No amount of good or righteous deeds could build a bridge back to right standing with Him — we needed Him to do the work, and He did. We were infected by the poison of sin, and we were helpless to heal ourselves until He stepped in and made Himself the antidote; all we had to do was say “yes” and partake. At the moment we received Jesus as our Lord, we belonged to His family, and our souls breathed a sigh of relief. No longer did we have to seek a place to call home, for as His children, we inherited the love of a perfect Father and access to a Body of people to whom we’re eternally connected. This not only saved our souls, but it changed our lives, because belonging is a fundamental need of human existence. When that need is met by the Holy Spirit in Christian community, the devil cannot easily gain a foothold. However, because our enemy is keenly aware of our desire for inclusion somewhere and with someone, he presents us with numerous seductive counterfeits, especially when we’re young. The reason gangs, drug addiction, and partying are so alluring to people is because they come with a guaranteed welcome — just hang with the crowd, follow their lead, and you’ll have a “home.” Knowing how prolific these worldly alternatives are, it’s imperative that we, as believers, offer to people the same grace and safety Christ bestowed on us the moment we were saved. By rolling out the red carpet of our heart and extending friendship to the most vulnerable, we give them a place to belong, and we demonstrate in a very real way the unending love of our Creator.
My friend, you belong to Jesus, so you can help others belong, too. Your Savior’s hand reached out to offer you a haven when you were helpless to help yourself, and because you’re His beloved child, you can rest in the shadow of His wings as you extend yourself to people. By choosing to see, hear, and listen to the hearts of your fellow human beings, you invite the Holy Spirit to move through your kindness to accomplish something greater than you can fathom — the shifting of eternal souls to His unshakable Kingdom.