Belonging
(The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2020 - 12:00am

The Lord who made you and helps you says: “Do not be afraid . . . my chosen one.” — Isaiah 44:2 NLT

I’d been out late the night before, just as I was every Saturday night. Just twenty years old, I was running from God as fast as I could. But suddenly, strangely, I felt compelled to attend the church my dad pastored. I put on my faded jeans, well-worn T-shirt, and unlaced high-tops and drove across town.

I don’t recall the sermon Dad preached that day, but I can’t forget how delighted he was to see me. With his arm over my shoulder, he introduced me to everyone he saw. “This is my son!” he proudly declared. His joy became a picture of God’s love that has stuck with me all these decades.

The imagery of God as loving Father occurs throughout the Bible. In Isaiah 44, the prophet interrupts a series of warnings to proclaim God’s message of family love. “Dear Israel, my chosen one,” he said. “I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children” (vv. 2-3 nlt). Isaiah noted how the response of those descendants would demonstrate family pride. “Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord,’” he wrote. “Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands” (v. 5 nlt).

Wayward Israel belonged to God, just as I belonged to my adoptive father. Nothing I could do would ever make him lose his love for me. He gave me a glimpse of our heavenly Father’s love for us. — Tim Gustafson

Heavenly Father, we all come from families that are broken in one way or another. Thank You for loving us in that brokenness and for showing us what real love looks like.

READ: Isaiah 44:1-5

God’s love for us offers us the sense of belonging and identity we all crave.

Bible in a Year: Esther 9-10 and Acts 7:1-21

GOD
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