Everyone wants to belong.
In fact, you could say everyone already belongs to something. We belong to a family, whether we want to be a part of it or not. We belong to a certain cultural group, socio-economic status, social club, or belief system (even not believing in God is a belief).
And over the last few months, I began to think on this as certain Scriptures kept jumping off the page and weaving around my heart. I began to notice the word belong throughout the New Testament in the NIrV translation of the Bible, the one I fell in love with from my days in children’s ministry.
Over and over, I saw this small word—thirty-four times in fact, though I’m sure I missed some. All of these mentions were seen with my naked eye, not prompted by a Google or topical search. I would read a verse and the word, belong, would pop up a few verses ahead or behind. I began paying attention, knowing God was trying to tell me something.
This led me to question, what do I belong to? When people see my posts on social media, meet me in line at the grocery store, or at my son’s football game, where do they think I fit in? Am I perceived as rich or poor, ditzy or smart, a Christian or Atheist, an American or foreigner?
I belong to Jesus, and if you believe in Him, so do you. He does not discriminate. You are His.Kristen Terrette
Then I realized it’s not where I belong, or what I belong to that matters at all… it’s Who I belong to that defines me. Period.
Are you ready to get into a little Bible study? See all of these thirty-four verses discussed followers of Jesus as belonging to God. When you look at the NIV translation—the parent version of the NIrV—the phrase is often said like this: “created in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:10), “seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), “And we are in him” (1 John 5:20a), or “by being in his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 5:20b).
See the trend? If we are in Christ, then we are a part of Him. We are in Him. But the NIrV knows that’s confusing to our meager minds… so they change it to: “created us to belong to Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10), “seated with Him in heavenly realms because we belong to Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2: 6), “we belong to the One who is true” (1 John 5:20a), and “we also belong to his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 5:20b).
I belong to Jesus, and if you believe in Him, so do you. He does not discriminate. You are His. Belonging to Him is the most important piece of our identity, the only one that matters in this world full of groupings which tend to divide us, instead of unite us.
I’m positive Jesus wants me to know and understand this concept. I am certain if we decided not to focus on what or where we are, but on Whose we are, the world would be a better place.
Psalm 100:3 NIV sums it up well, “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”