Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Benefits of Belonging by Martin Wiles

He loved to stray, and it often got him in predicaments.

I once owned a stubborn rooster who loved to stay outside his pen more than he loved to stay in it. But when it was feeding time, all I had to do was open the gate and he headed for the chicken yard. While he was able to eat bugs, insects, and grass on the outside, what he didn’t realize is that his most nutritious meals were on the inside. And though he didn’t appreciate the confinement of the chicken wire, it provided him safety from predators. He simply didn’t understand the benefits of belonging.

Sometimes I too forget the advantages of belonging. And Jesus has to remind me. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice (John 10:4 NLT).

By belonging to Christ, I’ve inherited a great big family made up of different denominations, races, nationalities, and personalities. But we all have one thing in common: Christ’s blood has secured our forgiveness. Family is important, and they care for one another.

Since I belong to Christ, I also have a caregiver. I may receive comfort from my family, but no one can give me the perfect comfort my Savior can. Even in the worst of times, he whispers, “Don’t be afraid. I’m in control.”

Because I belong to Christ, I can enjoy life’s best. The best may not be in power, possessions, or popularity, but it’s a quality of life I couldn’t enjoy apart from him.

Belonging to Christ also gives me the privilege of discerning his voice. Just as my rooster recognized mine and headed for the pen when it was feeding time, so I can know my Savior’s guiding voice.

Are you enjoying the benefits of belonging?

Prayer: Thank You, Great Shepherd, for guiding us into Your flock and providing for all our needs.

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