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June 10 | 1 Corinthians 3:17-23


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Belonging

by Mary Alice McGinnis

We as humans long for a sense of belonging. According to Wikipedia:Belongingness is the human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, a religion, or something else, some people tend to have an 'inherent' desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves."


But there is also a dark side to belonging. If there are those who belong, are accepted, and deemed important, the implication is that there are those who don’t. If some are wise, certainly others are foolish. Some are in, some are out.


Paul begins today’s reading by reminding us that we are all a part of something much bigger!


The verse right before today’s reading says,


Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)


This Greek word for “temple” means the innermost sanctuary, the dwelling place of the Holy presence of God. This was the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament. The physical temple in the Old Testament was only a picture of the true temple.


We as the body of believers in Christ, are joined together in a supernatural way, brought together for a singular purpose. To become the TRUE temple, the dwelling place of God.



God chooses to dwell in us, His people – as individuals, and as the universal “church” as a whole. A place of intimate belonging.


Yet, the early church was divided. Each camp claimed their group was the “true” church, and all others were excluded. There was a sense that one leader’s set of teaching made them more important or significant than those who taught things differently. There was controversy about who “belonged” and who did not. This kind of dissention brings destruction to God’s holy temple (His people), and God take that very seriously.


We certainly don’t see any divisions like that among us today, right?


Paul prompts us to stop kicking, scratching and fighting for belonging. Why?


Verse 21 says, All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” Meriam Webster says another “meaning of BELONGING is possession.” Our possessions are the things that we own, that belong to us.


Did you catch what Paul said? All these things are ours; they already belong to us. We possess everything as God’s children. Let’s just take a quick inventory of the all the treasured possessions Paul says God has granted to us.

  • Our leaders – who themselves are only frail humans and are subject to the limits of their God given talents and abilities. God uses them for our good.

  • This world and all its intricate wonders. “The heavens declare the Glory of God.” (Psalm 19:1)

  • Life itself. And even death , which becomes our gateway to eternally be with God. “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

  • The present AND the future. “. . .neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

All this belongs to us! Why? Because we belong to Christ, and Christ is of God.


"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:31-32)


PRAYER

Lord, we are Your temple. All we are is Yours! By Your grace, through Jesus Christ, You have promised that we have a place of belonging in Your family. As Your children, You promise to give us ALL THINGS! We praise You for all the ways, seen and unseen, that You are providing immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.













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