Belonging as Citizens with Purpose

You are citizens of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and
you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.
Ephesians 2:19 b (Living Bible)

It’s been a while since I’ve been reading The Purpose Driven Life. I took a 3 month break from reviews while I was superintendent minister at Albert St Uniting in Brisbane. There just wasn’t time for blogging.

But now I’m back.

Driving with Purpose

As a family we’ve been working on the paperwork for citizenship of Australia. We’re permanent residents but have discovered that citizenship makes life a bit easier. We’ll be able to keep our NZ passports alongside the Australian passports. I’m looking forward to being able to vote in the next federal election in 3 years time!

Citizenship is but one of the metaphors used in today’s reading about belonging in the people of God. There’s the usual family membership, and being a part of the body (member or organ as in arm or lung or whatever).

Australian Passport Request

Rick Warren gives us a few reasons why we need to belong to a local church family, each with a verse from the Bible to show its an offering from the Bible:

A church family identifies you as a genuine believer
A church family moves you out of self-centred isolation
A church family helps you develop spiritual muscle
The Body of Christ needs you
You will share in Christ’s mission in the world
A church family will keep you from backsliding

I like the reminder that we’re called to love imperfect sinners, just as God does. We’re called to love real people, not ideal people.

This is all very relevant to us at the moment – we’re in the middle of starting up a Sunday afternoon house church. The people we’re inviting have been or are on the fringes of the church. We’ve got to have some strong motivation beyond obligation and loyalty because clearly those factors have worn out for many of our friends.

Rick Warren’s question to consider:
Does my level of involvement in my local church demonstrate that I love and am committed to God’s family?

Yes. My commitment to God’s family goes way beyond the local church. The bottom line, though, is the local people right here who don’t always match up with the ideals I hold in my head!

Leave a Reply