It’s a simple, fundamental, but important question we all need to answer.

In 1 John 3: 1-3 John says that our Father calls us his children. Seems to make sense, right? We put that whole father/child thing together all the time. However John goes on to say that the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. I imagine this stands to reason too. After all, how can you recognize something you don’t know? It seems like that would very nearly approximate the definition of something strange to you, but we’re familiar with a lot of things.

How many groups do you belong to? Just think about it for a second. These don’t have to be formal groups like the Booster Club or the Rotary or the Jelly of the Month Club (that’s the gift that keeps on givin). You could say you’re a part of the parent group or the sibling group or the softball team. Stop and think about it for a while and you’ll realize there are many, many groups to which you belong. Now ask yourself, are you a part of the group of people that belong to the world?

It seems sort of moot on the surface, doesn’t it? Of course you belong to that group. You’re living right now and you live in the world so that makes you a part of it, right? Unfortunately, according to John, that means you don’t know God.

I know, I know, you’re saying, “Now hold on just a second! I know God. I go to church, I pray and talk to God on a regular basis. What do you mean I don’t know him?” Sorry to get you all riled up but what John is saying is that we have to belong to God first and foremost.

Without knowing whose we are, we can’t know who we are. And knowing who we are sets up a whole hierarchy of relationships with the groups we belong to here in this world. Committing to belonging first to God doesn’t mean we can’t be a part of the world. It just means we look to our Father for guidance while we’re here in this world.

If we belong to the world we look at society, or our friends, or our groups, or anyone of an innumerable bunch of other sources for the way. We look at all those things to order our days and our lives. That isn’t what God intended any more than you would intend for your child to look to someone else for guidance. And that’s what God desires; for us to accept that he is our Father.

When you think about it that way, it seems simple. But remember whose you are and who comes first.

It seems like such a little thing, doesn’t it? Maybe the devil really isn’t in the details. Maybe he’s in the broad strokes we paint our lives with all too often. Something to think about and pass along if you have someone you know that needs to look a little closer at who they belong to.

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