Who Do You Belong To? (Designed: Roots)

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Perhaps you have heard it said that, “Whose you are is more important than who you are”.  So let me ask…to whom do you belong?  Do you belong to your parents, your spouse, or maybe your children?  Or maybe you are alone in this world and feeling like an orphan, like you don’t matter to anyone, or like there is no one who would take care of you. The truth is you do belong to someone; you are not your own and you are not alone, ultimately you belong solely to God.

Remember our tree illustration from the overview lesson.  If there are no nutrients, no soil, no sun and no water a tree can not grow.  It must be connected to a source to grow into the majestic tree it is destined to become.  Just like that tree we also need to be connected to our source in order to fully become all that we are designed to be.  So as we begin our series let’s take a moment to reflect on who we belong to, who is our source of truth, of power, of hope and ultimately of life, and how we can connect to him.

So how do we know who God is?  How do we tap into the resources he has for us?  God himself has given us several means of learning who he is.  1.) He has given us his word, the bible, which tells us who he is.  2.) He has also given us creation that we might observe who he is.  3.) He has given us the Holy Spirit to reveal to us truth of who he is. 4.) He has given us pastors, teachers, and mentors to help teach us about who he is.   5.) He has given us other believers to live out a life that reflects who he is.

You may be asking yourself why does it matter who God is?  The reason is that if He is our source, if he is the one whom we are going to trust with our lives, we need to know that he is trust worthy.  It matters because we would need to be able to trust Him for truth, for provision, for purpose, for our identity, for our protection and ultimately for life itself.

So, who is this God?  Here are just a few of His characteristics…

Loving– “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

Just– “God is just; He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.”  2Thessalonians 1:6

Faithful– “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2Timothy 2:13

Trustworthy– “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

Merciful– “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Never Changing– “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

Honest– “God is not man that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.  Has he said, and will he not do it?  Or has he spoken and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19

Generous– “And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Forgiving-“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” 1John 1:9

Purposeful– “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'”  Jeremiah 29:11

Always with you– “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Strong enough to keep you-“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angles nor, rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Victorious– “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have over come the world.” John 16:33

In His word, the bible, He is called the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Creator, Redeemer, Savior, Lord, King, Healer, Provider, Comforter and Defender.  THIS IS WHO HE IS!

DEVOTION:  When I was a young girl I had an issue with my knees dislocating.  It was excruciatingly painful, especially the resetting of the knee cap.  I remember one time in particular when my knee cap had actually slipped out all the way to the back of my leg.  Once I was immobilized they took me to the hospital so the doctor could reset it.  I clearly remember my dad meeting me at the hospital and standing in the corner of the room.  When the doctor came in, I was terrified and helpless.   As soon as the doctor touched my knee I screamed a blood curdling scream.  The pain was unbearable.  I could see my dad looking at me.  On his face was an expression I will never forget.  It was a mix of his protection of me, his pain for me for what I was experiencing, and his knowledge that I would need to endure more pain.  In his wisdom he allowed the doctor to continue to set my knee because he knew it needed to be done for me to heal.  To this day when I am facing an incredibly difficult life situation I can picture my dad’s face at that moment.  I believe that is a good example of how our God is for us.  He sees all that we are going through.  At times he is heartbroken because of what we must suffer.  He will provide all the resources we need at any given moment, he will remain present with us no matter how terrifying the situation may seem, he will allow consequences and pain that will ultimately lead to our healing and restoration.  He will oversee all that we are exposed to and will bring us through to the other side triumphantly and victoriously.  In those moments when you cannot see the purpose for your pain it helps to remember who you belong to…a God who is faithful and capable to do all that he says, whose love for you is without limits, whose knowledge of you and plans for you are far beyond anything you could imagine.  YOU belong to that God!

SCRIPTURE MEDITATION:  From the scriptures listed above which one stood out to you?  Select that scripture.  Read it slowly, out loud, to yourself five times. Each time you read it emphasize a different word in the verse.  Let the words of who he is sink in.

PRAYER:  Heavenly father, thank you for being my God.  Thank you for being a God whom I can trust, who is always faithful.  I confess that at times when I look at my circumstances I feel completely helpless and hopeless.  I allow myself to panic and take things into my own hands.  Often time I make a mess of things.  Help me to trust you to be who you have promised to be.  Help me to remember that you are in control of all the situations of my life and you will work them out in a way that will grow me and bring you glory.  Thank you for your unending love.  I love you.  Amen.

REFLECTIONS: Review the lists of his characteristics and names.  Who do you need him to be for you right now in this moment?  Take a moment.  Sit quietly and let Him speak to you regarding those words.  Journal what He is speaking to you.  Throughout the week take time to consider his attributes and names, ponder them, dwell on them, let who he is sink deeply into your soul.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS: This week I want you to consider how you can move forward and seek out some of the “nutrients” you need to grow.  Here are some “next step” options for you to consider taking.  Don’t worry about the fact that some of them may take longer than a week to accomplish.  Don’t worry what others might think or what order the activities are in, you do what feels right and trust God to lead you in what your next step should be.  The main idea is that you are using different avenues to gain and grow your knowledge of who God is and allowing him opportunities to work in your life.   1.) Salvation.  If you are not saved, or are not sure if you are saved, contact me or another believer about getting what it means to get saved and how to become a christian.  2.) Attend church.  Try out some churches in the upcoming weeks, find one that you like and keep attending.  3.) Join a church.  Maybe you have been going to a church for a while but haven’t made a commitment to one.  This week make the commitment to do what you need to do to become a member.  4.) Get baptized.  This is where you mark yourself publicly as a disciple of Jesus.  5.) Begin tithing, giving money to your church and charities. 6.) Serve on a ministry team within the church.  7.) Join a small group or class.  8.) Share your testimony or faith with someone.  9.) Begin having a daily devotion time. 10.) Ask for prayer, or pray with someone. 11.) Prepare to go on a missions trip or serve in a local mission.

UPCOMING LESSONS: Next week we will be focusing on who God says you are.  The truths that you will learn will be your anchor from which you can draw your identity when the world tries to shake you.

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