Take a look in your wallet. If you are like me, you likely have at least a few cards that identify you. Maybe you have a Costco card with a grainy, slightly out of focus photo that you might not have been ready to take. This card is important. It allows you entry into a wonder world of items you didn’t even know you needed and in quantities you might not ever go through! Without this card, you are denied access. Say goodbye to the gallon of Tahitian vanilla extract.

Inside your wallet you also might have a state-issued driver’s license. This little beauty gives you the identity of a person legally permitted to drive and allows you to join the community of drivers in your state! You are IN—part of the group!

These two cards are examples of belonging, and while they are wonderful and allow us certain rights and privileges, they are, in fact, temporary.

If we don’t maintain the membership to the club, our Costco card is terminated, and we are denied entrance.

Several things can cause us to lose our driver’s license—and losing it can affect our lives dramatically. How we get from place to place will change, as well as all the other identification benefits a license provides us. Without this identification, we will often be left out.

This is how it is with every one of the things we make! Our attempts to create identity and to belong will fail because we often fail. We cannot save ourselves. Fortunately, we have been gifted with an identity that is forever and guaranteed. No matter what we do, we can’t lose it or break it. It wasn’t made by us, but rather was guaranteed by God!

When Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for sins He didn’t commit, He went willingly. He came to earth to live a perfect and complete life—for the sole purpose of hanging on the cross to pay the price for our sin, and the sins of the whole world.

Once Jesus died to pay for our sins, He also rose again to defeat death itself. He willingly submitted to the cross and to being forsaken by God so that we would not have to. His death cleared the way for a Holy God to have relationship with sinners like you and me.

You, friend, are a child of God! You are loved completely and eternally by the God who created the universe and by His Son who literally hangs out with you in the darkest times of your life. I know you probably tell this to the people you lead. You likely share this Gospel truth with kids and their parents. Do you know and remember it for yourself? This Gospel isn’t our job, friend; it is GOOD NEWS for everyone who believes!

You can trust God! He always keeps His promises. He has promised to never leave or forsake you and He will love you forever! May He pour out His Spirit on you and allow your faith to grow and blossom in new and meaningful ways!

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