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A Place to Belong

• Scott Boren

Every human being is designed with basic yearnings and desires. One of our most basic desires is the need to connect with one another. However, in the overwhelming demands of modern life, we often do not listen to or even acknowledge these desires. Our lives and relationships look more like fragmented pieces than complete and meaningful masterpieces. To live out a beautiful life of belonging in God’s kingdom is to live in covenant community with one another.

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Every human being is designed with basic yearnings and desires. One of our most basic desires is the need to connect with one another. However, in the overwhelming demands of modern life, we often do not listen to or even acknowledge these desires. Our lives and relationships look more like fragmented pieces than complete and meaningful masterpieces. To live out a beautiful life of belonging in God’s kingdom is to live in covenanted community with one another.

When we truly feel a sense of belonging in God’s kingdom there comes with it an assurance of security and acceptance. As we nourish our covenant relationships through connecting deeply with other Christians, we begin to fulfill Christ’s command to us as believers. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35). In this passage alone Christ commands us to live in love to one another three separate times stressing the complete centrality of love to our relationship with God and with others. As God’s people who desire to live out the beautiful life of God’s kingdom, we are called to live life with one another in covenant community through love.

Jesus taught us how to live this life through His teachings and also through His example. His love for us was self-sacrificial and was the very expression of “agape love”. Agape love is the choice to put the needs of another ahead of our own. As we learn to love God with all of our heart and soul, we begin to learn how to love others as Christ loves us.

As we try to follow the example of Jesus it is important to grasp the concept of covenant. Covenant is a word that is rarely used in our society, but is very important in our understanding of what agape love is. To covenant with another person or group is to say that “I will be here for you during both good and bad times”. Different relationships require different types of covenant commitments. Each covenant relationship requires an individual commitment and choice to love a particular person or group in specific ways. How do we begin to step into this beautiful life of covenant belonging with one another?

The following are some practical ways to start:

  1. Recognize previous disappointments with belonging, whether in previous relationships or with groups.
  2. See what is already present. Who are your close friends?
  3. Move into covenant slowly. Learn to recognize the type of covenant commitment that is appropriate for each relationship.
  4. Be selective about covenant relations.
  5. Clarify your relationships and expectations.
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Topics: Community, Covenant, Love

Sermon Series: Experiencing the Beautiful Life


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Focus Scripture:

  • John 13:34-35

    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

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