Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "No Not One"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 12:13 – Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. (NLT)
We had the clubhouse. All we needed was members.
My cousin and his family lived next door to my maternal grandparents on a large farm. The closest neighbours belonged to another race, and because of the culture, neither he nor his siblings had much to do with them. He played only with other cousins, his siblings, or someone farther down the road with whom he went to church. Many of his games and ventures, he concocted himself.
One of his ventures was building a clubhouse. He happened to be in the middle of his construction project about the time I made one of my periodic visits. Using scrap lumber from around the farm, we finished our small, square dwelling and decided who would and would not be welcome. It was somewhat of a moot decision since we were the only two around. Who could we exclude? And why would our rules about membership matter, since no one else wanted to join?
The early church began as somewhat of an exclusive club. When the Holy Spirit made His appearance on the Day of Pentecost, He indwelled only Jewish people. As non-Jews began believing and receiving the Spirit, some of the Jewish folks wondered whether they should let the others into the club. An eventual decision by the church, listening to the Spirit, opened the doors to anyone — with a few conditions.
God's club is both inclusive and exclusive. Everyone is welcome who wants to join, but there are conditions. God doesn't want anyone to perish, but He also won't allow just anyone in without an examination.
Confession of sin is one requirement. Christ assures us that if we confess Him as Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. Forgiveness hinges on confession and repentance and is our ticket into God's clubhouse.
Once in, we get to enjoy the benefits of belonging — forgiveness of our sins being one. Abundant life is also offered, as well as the ability to live with peace and confidence regardless of what we face in life. We also have the assurance of God's perpetual presence with us, guiding us in every life decision. When life is over, we transfer our membership from earth to heaven, a place where no hardship, pain, sorrow, sin, or death exist.
No other club offers the benefits that God's does. Join today.
Prayer: Father, thank You for offering club membership to anyone who asks. Amen.