An Open Scroll, God’s Word Instructs His People

A daily devotion for April 1st

The Need to Belong

The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When anyone among you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.

Leviticus 1:1-2

There are five offerings in Leviticus: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the trespass offering and the sin offering. All five represent aspects of the work of Jesus Christ. The first offering is the burnt offering. The most important characteristic of the burnt offering is that it had to involve a death. Death in these offerings is always a picture of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. So when these Israelites offered this sacrifice they were learning the great truth that only by means of the death of an acceptable substitute can man ever satisfy this great longing to belong. Only in the recognition of the death of Jesus Christ for you, can you ever satisfy that longing. He is the expression of the love of God. So we must give ourselves to God through Christ, acknowledging that he owns us, that we belong to him: You are not your own; you are bought with a price, (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a RSV). God does not and will not exploit you and run you like a robot or a slave. He loves you and wants to fulfill you and set you free. But you do belong to him. That is the most basic truth of all.

You can find a certain amount of satisfaction in having a family. You will be very restless if you do not have a family. You can find satisfaction in having a background, an identity. But you will never satisfy it wholly that way. You will find that this cry of your heart, this clamorous hunger to be possessed and to belong, can be satisfied only by God in Jesus Christ coming into your life. By the death of Christ that door is open. Only through the death of Christ, and only through my relationship with the living God which that death enables can this hunger be stilled, can this basic desire to belong be met. That is what accounts for the sense of joy and relief upon becoming a Christian. Do you remember that? Now I belong! God is my Father! I'm in a family. I'll never be alone again! God will never forsake me nor abandon me! I belong to God!

Thank you, Father, that you have made provision for this most basic of all needs to be met in Jesus Christ, who died for me that I might have it. Teach me to rejoice in my relationship with you.

Life Application

The death of Christ has purchased the basic needs for our human longings, at immeasurable cost, and all intended for our joy. Are we accessing this inheritance as our first and primary resource for living?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Need to Belong

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