Belonging: You Belong to an Awesome God

Suzanne Phillips
March 04, 2018
Since it’s Holy Week, a post honoring Jesus Christ is in order. He’s known by many names and titles that describe his purposes and roles. Here are 50 of them. I pray you’ll read the list slowly, perhaps with your children, and think about who He is for you. I pray, mostly, that He is your Savior and Lord. That you have trusted Him to save you and to be your source of all joy and peace. I had thought of asking you to choose your favorite names or to ask your children to do this. But then I tried. It’s impossible! Because Easter is approaching, I’m drawn to Resurrection and the Life. Then Savior. Deliverer. Immanuel. Our Hope. Sacrifice. Truth. Wonderful Counselor. Every name matters because of how much Jesus matters. If Jesus isn’t your Savior and Lord, or if you’re not sure, I get that. I was once lost, too. Please take a few minutes to read “What is the Gospel?” by my friends at EvanTell. Be blessed as you get to know Jesus better through these 50 names: Advocate – “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1 Almighty One – “…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 Alpha and Omega – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:13 Author and Perfecter of Our Faith – “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 Authority – “Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18 Beloved Son of God – “And behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17 Bread of Life – “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35 Bridegroom – “And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Matthew 9:15 Chief Cornerstone – “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.” Psalm 118:22 Deliverer – “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10 The Door – “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9 Faithful and True – “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.” Revelation 19:11 Good Shepherd – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 Great High Priest – “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews 4:14 Head of the Church – “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church.” Ephesians 1:22 Holy Servant – “…and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30 I Am – “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58 Immanuel – “…She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’” Isaiah 7:14 Indescribable Gift – “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:15 Judge – “…he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” Acts 10:42 King of Kings – “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14 Lamb of God – “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 Light of the World – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 Lion of the Tribe of Judah – “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5 Lord of All – “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 Mediator – “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5 Messiah – “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” John 1:41 Mighty One – “Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Isaiah 60:16 One Who Sets Free – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 Our Hope – “…Christ Jesus our hope.” 1 Timothy 1:1 Peace – “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:14 Prophet – “And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” Mark 6:4 Redeemer – “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25 Resurrection and the Life – “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25 Risen Lord – “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Rock – “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4 Sacrifice for Our Sins – “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 Savior – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 Son of Man – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 Son of the Most High – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” Luke 1:32 Supreme Creator Over All – “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.…” 1 Corinthians 1:16-17 True Vine – “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1 Truth – “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 Victorious One – “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:21 The Way – “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 The Word – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

I vividly remember a conversation with my oldest daughter during a particularly difficult season of middle school.  She was having trouble with feeling left out and while I didn’t doubt the perspective I probably chalked it up to age and stage a little too much.  A wake-up call came when two friends reached out to ask me if I was aware she was being bullied.

What?  Bullied?

My daughter had not used those words, but other girls had gone home and shared this news with their own mothers.  I was sick, after all, this was a small Christian school and the word bully wasn’t used nearly as often 10 years ago.  I began to ask a few more questions and to listen a little more closely.  She began to share more.  As she did she described a pretty horrific experience that stirred just as many emotions in me as it did in her.

“Mom, when we were in gym today a bunch of girls were standing in a circle. “ She named them.  They had all been to my home many times.  I knew their parents well.  I led a bible study in which they participated.  She went on to say, “When I walked up to join them they made the circle tighter and I couldn’t get in.”  I asked if she meant they physically moved in closer thinking that perhaps she simply felt emotionally unable to break in, to which she replied they did in fact physically make the circle tighter and smaller.

My heart sank.  I pictured the hurt and the rejection of the scene.  I spoke softly and told her how very sorry I was that that had happened.  Tears began to puddle in her eyes as I acknowledged the pain.  I went on to suggest that perhaps even though it was hurtful it may be Gods protection for her heart.  Maybe these were not going to be friends for the future?!  And then the most “real” words in the world spilled out of her lips and over her quivering chin, “Mom, I just want to be in the circle.” The tears no longer puddled they poured.  I cried with her.  Not because I thought that this middle school yuck was the end of the world but because I know how it feels to “want to be in the circle”, to want to belong.  We all want to be wanted.  We do.

As a 51 year old woman who gave her life to Christ at 36 the flavors of rejection have been many.  My worldview changed which impacted a change in beliefs, behaviors, choices, boundaries, commitments and desires.  My life changed.  Conviction causes contrast.  I was a new creation and those who knew the old creation weren’t always so sure the new Suzanne was going to fit into the old circle.

However, the truth I learned to grasp was it was impossible to truly be rejected because I had been more than accepted by the Creator of the Universe. I had been chosen.  His acceptance trumped man’s rejection and comforted the pain of separation more than once.  Mamas, your Heavenly Father will lead and guide you.  He will convict your heart and say “This is the way, walk in it.”  He desperately wants you as you are, all the time.  There is no more powerful offer of belonging than to know you have been chosen by Him!