Knowing We Belong

"I think this will work," the lady responsible for processing the paperwork said, but it didn't.

Yellowed by age, Mom delivered my birth certificate to me-along with my baby book, after she tired of storing them both. Now I needed the birth certificate as proof I was a citizen of my country so my wife and I could leave on a mission trip requiring passports.

Before I was a PK (preacher's kid), I was an AB (Army brat). My birth certificate proudly states I was born at Patterson Army Hospital Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to Elsie Lee (Martin) Wiles and Boyce William Wiles. Unfortunately, this didn't satisfy those responsible for issuing passports. They returned it saying I needed an official birth certificate from the state of New Jersey-even though the certificate plainly carries the state seal.

Being a citizen of a particular country is exciting; belonging to parents who stick with you is exhilarating. Being confident we're part of God's family is more important than anything else. John tells how we can know. And how can we be sure we belong to him? By obeying his commandments (I John 2:3 NLT).

What assures we're part of God's family is two-fold: belief in him and love for one another (I John 3:23). Our world is inhabited by many who don't know one or the other or either of their parents-some because they've been adopted, others because a parent walked away and forfeited responsibility. But God is never ashamed we're his children. He proudly displays our birth certificates which read: Children of the King, born in eternity past to God the Father, forever safe by the seal of the Holy Spirit. Do you belong?

Prayer: Thank You Heavenly Father we can know we're eternally Yours.

Martin Wiles
Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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