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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Found by God JANUARY 21


And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. Rev. 22:4.

When do you put your name on a thing? You buy a book. It belongs to you. So you write your name on it. You receive a gift of a leather-bound Bible. You have your name embossed in gold on the cover. You own it. The Father's name is written in the foreheads of those who belong to Him. He owns us. He purchased us with His blood. It is as serious an affair to belong to God as when two people get married, even more serious. They belong to each other. They are one.

To belong is a word that has great meaning. Love, joy, fulfillment, flow from the experience of oneness. Frustration, disorder, illness, flow from the experience of isolation. Belonging is personal. God is our Father with all the love and concern that this involves. The Christian never denies this ownership. He approves the things that are more excellent because he belongs to such a wonderful God.

Men get much satisfaction and pleasure out of things they own. But one is not made to love things, only persons. Things cannot meet our need for oneness. Real life is found in the quality of the people to whom we belong and who belong to us. It is persons who make the difference.

It is possible to own many fine things, and yet be the loneliest person in the church or the community. Some of the richest men in the world are among the loneliest. Nothing can make up for this lack. There are those who feel not loved or wanted, who go through life isolated, neglected, estranged from persons; Jesus Christ came to change all that. The church is not an institution for perfect people, but a communion of love where people experience oneness with God and with their fellow men. Persons weighted down with sin and guilt are not helped by others who judge and condemn them. Denunciation and rejection never helped anyone.

In His last prayer just prior to His crucifixion, Jesus Christ prayed for oneness and belonging among His people and in the world: "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; . . . that the world may know that thou . . . hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" (John 17:23).

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