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Back in 1927, a researcher counted 1,300 gangs in Chicago alone composed of multiple ethnic groups. Youth join gangs for excitement, status, belonging, protection, and money. Most are looking for a place that accepts them. In return, they give the gang their loyalty. How different it is for anyone who understands the benefits God gives to those who join with him. In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul describes God’s plan to bring people to himself. He explains that though we have all sinned, God still loves us. He sent His Son to provide the basis of our reconciliation with Him. By dying for our sins, Christ opened the door so all who desire can be restored to God. In chapter 8, the apostle declares that all who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior become reconciled with God. Our sin debt is canceled and no condemnation awaits us. So how do we show our loyalty to all God has done for us? In chapter 12, Paul says, “Brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Today, anyone who begins to grasp the magnitude of God’s unmerited favor, bows in total submission, eager to submit, to love, and to live for Him.

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