We make all kinds of choices in our lives. Who to marry, where to live, what to buy. You are even making a choice right now to be here reading this on your favorite electronic device. Many of you reading this have made the choice to be a Christian. I will always believe that this is the greatest decision of your life! There is a sense in which, though, this was not made by you, but it was made by God. The Bible describes our relationship with God in a wondrous way when it says that we are CHOSEN.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. ~ 1 Peter 2:9-10
I think that we may sometimes forget that we are chosen by God. We forget our state when God chose us, and what dynamic changes He made in our lives when we accepted Him into our lives.
Most of us know what it means to not be chosen … to be left out … to feel that we are not good enough. Many people feel that way about church, and about God. Not good enough. But the truth is that God has chosen you – with full knowledge of who you are!
Royal … Holy … Belonging … that’s how God sees you. But this is the work He does in your life. Peter reminds his readers, and us, that God has brought us a long way from the place He found us.
You are Chosen out of Darkness. He called you out of darkness. For all of us individually, we have our own stories of walking in the darkness of sin. The life we used to live … brings us shame and remorse, guilt and regret. Maybe at the time we didn’t know how we were hurting God with our choices, but now we do. The darkness of not knowing God’s way … the darkness of a life that ignored God … the darkness of deeds that cause us to have tears today. God chose us out of that mess and brought us into His marvelous light! You were not chosen because you had such great accomplishments, but because He loved you as you were.
You are chosen out of Estrangement. You were not a people. When Hurricane Rita hit the Louisiana Gulf Coast in 2005, much of that story was overshadowed by the devastation of a previous storm named Katrina. In the aftermath of Rita I read about a South Louisiana lady who died. Among the children that came to the funeral, one of her sons was missing. The family was furious with him for missing her funeral. Some time later his body was found in his home … someone had stopped by because they were interested in buying his house. That’s the only way that he was discovered. His family was estranged from him in anger … and they didn’t even go check on him, assuming the worst. What a lonely life he must have lived. At one time we were estranged from God, not a part of God’s Family, not enjoying the blessings of God reserved for His people. So He came for us.
Our sin had us far away from God with no way to come to Him on our own. He calls us into a new Family of Believers, a Community of Faith. God brings us together in Jesus Christ to wear His name, love a common Father, and be accepted by Him. (Colossians 3:11-17)
You are chosen out of Desperation. We had no mercy. How would a holy God save an unholy people? We could not fix our sin problem by ourselves. God had to intervene. Do we ever consider how desperately we need God in our lives? Do we ever consider how desperately God wanted to be in our lives?
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” ~Romans 8:32-33
In the joy of our Christian life, let us not fail to remember from whence we came. Let’s remember that we were chosen. You are loved and wanted by God. He paid a great price in order to choose you. It was always His plan for you to live with him forever.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” ~Ephesians 1:4
In spite of the fact that God has chosen us out of darkness, estrangement, and desperation – He will not force you to follow Him. He will allow you to live in that state if you so choose. But His choice, His desire, and His will is to raise you up from all of that and make you alive in Christ.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, … having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead… God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. ~ Colossians 2:6-13
Thanks for reading!