Chosen, Holy, and Beloved

Jesus_Child

March 10 (Colossians 3:12)

…God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved… (ESV)

What does it mean to be chosen by God?  Being chosen for the kickball team in elementary school meant being allowed to play the game with your friends, and that sense of chosen was reinforced ever since.  To be chosen, whether for the team, the scholarship, or the job, means being picked to do something.  It is about opportunity.  It is about action.

It is certainly true that when we are chosen by God, He opens up our true calling and purpose in life, but notice that this is not the first consequence.  When we are chosen, we become holy and beloved.  God is not the boss down on the docks picking day laborers.  First and foremost He calls to us, summons us into His presence, and says, “I love you!”  Let that sink in.  Before setting forth any task for you to do, God tells you that you are chosen, holy, and beloved.  When was the last time anyone on earth called you, not to ask you for a single, solitary thing, but to tell you that?

Yes, God has given you a calling.  He has uniquely equipped you to fulfill part of His mission, and that is an amazing thing, but it is not the first thing.  We are often so busy running around doing this and that, even good things to advance the Kingdom, but do we ever take time out of all that work just to be with the One Who chose us and loves us?  If we claim to love Him, then we should show Him by actually spending time with Him.

Father, doing things is just part of life.  I confess that I measure value by how much I get done.  And, let’s be honest, society rewards me for that.  We all push each other to achieve.  Right now, though, I want to spend time with You.  I need to hear Your voice telling me that I am chosen, holy, and beloved.  I am shutting it all off now, Father, all the clamor to do this and that, and listening for Your voice.  Please speak to my heart.  Amen.

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Chosen Yet Foreign

AsiaMinor

March 4 (1 Peter 1:1)

This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.  (NLT)

Chosen people.  Foreigners.  How many of us grasp that this is what we are?  First of all, we are chosen.  People may choose what to wear and where to eat, but when it comes to a relationship with God, He chooses us.  You may think that you have chosen Him or have chosen to return to Him, but He has always been right there with you, keeping His eye on you.  What an incredible sense of belonging that instills!  You are not alone in a vast, cold, and impersonal universe.  In fact, you are known, beloved, and chosen by the very creator of all that exists.

At the same time, we are foreigners.  We are strangers in very familiar lands.  The paths we take day in and day out to work and the grocery store, to the gym and to the homes of our friends, all seem so familiar, yet we are foreigners here.  Your principal identity is that of a child of God.  Your true home is with your Father, yet for a time you are living and working here.  This is why things so often seem off or wrong or not quite right.

That is how it should be.  We should be wary if things seem too comfortable in this life.  For those who have accepted their identity as chosen people of God, things should seem at odds with how we know they should be, and that gives us our direction in life.  We step into those places and work to bring them in line with the will of God, confident that in the end, He will make all things new.

God, sometimes I get frustrated when things are not right because I have let myself become too comfortable in the world.  Take me deeper into Your word this week and show me again pictures of what life is truly like with You.  Help me to keep my focus on You and not on my dissatisfaction with life around me.  In the name of Jesus, Who never took His eyes from You, even while hanging on the cross, amen.