“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)
I remember when I was younger playing at recess. Football was usually the game of choice for our brief excursions outside. After the selection of two captains, they would take turns choosing who would be on their team. Nobody wanted to be picked last. Naturally, they would pick the best players first. Being picked last usually meant you were the least valued as a member of the team. While I was athletic, I was not the most popular, so often I was picked near the end. On one such occasion, we were playing street football. I should mention that we were somewhat crazy and normally would play tackle football, without pads. There were some older kids picking from the younger kids. I will never forget it. One of the captains said, “I pick him” and points at me then says, “He never drops a pass.” I can still see his face in my mind. Wow, that stuck in me so deep. I could not get it out of my head. Therefore, I determined I was not going to drop a pass no matter what. That little moment of confidence made me better than I was. For the rest of the game I was jumping, spinning, and slamming into cars. I did whatever I had to try to catch every pass thrown my way. This is how it makes me feel when I read the affirmation above, “I have chosen you.” He has chosen us to be on His team, “Team-Jesus!”
Before Jesus picked us, the Father first picked him. Speaking of Jesus, the Father says through prophecy, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” (Mat 12:18) Speaking of Jesus as the chosen one of the Father we read, “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” (1Pe 2:4-6) Jesus was chosen by the Father and declared to be precious. Then in our Affirmation, just as He was chosen we see Jesus choosing us. Again The Son is giving to the family what the Father has given Him, acceptance!
Remember how in the first Affirmation, we talked about how God loved Jesus before the foundation of the world? Then we talked about how Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Man, do I have a great verse to share with you. Let us read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Eph 1:3-4) Therefore, in the example of God’s love for Jesus, then Jesus’ love for us, we see that “we are chosen” from “the foundation of the world” to be holy and blameless in Him. God loves and chooses Jesus; in the Fathers will Jesus loves and chooses us, all to the glory of the Father. From the foundation of the world we see, Gods love for the Son, Jesus was the Lamb slain, and we were chosen. There can be no doubt that there is a plan for salvation. Jesus is executing this plan perfectly. The blueprint remains and is best described in this verse: “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” (Joh 5:19-20) I do not know about you, but I am amazed. Jesus is repeating everything done for Him by the Father, for the “Family of God.” How much more should we be willing to spread the gospel to the lost children of this world? Then we can also say, “I only do the things I see my Lord doing!”
This choosing is not without its struggle. After all, we are in a spiritual war right now. We know the forces of good and evil face off daily for your soul. Jesus warns us, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (Joh 15:19) Ultimately, this conflict will end. Those who stand against Jesus the “Lamb of God” and refuse to accept the free-gift of love and salvation will run out of time. Those who decide to respond to the love presented them will be with Him forever. “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev 17:14)
We should never take our election lightly. Let us never forget the cost at which the price was paid. Scripture gives us this warning, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Mat 22:14) What does this mean to you and me? The best way to describe it is this. Imagine you told someone you loved them. You made the effort to reach out in love. However, they never say it back. The one who does not respond to the proclamation ends the relationship on that level. Many “are called” by God’s love, few “are chosen,” as they do not respond to the call correctly. Jesus explains this further to encourage us, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” (Joh 6:44-45) We have the key as follows, “Those who do what they have learned from the Father come to me [Jesus].” Therefore, if we respond to the Father in what He is teaching us, we will come to Jesus naturally. Our “election” will be sure through our willingness to respond to His love. We will then naturally obey and follow His leading as our Lord.
I will leave you with a collection of verses to bring this home. Be encouraged and make your “election” sure. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…” (Jas 4:7-8a) Therefore, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Php 2:12-13) Now let us, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2Pe 1:5-11) Be blessed and encouraged my family. Jesus has chosen you; now let us respond with a passionate devotion to Him.
“Jesus, the Lover of our Souls.”
Let’s Pray “Daddy, I chose You, I chose Your Son, and I want You to know I love you both. I desire to respond to the invitation to the Kingdom of Your dear Son, with obedience and a passionate devotion for the things of Heaven. Help me cast off all things that hinder me. Renew my heart so it will yearn for You like one lover yearns for another. Increase my desire for Your presence. Help me long for Your embrace above all pleasures of this earth.” In Jesus’ precious and holy name we pray, Amen!
~We Shall Be Like Him – 1 John 3:2~