Monday, May 28, 2012

Chosen by God

If you ever doubt God’s love for you, read this passage. It’s so soul-satisfying, it seems redundant to comment on it. But I’m going to anyway.

When Wayne asked me to marry him, I was ecstatic and so in love. He loved me and had chosen me. For weeks I sang a Carpenters’ song that expressed how I felt. 

     I’m on the top of the world, lookin’ down on creation
     And the only explanation I can find
     Is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around
     Your love’s put me at the top of the world.
          (by John Bettis and Kerry Chater)

The joy of being chosen by someone who loves you is incomparable. 

So let’s burst out in song and dance on the rooftop, because God has chosen us. We are His very own possession. 

Now let’s ask what He wants to do with His very own possession. He called us out of darkness into light and now that we can see we can show others His goodness. When I was a child I was taught that a prophet speaks to the people for God. A priest represents the people to God, or speaks to God for the people. Well, we’re a whole nation of royal priests. We’re not like the people who don’t obey God because we have received mercy.

But we minister before God on behalf of the people. That’s Christianese for loving my neighbor more than myself. It means being aware of the people around me and putting them first. I do that by praying for them, serving them and loving them.

Our purpose, as God’s chosen people, is to be witnesses to God’s goodness. We do that by being careful how we live. First we stay away from worldly desires. That means we live differently than our neighbors. We don’t embrace the things they love, because we belong to God, not to the world. In fact, the things of the world wage war against our souls – the very things that belongs to God. So we need to keep our focus on Him and what pleases Him.

Secondly, we need to live properly among our neighbors. I see two things here. How we live and where we live. Living properly is defined by the One who owns us, not by the ones around us. So we need to know what pleases Him and do that. But we need to do that living among our neighbors, even though we’re foreigners in this world. We can’t withdraw from the world’s citizens; we want them to see God’s goodness in the way we live. We may not see them praise God now, but in the end they will and our honorable behavior will contribute to that.

Imagine. God not only chose us, but He’s allowing us to bring honor to His name. Let’s sing and dance again.

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