Don’t take this as a boo-hoo moment or anything but, I remember being that kid that was last or next to last being selected for a team. We’d all stand there, a team leader would be picked (never me) and then the teams would begin to be selected. If there was someone that was heavy, I’d be second to last. It wasn’t that I was slow, I was a fast runner as a kid. On my block, only one guy could beat me and that was just who got off the line first, and he was quicker at that. I was a small kid. You’d never know that by seeing me now! Still, I never was one of those kids that was picked up first or seen as a great asset to the team. To all you out there that were the, shall we say reluctantly chosen, I’m with you.
All the more, when I think about John 15:16, 19; I consider my responsibilities in 1 Peter 2:9, look at the wonderful promises and blessings in Ephesians 1:4-5 and so many other verses that say Jesus chose me. I know some of my shortcomings, they are many and God knows more of them that I do. Yet, He chose me! It is not simply that He chose me for His Kingdom, that would be enough, more than enough, an eternity of enough. But He chose me to minister in His name! To this day, I still wonder at that. I wonder why and how and every other question you could ask. He chose me! I am astonished every day at His grace, mercy and love in His choice.
I am humbled. As I look over my life, I’m a little (very little) like John Newton as much as he was a sailor in his past. I was not a ship captain, but I traveled the high seas for years before coming to the foot of the cross and asked His forgiveness, His salvation and accepted His lordship in my life. Looking back at the beginning of a serious relationship with God I know He chose me and this choice was nothing but grace filled selfless love.
I think we often miss the idea of grace and how it works with respect to God’s goodness. Today our liberal ideas often focus on our freedoms and liberty tied to salvation. All too often we look at God’s grace and salvation providing us liberty in His sovereignty – God knows us, knows our sins, knows the sins we will commit and yet He chose us. Therefore, we surmise, sin is no big deal. That is the nonsense Paul addresses in Romans 6:15.
Think instead of God’s grace given because He sees so much more potential in your life, that you will change to become a child of the Kingdom right here on earth. Further, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will work together to engineer these changes in your life. We are drawn into God’s kingdom not to remain our sinful selves, but to mature spiritually to as sinless a state as we can possibly achieve.
Are you seeking sinlessness for Christ’s kingdom, or are you happy to remain in your sin and not change. God expects you to change to emulate His Son. (2 Cor 3:18)