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Written by Bill Bradford
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain....” (John 15:16).
The fact that God chose us, and not us him, should be understood in the context of the Passover service Jesus had just completed. His choice of disciples was so very important to everything He was doing. His choice is in contrast to the idea that anyone can make that choice. That choice just can’t be made by everyone and anyone. We read elsewhere that a person must be called or invited (to the wedding) to be a part of God’s firstfruits now in this present age.
God’s choice was not like selecting your name out of a hat and everything is OK from that point on. Something so generous actually took place beyond anything humans could imagine. The firstborn of God actually gave his life for us, purchasing (redeeming) us from our previous owner. “You were brought at a price, do not become the slaves of man” (I Corinthians 7:23). We belonged to a slave owner who used us for his own purposes, and we would live and die under his ownership. We were destined for the trash heap of history, unless we were rescued from this awful fate.
Please forgive the following example if it sounds trite. But if you are a dog lover this gets to you. I heard on the radio that the dog pound will actually bring a dog to your home for your selection if you are unable to go to the animal holding facility itself. Can you imagine a RSPCA volunteer showing up with three dogs on your doorstep, and you are given a choice. They are all looking up at you, hoping to be chosen, but not knowing that, if they aren’t, they are destined to be “put down” within a few days. The power is in your hand to choose. Which one will you choose to care for, for the remainder of that dog’s life? My friend, Trevor, when he retired, took on part time work walking dogs kept in the dog pound. They are abandoned by their owners, and scheduled to die within an allotted time if they are not chosen by someone who wants a dog. Trevor gives them some pleasure walking them, some of them not very well behaved, because they have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Maybe they will be “chosen” by a caring person, or they may be delivered to the fate of death without ever knowing what it’s like to be provided for and protected by a good human.
To be chosen by God, is to be invited into His purpose, His care, His assurances - the past is forgiven and you are more than chosen, you are valued and respected as a child of God. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.”. It’s hard to question God’s love when you know the facts. Also, it’s a stretch to deny His love for us and refuse to keep His commandments, when you know the facts. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” All this He says in the verses leading up to His “chosen” declaration.
The good news is that everyone one day will be chosen. But the vast majority will go through his or her present life, never knowing that there is more than the life they now live. We should remember everything the Passover Service in which we participate tells us. It was not a light thing that we were chosen. It came at a price -- a price so charitable and kind that we cannot ignore or simply dismiss it. And God was certain about His choice. It’s good to be chosen.
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