You did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:16)
There is a wonderful scene in the movie ‘Toy Story’ where lots of little round creatures get excited about being chosen. They are squashed together inside one of those arcade machines often found at funfairs where a miniature crane drops a claw to grab a prize (and which, more often than not, misses!). In the movie, the creatures see the crane begin to move. The moment is here! ‘Be chosen! Be chosen!’ they all begin to cry out, believing it is a profound privilege to be picked up and taken to the place ‘up there’. They may not have understood what was going on; but they certainly believed in the privilege of being chosen.
We too have the privilege of being chosen – not by some unfeeling mechanical arm from the sky, but by the heart of a loving heavenly Father. Some have seen this choice as an arbitrary decision by God: ‘I’ll have you … but not you.’ But that is not at all the spirit of things. The Bible tells us that God’s choosing of us was planned in eternity; it was before we knew anything about it, which underlines how very much our salvation has nothing to do with us! Then it stresses that his choosing of us is not because we were special or good; it is a choice made entirely by his mercy, grace and love, not based on anything we have done. And yet, this choosing of us does not undermine our own responsibility; we are not lost or saved against our will! No one is ‘forced into heaven’; and no one is chosen ‘not to have an opportunity’. All are invited to respond.
This promise of being chosen underlines how very much salvation is God’s doing. And this is the basis of our certainty. If our salvation was dependent on us, who of us could ever be sure of making it to heaven? Our being chosen should not be a ground for pride, but it most definitely should be a ground for confidence!
Today, let God’s loving choice of you be a source of confidence for all you face and do.
From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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