God isn’t forced or required to show any of us grace or favor. He just does.
A concept that fascinates me in the scriptures is the idea that God chooses people.
In the Old Testament, He chose a lot of individuals to do a lot of different things (2 Samuel 6:21, 1 Chronicles 15:2, Nehemiah 9:7), but, overall, He chose the nation of Israel to be His people (Deuteronomy 10:15, Psalm 33:12).
In the New Testament, Jesus chose the 12 disciples (John 15:16). And ever since the resurrection, God has been choosing Israelites and Gentiles alike to believe in Christ and become His sons and daughters (Romans 11:5, Ephesians 1:4-5, Colossians 3:12).
The thing about choosing is that God doesn’t have to choose anybody. He isn’t forced or required to show any of us grace or favor. He just does.
And if you are a follower of Jesus, that means God chose you. Personally (1 Peter 2:9).
I can’t tell you why God chose me. It is true there is no good thing in me apart from Him (Psalm 16:2). So I certainly didn’t merit choosing. Quite the opposite. Before God chose me, I was as blasphemous as they came. I denounced Christianity vehemently, used His name in vain frequently, and had no use nor respect for the Church or the Bible.
By all accounts, God shouldn’t have chosen me.
And by all accounts, He shouldn’t choose you either.
You may not have the sailor mouth I once boasted or the outwardly rebellious heart I once wore like a badge of honor. You might be a “pretty good” person. You might even go to church on occasion. But, if you haven’t lived a perfect life by His account, you have a problem. Your imperfections have earned you something…death (Romans 6:23).
More specifically, you’re a dead man walking into eternal separation from God. And so was I. It’s a double whammy, really. You pass through this life having never really lived, blind to the reality of God all around you, never experiencing the joy that is doing life with God. And then you die physically, and you get what you always wanted… eternity without God. I’m sure words don’t do it justice, but John attempts to describe hell as a lake of fire. Those who want nothing to do with Jesus are thrown into that lake for eternity (Revelation 20:15).
Unless. Unless you choose differently.
God didn’t like this idea that all the people He created to know and love Him would be separated from Him eternally on account of sin. So He remedied the situation. Himself. Romans 6:23 says, “The gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The bad news is every single one of us has earned death. The good news is God wants to give us the gift of eternal life – Heaven.
It doesn’t make sense, honestly, that it works this way… God in the form of Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, volunteered to take the punishment for our imperfect lives, and God the Father accepts that arrangement for anyone who signs up for the deal. I don’t pretend to know how that works. But, I’ve experienced it to be true in my daily life through personal interaction with God that wasn’t possible before I accepted Jesus.
God chooses people, yes. But the irony is that He offers each one of us a choice as well. Do we want what we earn, or do we want the gift He offers?
God wants to choose you. Will you choose Him?