Tuesday, 12 May 2015

"You did not choose me, I chose you"

We did not choose God, God chose us and made us a wonderful offer to accept or push aside;
How are we to respond? In order to make our choice we have to consider what has been offered;
We are chosen for joy! However hard the Christian way might be we are offered joy and there is a joy and satisfaction in doing the right thing. Gloomy Christianity is a contradiction in terms, and the image of Christianity of a dour, joyless person dressed in black has done untold harm to us down the ages. We are sinners, but we are redeemed sinners. We have forgiveness and walk the way that leads to eternal life
We are chosen for love! We are sent out into the world not to compete, and argue and bicker with each other but to model a new way of relating to each other. Some might say, how can He order us to love each other? His answer is to say that “No one can show greater love than this – to lay down his life for his friends” and Jesus did just that. He earned the right to tell us by going before us to the cross.
Jesus chose us to be his friends! Some of the greatest figures in the Bible were proud to be called servants, or slaves, of God but Jesus offers something much more, a friend of God. We no longer have to gaze on God from afar but have unlimited direct and personal access to God. We are no longer standing in the crowd watching the king ride by in his magnificent carriage in the distance – we are in the carriage, by his side.
He chose us to go and bear fruit; To be adverts for Christianity certainly but simply as an end in itself to enhance and improve the world. Not to bully people into becoming Christians but to attract them to it – that they would want what we have.
So Jesus chose us to be privileged members of an extended family that could approach God in prayer that whatever we ask the Father in his name it will be granted.
Now we must approach this last saying about prayer with a right attitude. Now that sounds as if we can pray for anything and God will grant it but there are definite Biblical laws concerning prayer we must take into account.
Prayer must be a prayer of faith (James 5:15) and not just a formality, a repetition of words. It cannot be hopeless. There is little use praying to be changed, if we don’t believe it is possible to be changed.
Prayer must be in the name of Christ. This means we cannot pray for something which we know Jesus would disapprove, like personal gain or vengeance.
We must pray “Thy will be done”. We never know better than God, so real prayer must often be not send me the thing I want but make us able to accept the things he wills.
We are chosen for joy, chosen for love, chosen to be his friends, chosen to bear fruit and to seek his will in prayer.

He chose us. What do we choose?      

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