[God said,] â€œAbraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.â€
Genesis 18:18-19 (NIV, emphasis mine)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priest hood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
How wonderful and truly unimaginable to be CHOSEN by God! Makes me feel all warm and SPECIAL! But that isnâ€™t what God meant by being â€˜chosenâ€™. He didnâ€™t mean for Abraham or for me as part of the generations to come to be â€˜specialâ€™ and then just rest on that feeling. He said that Abraham was to â€œkeep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and justâ€. Paul described us as being Godâ€™s ambassadors. (2 Corinthians 5:20) We are to LIVE as examples. We are to work in Godâ€™s Kingdom. We are to â€œGo and make disciplesâ€. (Matthew 28)
Peter said that we are people chosen by God and we belong to Him. We are not chosen or priests just to get but we are chosen to give. We testify to what God has done. We give Him all the praises for the blessings we receive. The Pharisees thought they were chosen just to get because they were special. Jesus admonished them over and over for their â€˜exclusivenessâ€™ and told His disciples that they were to serve and not burden people down with laws and traditions. They were to set captives free and restore and bring Light into the world!
God only has one requirement to belong to His chosen people. Jesus said that â€œno one can come to the Father except through meâ€. (John 14:6) Believe in Jesus as Messiah. Thatâ€™s it. How often have I made my beliefs the â€˜lawâ€™ for others? How long is my list of absolutes? Am I looking and working as Jesus did to reach out to those who do not feel â€˜chosenâ€™? Remember the story of how Mary Magdalene was seen as such a sinner, a â€˜badâ€™ Jew, as a woman of ill-repute so she couldnâ€™t possibly be â€˜chosenâ€™ to be noticed even forgiven by God! Could she? Yes! Jesus reached out and she was chosen to be His ambassador. WOW!
Remember how I said the other day to read a different translation to a familiar Scripture? The CEV uses the word â€˜specialâ€™ instead of â€˜chosenâ€™ in the following verse. But again, Paul is telling us that we are to be examples of His characteristics if we are truly His chosen people. Forgiving and loving; welcoming to those who would (and might come to) believe in Him.
God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together. Colossians 3:12-14 (CEV)