2 Chronicles 23-24 John 15
“You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:16-17 NCV)
There is no greater mystery in my understanding of God’s ways than that of faith. How is it we come to faith. Why is it that I’ve been blessed with even a small amount of faith in Jesus when others who are much better people than me have no faith in Him? How is it that the Resurrection seems completely logical to me and the only way to explain what happened back in those days, while others refuse to consider the idea? Perhaps the only way to explain it is in the story of the person who explained how she and her husband got married. “I chased him and chased him until he caught me.” That’s the picture I get in my mind when Jesus says that He chose us. Lest we get big-headed about Jesus choosing us, remember that God has a way of choosing the most broken, the hurting, the least significant in the eyes of the world. He takes the kids picked last for their Little League teams and wins the World Series.
The problem with people who are chosen is that we seem to think that there’s some special quality in us that made God choose us. When Paul describes how and why God chose us in Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:26-31), it should give us a chance to pause. Perhaps instead of gloating about how wonderful we are that God chose us, we can reflect on His amazing grace in choosing us. He chose us with a purpose. We are to produce fruit. We’re to share the gospel so that others will know that God will choose them. We’re to teach the ways of God to produce the highest quality fruit. And God chooses us not because of our excellence, but because His excellence can be seen in us. Notice the prayer promise here. Many treat it as an open purchase order to ask God for material blessings. It works, in their minds, because they add the phrase “In Jesus’s name” at the end, and those magical words force God to answer the prayer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Asking in Jesus’s name is asking in the character and manner Jesus would ask. Jesus would ask for the souls of people who need Him. Jesus would ask, and in fact He gives it to us as a command, that we love each other. As God’s chosen people, let’s do what God asks: produce fruit, pray for others as Jesus would, and love each other.
Lord, continue to remind me that You chose me because of who You are, not who I was. Work in me to help me produce fruit in keeping with Your name and Your love.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.