I recently went to a presentation in song, dance, music, drama and spoken testimony called ‘From Holocaust to living hope’, which was very moving. It was neither gloomy nor negative, but full of hope, as stories were told of God calling and choosing individuals to survive the holocaust horrors, and, through healing and forgiveness, to live again. Through their lives future generations would be blessed.
Israel was called and chosen to be God’s special people. This was not because of their greatness or because they were numerous, but in order for God to work, through them, His purpose for the world. They were intended to be a model for the nations. Through them the Messiah would be born, and, through Him, all the nations of the world would be blessed.
As we read the history of Israel we see that they believed they were special and chosen by God, and that they consequently deserved special privileges. But they often failed to realise that being special is not just about privilege, but also about special responsibility.
In the same way, to become a child of God, we’re individually called and chosen by Him. For each of us, being special involves more than privilege. It also carries responsibility. It requires obedience to God’s ways in a world that has rejected Him. It requires conformity to His will and the renouncing of our own ways. To be called by God is connected to God’s purpose for our lives, which is fulfilled, as we walk in love with Him. With this comes the deep assurance that He causes everything to work together for our good, as well as for His glory.
We have been called to belong to Jesus Christ (Romans 1:6), to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15), to be free (Galatians 5:13), and to live at peace (Colossians 1:15). As our text today says, we have been chosen to become like our Saviour, Jesus Christ. God’s calling and choosing are acts of grace, and independent of us; acts of His unfailing love and faithfulness. Grace is a miracle – it’s redeeming. We can’t make ourselves like Jesus Christ, but ‘the One who calls you is faithful and He will surely do it’. To become like Jesus is a journey. It’s also an act of our desire, linked to God’s grace which will be completed when we see Him.
‘Holocaust to living Hope’ finished with the song ‘There is a day’(by Phatfish), which drew me heavenward. Here are a few of the words it contains:
‘And when we see Him, in an instant we’ll be changed,
We will meet Him in the air and then we will be like Him,
And we’ll be with Him for ever and in His glory we will live’.
All because we have been called and chosen.
Prayer: Father, thank You that together with all those who belong to Jesus Christ, I’ve been called and chosen. Please burn this truth in my heart so that it becomes a living reality. I ask You, by Your Spirit, to show me where I need to be changed. The prayer of my heart is, “Lord, change me,” because I can’t change myself. Thank You for the cross, and for the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Amen.