CHOSEN

We are chosen by God to live freely in this world.  God chose us to have an intimate, unconditional loving relationship with Him, the Creator of all!  God so loved us that He sent His Son to save us from our bonded, entangled sin, and set us free for life.  Forever!  We cannot do that for ourselves. 

We are chosen to love God back because He first loved us.  We are invited and chosen to abide in God’s love and protection with provisions and salvation for life everlasting with God.  We are chosen to be His people who come for all nations.  We are chosen to be equal in His Kingdom.

God chose to love us.  Because God’s love and character is pure, holy, kind, patient, always wanting the best for us, is always for us and not against us, He gives us the will and power to choose to love Him back—or not.  He allows His people to make a decision to choose all that is Him or to choose what is not Him.  This decision is a matter of life or death for us!  We must daily choose God or not.  Choose wisely.

Like a Father who loves his children in the most excellent way, He wants us to love Him back, not out of sacrifice, duty or obligation, not because he told us to, but because we readily choose to love Him with a desire to be with Him.  Coming to him to fulfil a check list is not love at all. God sees and knows our hearts well.  He created them!  Nothing to hide from God!

Loving God, realizing the full extent of the love of Jesus for us, changes how we love Him back and how we love each other.  The opposite of love is hate and is the character of evil.  So, in this life, there are only two choices.  Love or hate.  Free or bound.  Joy or misery.

Dear Friends, why would be choose anything or anyone less than the love of God?

GALATIANS—FRUIT BEARING

Galatians 5, The Message

The Life of Freedom

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

2-3 I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law.

4-6 I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.

7-10 You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment.

11-12 As for the rumor that I continue to preach the ways of circumcision (as I did in those pre-Damascus Road days), that is absurd. Why would I still be persecuted, then? If I were preaching that old message, no one would be offended if I mentioned the Cross now and then—it would be so watered-down it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. Why don’t these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves!

13-15 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

16-18 My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are contrary to each other, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

* * *

19-21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

22-23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

23-24 Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

25-26 Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

AS THE CHOSEN, WHAT ARE WE CHOOSING?

Friends, what are we choosing?  Our behaviors daily reflect what we truly believe in our hearts.   (See Romans 12:1-2 for help.)

Do I feel chosen?  Am I choosing wisely?  Am I seeking the Spirit’s wisdom and help?

Lord,

Thank you for choosing us to be set free by you.  Thank you for loving us so much you created a plan to save us knowing we could not save ourselves.  Thank you for always wanting the best for us.  Thank you for abiding in us—by our choice.  Thank you for being with us, guiding us in all decision making and problem solving.  Thank you for breaking all chains of the entanglements of the sins of our former life.  Thank you for building your character in us.  We are not there yet, but you do not give up on us!  Thank you for forgiveness, perfect love, less fear, more grace, less judgement, more mercy.  Thank you for setting me free.  I choose You because you chose me.  I love you with all that is in me because of your great love for me that brings life, joy and peace.  Continue to grow your character traits in me so I will bear the fruits of your work!

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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