Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chosen by God

 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.These things I command you, that you love one another.  If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. ( John 15:16-21)

Chosen and appointed by God. We are wanted. Selected.  Chosen by God.  We have been chosen out of the world. Why? That we should bear fruit. He chose us so we might display the splendor of the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.  He set us free from the power of sin and death, and now He works from within us to reveal Himself to the world around us wherever we go.  Why?  That He may be glorified.  
      So Jesus commands us, "love one another."  Why?  So the world will know we are His. They will know we are His disciples because of our love for one another.  Only disciples love this way. It's supernatural love, agape love.  A love that denies self and seeks the best for another. He says to love one another even as he has loved us and gave Himself up for us.  He loved us with an everlasting love.  Then He says, love your enemies and pray for those who spitefully use you, who slander you and say all manner of evil against you for righteousness sake.  Love. Pray.  Consider it all joy, He says.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is our reward in heaven.
     Years before, in the days if Isaiah, God spoke these words to His people: "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' "Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them--Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing.  For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'" Isaiah 41
      Our hope is in the Lord. Our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.  The Father called us, making us one in Christ.  He upholds us by His right arm, by Christ who sustains us.  He says, Fear not.  Fear not those who stand against you because they are as nothing to God.  Count it all joy. Rejoice. Fixing your eyes on Him.  Worshipping Him. Loving Him.  Resting your full assurance of faith on Him, for He who called you is faithful and He will do all He has promised. You live within the promises of God. They are fulfilled in you, now and forever.

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