“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it to you.” John 15:16
Wow! Galing! Wow! Wow! Galing! Galing! Wow! A little English “Wow!” and a little Tagalog “Wow!” there. Because this one sentence is so full of “Wow!” after “Wow!” So, is this just for the disciples or is this for my benefit too? “All Scripture is breathed out by God [(and this was truly breathed out by You, Jesus!)] and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” Why? “…that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Hmm….I believe it is for my benefit too.
“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…” I think You want me to understand the significance of this “choice.” You chose me. I didn’t choose You. You chose, “eklegomai.” You picked out, You chose, You picked and chose out people for Your own self. Out of many, You chose Your disciples, Your followers. You chose them to be Your possession and You chose them for a purpose, and “office.” Just like them, I didn’t choose You, but You chose me.
You chose me to judge me fit to receive Your favors. You chose me to be peculiarly Your own. You chose me to be continually ministered to by Your grace. You chose me to set me apart from the rest of the world and unto Yourself. You chose me to become a citizen in Your Kingdom. You chose me to be in relationship with You, to know Your plans, and to partake in them with You.
If You hadn’t invited the disciples to follow You, would they have ever approached You, or would they have just been listeners on the sidelines? I think I know the answer. And unless You had chosen me, I would have been just an unattached listener on the sidelines also. But You chose us. And by Your choosing, You invited us to choose You back.
You call us out for Yourself. It was the same in the Old Testament. There, You use the word “bachar” and there is always a relationship between You, God, and the people You call, the people You choose. You picked or singled out “particular people for a job” back then and You still do today. Only it’s more than a job; You’re picking us to fulfill Your will, to join in Your plans with You.
It was all Your idea first. You decided before time began. You originated the action. You are the One responsible. It’s Your initiative, not mine. It was Your initiative, not Moses’. It was Your initiative, not Paul’s.
I did a search of “chose” in the Bible. I wanted to see it from Your perspective. So I looked at “bachar” and “eklegomai.” I just wanted to understand the significance of being chosen more. I don’t want to take if for granted.
The funny thing is, it really is true that being chosen isn’t based on our merits, not at all. You didn’t even choose Israel based on their merits. You just chose to delight in them and to bestow Your love on them. It was like You just picked them out to love them, just like that, to just have someone to bestow Your love on. And then it was the same with David.
I want to just stop here, before either of these instances. I want to stop and think about Abram in Ur. And no one was worshipping You. Hebrew oral tradition says that Abram’s dad was an idol builder and Abram broke the idols one day and told his dad that the one idol smashed all the others because he wanted the food. Well, I don’t know about the truth of that particular story, but I do know that this man was alert enough to hear You when You called him out, when You chose him out of all those people, and He listened and followed You. You choose us so we’ll shine like Your precious jewels.
You choose us because You can and because You want to. It brings You pleasure. But You choose us not just to have, but to make us special to You. You choose us to make us holy unto You. You choose us to be set apart for You, so that we stand out for You on the face of this earth. You choose us to minister in Your name for ever. You choose us to come near, and to not only minister to You, but to be a blessing to others for You. You choose us to settle controversies and be judges for You. You make us each one of a kind in You. We each have a specific purpose and function.
You are Light. You choose us to be lights in the world. Your name is everything. You choose us to give us Your name, all of You. You choose us to build Your house, Your sanctuary. You choose us to be Your sons and daughters. Therefore, You are our Father. Because You choose us, You give us Your strength to accomplish what You appoint us to. You choose us for great works, works that only You can do.
You have chosen us to be Your dwelling place. In Your own words You said, “For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.” (2 Chronicles 7:16) The physical sanctuary was given as a representation of our spiritual sanctuary. This is the relationship and purpose for which You have created us!
We are chosen to stand before You, to serve You, to minister unto You, and to pray. You have chosen for us to be partakers in Your inheritance. You’ve chosen us for a future in You. You covenant with Your chosen ones. You bring us forth with joy and gladness. You choose us to be Your peculiar treasure. You make us Your servant, Your chosen ones, and Your friends.
You chose us to be Your witnesses and Your servants. Why? “[T]hat you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.” You needed to choose me first so that I could know to choose You.
You chose us to be able to withstand the furnace of affliction in order to be refined in You. You choose us to be Your beloved, to be pleased in us, to put Your Spirit upon us. You choose us to fulfill Your purposes.
You chose us before time so that we should know Your will and see You and hear Your voice. You chose us for intimacy. You chose us because of what You could do in us, not because of what we could do, so that You could confound the world. See, it wasn’t because of what we were that You chose us. It was because of what we could become in You. You chose us to be holy, blameless, and full of Your love. You chose us for salvation, sanctification, and belief. You chose us to please You. You have chosen us to be rich in faith and Your heirs. You chose us to show forth Your excellence.
So, You chose me. I answered that call. It brings me to Revelation 17:14 when the Lamb overcomes those who rise against Him and the ones fighting with You, Your army are the “called, and chosen, and faithful.” I used to think this was a progression, and maybe there is some progression to it. But maybe this is just the character of the chosen. You chose and invited, they responded and answered the call and chose You back and because they identified themselves with You, they became faithful because You are faithful and they are in You.
Because this “called” is from “Kaleo, kletos”. It means “one who has accepted the call.” We have been called, invited, summoned by God to salvation and to a particular office or function. Will I respond to that call? But John is talking to people who have responded. We have been “divinely selected and appointed.”
You chose us and called us “in order to bring [us] nearer, either physically or in a personal relationship.” You performed the action. You called us. You chose us. You made us and are making us. You called us “according to [Your] purpose (Romans 8:28), to salvation (Romans 8:30), saints by calling (1 Corinthians 1;2), both Jews and Greeks (1 Corinthians 1:24), with a holy, heavenly calling (2 Tim. 1:9, Hebrews 3:1), out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9), to walk worthy (Eph. 4:1), by grace (Gal. 1:6), not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles (Rom. 9:24), through the ‘gospel’ that we ‘may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Th 2:14), and be brought ‘into fellowhsip with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9), and return in triumph ‘with Him’ at the end of this age (Rev).” (Precept Austin)
I want to reiterate again, our holy calling. “Saints are chosen (Eph 1:4-note), predestined (Eph 1:5, 1:11-s Ep1:5, 1:11), adopted as sons (Eph 1:5 ), accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6), redeemed through His blood (Ephesians 1:7 ), forgiven (Eph 1:7 ), sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ep 1:13) and given the earnest of our inheritance (Ep 1:14). In addition to a holy calling, saints also have a high (“upward”) calling (Php 3:14) and a heavenly calling (Heb 3:1)…I (Ro 8:28). (Precept Austin) We’ve been invited into the kingdom of God with all it’s privileges.
By Your choosing, You did something amazing in me and You are continually doing this amazingness in me and in every believer. You didn’t just choose us to to Your inheritance. But You chose us to show forth our answer to this calling. The “effect must be seen in the sanctification of the believer’s life on earth.” (Expositor’s Greek NT) You chose me to show Yourself through me. You chose me to have an effect. As You impart Your way in me, Your way is imparted on those around me. Your choosing, Your calling, is effectual. It is effective. It will do what You have set out to do.
Now, being chosen led me to the “being called” idea in Revelation. It’s all related in our election. Both in Hebrew and Greek, “call” is often associated with the act of “naming.” Now this is significant. “[I]n Biblical thought to give a name to something or someone was to bestow an identity.” Take time to understand that. You chose me, You placed Your name, Your identity on me. You bestowed Your identity upon/within me. You created Yourself within me. Just like You called forth the stars, You called forth Abraham. You called forth Israel. You called forth Your Servant. You call forth me. You name me, elect me, own me, and appoint me to act effectively through You and for You in this world. You choosing me and calling me is all about me understanding my position and privilege in You. And I can’t have position and privilege without having the practice that follows.
So, that’s as far as we’ve gotten today, Lord. You and I looking at my understanding my position and privilege in You and what it ought to look like, no, what I ought to look like. This isn’t some distant concept here. This isn’t an idea. This is truth. This is what You have done for me. This is what I ought to look like. This is what I ought to be like. This is who I AM, not who I ought to be. You chose me. You called me. You did this in me and You are continually doing this in me. The only way I could stop this process is to stop You from being You. And that can’t happen.
Lord, I am so thankful that You chose me. I am eternally grateful. There is absolutely nothing that can compare to this unwarranted gift from You. You just wanted to love me because…because….You did. I don’t deserve it, but You do. The only worthiness I have for being called on Your team, is You. So, make me all that You are. All that You chose me for in You, bring it to pass, Your way, and in Your time. I just want to follow You where ever You lead. I don’t have to know where or when. I just need You. I need the One who chose me first. I need the One who made me special. I need the One who sees me as a treasure worth dying for. I need the One who made me His beloved. Oh, Lord, You chose me simply to bestow Yourself and Your love on me. But it’s not just for my benefit. You chose me to love me so that I could benefit You by being the benefit of You to the world You have me living in. You chose me so that I could help You choose others. Oh, Lord, You give me everything I need to do that. It’s all in You and You’re in me. Because You chose me!