The Joy of Your Choosing

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“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 15:16Image

Well, I’m barely moving on today, Lord, but that’s O.K.  I’ll take my time with You any day.  I mean, just the significance of being chosen to be Yours, to be on Your team, so to speak, is enough to hold me for a while.  Actually, it’s enough to hold me enraptured forever!  But today I get to think about how You equip me and make me a team player by Your choosing.

Now, just Your choosing me is extraordinary in itself.  I mean, who else chooses someone who holds no merits for being chosen?  Who chooses the one who is least likely to succeed for their team?  Who chooses the slowest to win the race?  Who chooses the least talented and most awkward for the pageant?  I mean even the one chosen to be Captain America at least had bravery and a good heart going for him.  But what merits do we have when compared to You?  None.  Absolutely none.  You have all the merit.  And that just intensifies Your merit when You choose something without merit to bestow upon it Your own merit.  Wow!

So, You chose me to bestow Your merit upon me, in me actually, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus Christ.  You choose and then “ordain” those which You choose. Did You just choose and ordain the apostles?  Absolutely not.  No one comes to the Father except through You.  First You choose, then we come.  First You loved us, while we were without merit, sinners, and then we learned to love from You.  But You choose for a purpose.  You choose with the intent to “ordain.”

Ordain?  Does that mean we all become pastors or apostles? No.  Ordain is from “tithemi.”  “Tithemi” means to place or put as in appointing to some form of service.  In this case, imagine it as taking me from my old me, my old ways, my old life, and putting me in You, and giving me Your character, and Your power, and Your heart to accomplish what You desire.  That’s what it is.  Now, “He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts to His church.  Their purpose is to prepare God’s people, to serve, and to build up the body of Christ.  This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)

“Not all believers are apostles, are they?  Are all of them prophets?  Do all of them teach?  Do all of them perform miracles or have gifts of healing?  Can all of them speak in other languages or interpret languages?  You are Christ’s body and each of you is an individual part of it.  In the church God has appointed first apostles, next prophets, third teachers, then those who perform miracles, followed by those who are given the power to heal or to help others or to direct them or to speak in strange tongues.  All of you are Christ’s body, and each one is a part of it.”  (1 Corinthians 12:29,28, 27)  You chose me.  You called me.  You placed Your purpose upon me and in me.  You gave me a specific function in Your body.  But it’s whole purpose is to shine forth You, to glorify You.

Paul puts it well in 2 Thessalonians 1:11,12.  He actually made it a prayer he was praying for his fellow believers.  He prayed that You, God, would make them worthy of Your calling and that they would fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by Your power.  Why?  So that the name of Jesus might be glorified in them, and them in Him, according to Your grace.  Has the purpose changed for me today?  I think not.  No, I know not.  This is still the prayer for each believer.  This is still what You are doing in me.  You are making me worthy.  You are placing Your power and Your desires in me.  You are enabling me to fulfill the purpose that You have placed within me in You.  I just want to fulfill what You want me to fulfill.  Because only in being who You created me to be will I find satisfaction.  Because that’s when I am living in You.

You have filled me up with You and given me a purpose in You and through You.  I am to “go and bear fruit.”  Under Your leading I am to submit under Your power and set out to the horizons to carry and share what You have bestowed in me.  I am to push on, to let Your Spirit drive me forward, where ever He leads, to endure whatever it takes to bring forth and share the fruit You produce in me.  And no matter what is happening around me, that fruit will continue to be produced in me.

You chose me to give me a purpose.  I’m to bear Your fruit.  I’m to carry out Your functions in the world.  Your fruit, Your character, is to never stop “popping forth” from me.  People may pluck to enjoy the fruit or people may pluck the fruit in violence, yet it will keep “popping forth.”  I don’t create the fruit.  You do.  And it’s straight from You because it is who You are.  This is Your character in me.  Your fruit, Your character is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.  This is my evidence that I am living in You, in Your Spirit, and walking in You.  This is the evidence of Your having chosen me and appointed me.  This is the evidence of You in me and me in You.  Your fruit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth because You are Goodness and Righteousness and Truth.  And You chose me to be Your representative.

Outside of You, I am not good or righteous or true.  But You chose me and appointed me to show Your power and Your greatness.   This is how You take something that was not and You make it to be.  Just like You created something from nothingness when You brought the universe into being, You have done the same for me.  I was nothing.  I was capable of nothing.  You imparted everything to me.  You imparted life and goodness and righteousness and truth.  And now I am because You are the Great I Am.

And I don’t just get to produce what comes from You.  I get to produce fruit that remains, fruit that stays, fruit that endures, fruit that abides.  You see, everything in You is eternal.  So, therefore, everything You do through me, everything I do through You, is eternal; it has eternal significance.  I might not see it now, but You do.  And I can just trust in Your nature that You will have an effect through everything that flows from me that is of You.

It’s like sharing this time with You, Lord, with others out on the internet.  I just know that what You shared with me, what You gave me, I’m to share with others.  Sometimes I know people are reading it and they might even hit the like button.  But I just keep sharing.  And I would whether someone hit the like button or not.  Because it’s one of the things You’ve given me to do.  And even though I don’t know the effect it is having on anyone, I’ll trust its effect to You.  When I can’t go where You’re calling me physically, I can still go by sending out Your Word who knows where in cyberspace.  And You will be the one to make it bear fruit.  See, I’ve already started bearing the fruit.  It’s up to You to bring the people and make them want to pluck it and taste it and see how good You are.

Oh, Lord, You choose us because You are that Good!  The more and more I think about it, the better and better You taste, the more and more beautiful You are!  You choose us.  You give us a purpose of such great value.  You give us Yourself and Your character so that we can share You with others.  You abide with us.  You remain working in us and present with us no matter the circumstances.  And as others pluck of the fruit, You replenish.  The more I bear Your fruit, the more succulent You become to me.  And the more flavorful You become to others.

I don’t know what to say, Lord.  I am overwhelmed by Your gift.  I just want to sit here and float in the joy of Your choosing.  I just want to be surrounded by it, encompassed in it.  What an immense responsibility to be appointed to fulfill Your will in this world and in my own life.  But You are everything I need to do that.  I just need to let You be You in me.  It’s all about You.  It’s all about my God who is greater than everything making much of Himself in me.  It’s all about You producing Your fruit in me and making an eternal difference through me.  Lord, have Your way in me, have Your way.

 

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