When my daughter, Jessi, was five years old she made a deal. Actually it was a bribe from us (her parents) borne out of desperation, and she accepted. For months, Jessi had been asking for a puppy. I wanted nothing to do with one more creature to take care of. I was already on overload with four young children ages five and under. But perhaps if she could prove she was responsible enough to take care of a puppy, we would consider it. What would be the proof? Jessi would have to do her chores every day for a month without being reminded.
The days and weeks passed. To my surprise and consternation, my little five year old faithfully did her chores without any reminders, but perhaps a few hints. As the goal line grew closer, I wondered, Why didn’t I set a longer time period…like a year? Jessi was triumphant and the pursuit to find just the right dog began.
We weren’t going to the local pound and pick out the first dog that won over Jessi’s heart (although going to the pound or Humane Society is a great way to get a pet). Our daughter’s puppy would be deliberately and specifically chosen.
Jessi eagerly learned about the different breeds of dogs. She and Dad (also a dog lover and completely in her corner) decided on a Springer Spaniel. It couldn’t be just any Springer Spaniel. Dad insisted that our dog be a papered pure bred. The two of them scoured the ads regularly and finally discovered papered pure bred Springer Spaniel puppies on Whidbey Island, a mere three hour journey from our home. We loaded the kids into the mini-van to claim the newest member of the family.
There were six adorable puppies in the litter. Fortunately Jessi already knew she wanted a girl, which narrowed it down to two. She studied and interacted with the females until she made up her mind. Finally she announced, “This is the one I want.” Jessi affectionately scooped up her prized puppy and held her close. On the late night trek home, she named her Brownie.
Whenever I read in the Bible about being chosen, Jessi and Brownie rush to the front of my memories.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure (Ephesians 1:3-5, NLT).
You have been chosen! Just as my daughter spent great time and attention in selecting her beloved puppy, Your Heavenly Father’s choice of you was not accidental or haphazard. His intentionality goes so far beyond my endearing human illustration. He had you in mind before you were born. Even with your mistakes, purposeful poor choices, pain and brokenness, or other things you feel disqualify you, He chose you. His choice was based on love for you, and seeing who you are through Him. Adopting you into His family gave the Lord great pleasure.
As a Christ follower, you probably already know that you have been chosen in a theological sense. However, is it a truth deeply embedded in the core of your being, the steadfast anchor in the midst of the capricious waves of life?
When I know that I know that I know I have been chosen as a beloved child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, there is no earthly circumstance that can shake me. Absolutely nothing can separate me from His unfailing love. I can thrive because I am rooted and established in Christ’s perfect love. I am chosen!
During the Christmas season, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ—God’s gift of love to the world—remember that He is also God’s gift of love to you, because you have been chosen.
They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (2 Peter 2:8b-9).
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me and choosing me. May I not forget how precious Your thoughts are toward me. You have poured out immeasurable grace on my life. As one who has been deliberately and specifically chosen, may I reach out to others with Your amazing love and serve them with compassion. May I share the Good News with others that they have been chosen by You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.