Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
When I was about 12 to 14 years old, we used to play a lot of “sandlot” football. That means that about 15 to 20 guys would just meet on a field, choose up sides and play football. We would pick two guys to be team captains and then the choosing would begin. I was always chosen first or second. Sometimes, I was even chosen by guys who didn’t like me (I was part of the “fruit loop” or losers group in school.) But that didn’t matter. I was usually the first or second choice. Once the choosing was over, we would play smash mouth, tackle football and try to beat each other to a pulp, wearing nothing but cut off shorts and t-shirts. OK, so we weren’t the brightest light bulbs around back then, but it was fun anyway.
So, why was I chosen first or second? Because even though I was in the loser group, I was good at sports. I could play any position, I played hard and I could help my team win. That was the basis of my being chosen. But you know, we, as Christians, are also chosen. God chooses us to be his children. But His motives are much different than why the guys chose me for their team.
In he Old Testament, why did God choose the Jews to be His people? There is a passage in Deuteronomy that tells us very clearly. It wasn’t because the Jews were more numerous or more powerful than other people. It was because God loved them and kept the oath He swore to their forefathers (see Deut. 7: 7-8). It was not because God needed the Jews on His team, or because they would be faithful to Him, or because they could help Him. God chose them because He loved them!
Now lets look at the New Testament. There is a verse in Ephesians that has always amazed me. Ephesians 1:4 says, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that God thought about, and chose me, before He created the world, or at least the foundation of the world. Again, I can’t fathom the depth of that, but it blows me away to think about it. And why did God do this? The rest of verse 4 and verse 5 tells us. “In love he predestined us to adoptions as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” Amazing!!!! Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in all the theological arguments of predestination. Just read and meditate on this. It actually says that God loved and chose you and me to be his child before we were born. And He did it out of love and because it was His will. And we had no part in it!! What an amazing God we serve!!
One more thought on this from 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. What kind of people does God look for when He chooses? No one can really know the answer to this question, but this passage gives us a little hint. He looks for the weak, the foolish, the despised, the not so smart. In a word, losers. With God, it doesn’t matter if you are in the “fruit loop” (or whatever you would be called today) group, if you are not the smartest or brightest, if you are not rich. God chooses people based on His sovereignty and perfect love. According to scripture, if you are truly a follower of Christ, you are chosen by God!!!! May that thought give us a deeper love for Christ as we start this new year.