Tag Archives: destiny

Chosen By God

weekly theme #27*

week containing the Sixth Sunday of Easter

When I think of being chosen by God, I think of having some mission or purpose to accomplish.  Yet the first part of being chosen, the first part that never ends, is receiving.  I receive his guidance, care, protection, and discipline.  Until I receive from him, even the amount of my faith in him, I have no hope of accomplishing any mission.  God’s mission for me is unique from the missions of others because each of us is unique.  He uses a great variety of us to work in harmony for his fame and glory.

Paul says God reached out to me before I showed any interest in him.  In fact, Paul writes that God restored my relationship as his friend while I was still his behaving as his enemy.  (Romans 5:8-10)  He did this knowing beforehand what a rebellious, inconsistent, and dull follower I would be.  God chose me despite my qualities, not because of them.  What’s more, he invites me to join in carrying his cross, to suffer with him.  My willingness to do this is my expression of love to him.  It is an opportunity, not a punishment.

How involved is God in the details?  I have no doubt that he knew of me from the start of time, but was it by his design that I was born at this specific time and place.  I think so, and that makes the people and conditions in my path potentially divine appointments.  Why now?  Why here?  Why me?

The mind seeks to know and understand, and the heart seeks to be known and understood.  My mind seeks to know and understand God, but my heart’s longing is that he will know me and accept me as I offer myself to him.  The heart is content for he has called and chosen me as his own.  How I respond to being chosen has more to do with my actions than my feelings.  The question is whether I obey even when it’s painful.

I wondered what Psalm 126:6 meant, “They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.”   The Amplified Bible helped understand why they wept as they sowed.  They were in a famine.  This grain they were sowing could sustain them for the short-term, but they would starve in the long-term if they planted no crop.  And if there was no harvest, the sowing was for nothing.  Their act of sowing the seed was a total commitment in faith.  That is the proper response to being chosen – all-in obedience.

*A Guide To Prayer by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections.  I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used.  It truly lives up to its title.

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God Moment

I hear the phrase “God moment” used frequently by some friends of mine.  As I understand it, a God moment is when I’m jarred from my normal auto-pilot mode and reminded of God’s interest and activity with me.  I think God’s active in my life every day, but I seldom identify specific God moments.  However, I had one last week.

It was a wonderful, warm, and sunny day.  I had my 99-year-old Dad riding beside me in the car for a change of scenery from the retirement home where he lives.  Our windows were down, arms out the windows, and ears tuned to the sounds of the nature preserve we were driving through.  We stopped to sit on a bench by the river and tried to recall stories about the river that ran on the farm where I grew up.  The setting was prime spot for a God moment, but it didn’t strike me then.  My God moment came when we were driving away.  It had nothing to do with nature or even my Dad.

A very small boy and a man waited to cross the road until I drove by them.  The man was slightly stooped, his hand on the boy’s shoulder.  I passed very slowly just in case the boy darted away, but they remained still until I passed.  Just as I passed I heard the man say, “It’s safe now.  You can go, son.”

How many times have I been eager to run, not realizing the danger of an ill-timed move?  God held me still with his hand until it was okay.  Then, when the timing was right, he lifted his hand and said, “It’s safe now.  You can go, son.”   How many times?

That was my God moment last week.

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Descending Into Greatness

Descending Into Greatness by Bill Hybels

I read this book in an effort to find humility, but I really found humility through a life “mishap”.  This book allowed me to build on it. 

By yielding my power to self-rule, I open myself to my God-designed destiny.  I discovered that the result of surrendering control is a lightened burden.  I was no longer responsible for results.   Descending is not so much who I am or what I have but what I do with both.  Who’s agenda shall I advance – God’s or mine?  The author provided wise counsel regarding the path to greatness.  It isn’t where I had been looking.  Following Christ is not a onetime decision.  It’s hundreds of decisions every day. 

My notes on this book can be downloaded in MS Word format from the blue “FILES box” located in the left side-bar of this blog.

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Redeemed

Have you ever read a coupon?  I mean real closely, like the fine print stuff.  The coupon I’m looking at right now says it has a cash value of 1/100th of a cent.  Huh?  What can I buy for 1/100th of a cent?  However, if I use this coupon for a tub of Breyers ice cream, it’s suddenly worth $6.  What makes that difference?  It all depends on whether I use the coupon for its intended purpose.  When it’s redeemed, it’s worth its greatest value.

I think people are like coupons. 

Some of us live our lives at cash value.  We don’t use ourselves for our intended purpose.  We think, act, and become a fraction of our potential.  Or we try to redeem ourselves for the wrong thing or in the wrong way.

But just as a coupon can’t redeem itself, people can’t either.  What we need is someone who will allow us to be used for our intended purpose.  We need someone who has the knowledge, concern, and ability to redeem us.  But who can do such a thing?  Who can be our Redeemer?

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