And Now A Word From Our Sponsor…

9 12 2013

I’m dying.

Physically, sure…the same as everyone else in the world.

The stats are in, and the death toll is 100%.

No one gets out of this alive. ūüėČ

But that’s not the death to which I refer. In some ways, I wish it were!

No, this is the death of my ego. The Bible calls it “dying to self,” and it is a very slow and extremely painful process for me, worse than any disease I can think of.

My body doesn’t hurt (other than the usual aches and pains that come with aging), but my heart is a raw and bloody mess. It hurts to the point of withdrawing from people and lashing out at those closest to me (if I’m not careful).

I asked for this!

It started with a grave I dug for myself in the back yard. You can read about it here.

Why would I do such a thing? To quote John the Baptist,

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Are you in this place, too? Are you being overlooked, rejected, dismissed, or feel like you don’t “measure up?”

I have a Word for you:

CHOSEN

The idea conveyed in this word is that of being selected as having great value…enough that One was willing to pay a great price to obtain the desired object.

“YOU were bought at a great price!”

Chosen before the foundation of the world – in spite of every evil you would ever (or have yet to) commit (Ephesians 1:4).

Chosen to be conformed into the image of the Son (Romans 8:29).

Chosen to be a royal priesthood, to proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)

Chosen, not because of your usefulness, but because you are loved! (1 John 4:19)

You see, you weren’t “picked” by God to fill out His team…because He “needed” a ¬†star pitcher or even a water boy.

God needs nothing Рand no one.

Not you.

Not me.

He¬†chose you simply because He loves you…

Right here.

Right now.

Right where you are

– wherever that may be in your walk with Him.

People may not pick you to be on their side. You may be judged “not good enough” for their use…

But God chose you.

People may abandon you, reject you, or betray you…

But God chose you.

People may use you up, then spit you out when you’ve outlived your “usefulness” in their pursuits…

But God chose you.

FOREVER!

To live in a fallen world with fallen people is hard. We must remember that there’s still much of the “old man” within ourselves as well. Times of refining are necessary to bring hurtful attitudes and faulty beliefs to the surface where they can be removed.

To be excluded, overlooked, or rejected hurts deeply…if our identity is in who¬†we are, and what¬†we have to offer the world.

Reality check:

The gates of heaven will not swing open at the mention of my name.

Um…nor with yours!

We can’t promote Jesus and ourselves at the same time. Only one of us is visible at any given moment. Whom do I want to make known?

My head wants Jesus to get the glory, my heart, deep down, wants me to be the centerpiece. Too much of me remains yet – hence this time of refining.

I wonder…could this be at the core of what you’re going through as well?

If so, take heart. It doesn’t last forever. In the meantime, listen closely. When you’re overlooked by people, God whispers:

“I chose you.”

When your’re rejected,

“But I chose you.”

When folks judge us to be inadequate, inept, or useless, you must remember His words:

“I chose you…

…because I love you.”

Chosen…what a beautiful word!