“He Chose You”
Read Ephesians 2:1-8
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8
TV often depicts school gym class scenes with two captains who pick out teams from a group of their peers. Then, selections are made one after the other until all the students have been divided into two groups. As the selection narrows, it becomes clear that certain individuals are more sought out than others. By a process of elimination, the remaining students realize that the reluctance to choose them stems from a perception of their value and skill.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the need to be accepted is a fundamental desire of all human beings. Like the kids in gym class, we naturally covet inclusion and desire to be embraced by others.
Evidently, not everyone experiences the fulfillment of this need and the pain of rejection can be detrimental to one’s self esteem and growth. However in Jesus, we get introduced to a system of grace that chooses us and totally satisfies any longing for acceptance.
In the book of Ephesians 2, Paul explains to the church how God chose them as individuals to be reconciled back to Him. Thanks to Jesus Christ, the sin that made us enemies and objects of wrath has been atoned for (v 4-5). Because Jesus was imputed with our sin, He paid the price of salvation so that nothing could get in the way of fellowship with God. Through Jesus Christ, we have been offered the gift of salvation which has restored us into a life-changing relationship with the Father.
Maybe you’ve gone through life telling yourself you don’t care what anyone thinks in order to protect yourself from the harsh reality of rejection that you faced in your childhood, in the education system, the workplace or elsewhere. Perhaps negative experiences of racism, classism, colorism, misogyny and more taught you how to buffer yourself against the pain but at the expense of turning into someone you were never intended to be. God knew that the world was prone to show you rejection, but in Jesus He promised that He never would.
In Jesus, know that you have been chosen and you are accepted. When you were at your worst and most undesirable, He had His eye on you and claimed you as His own (Romans 5:8). Not because of any underlying potential in you but because of His love for you. He always wanted you on His team and even went through the extent of dying in your place to get you there. So, do not let your dark past inaccurately paint the picture of who you are in Christ. Do not allow the tough exterior that you have projected for so long to condition you into believing you will never be wanted and that that’s a fact you simply have to accept.
Instead, embrace the fact that whatever voids were created by exclusion were really opportunities for you to experience God’s grace. Because of this great gift you no longer have to chase acceptance. You have the security in knowing this grace is one that has been received freely and thus cannot be earned or revoked. Thankfully, you don’t even have to deal with the burden of maintaining this blessing – Christ did it for you! Now for the rest of your life, you can enjoy the beauty of this gift all because He chose you.
Reflection: Can you think of a time when you experienced man’s rejection, but in hindsight see where it was God’s grace and protection?
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for the gift of grace. Every day that I am alive is a testament to this grace that changes me daily. Lord, I pray that I will understand my life through the gift of grace. May I remember that it’s not because of anything that I have done or accomplished or earned but it’s truly only by Your grace that I can live this life in a way that pleases You. Thank You for this precious life-changing gift. In Jesus name, Amen.
Written by Deborah Nimoh