January 17, 2018 • Life for Leaders
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
It’s a great thing to be chosen for something wonderful. Perhaps you can remember the time when you received that magic letter, now in email form, congratulating you on being accepted to college. Or maybe you think of the phone call informing you that “you got the job!” I recall the joy of discovering that a certain young woman I greatly adored had chosen me to be the one she married.
According to Ephesians 1:4, we have been chosen by God. That’s right. God has chosen us. Verse 5 adds that God has “predestined” us. This means God wants us. God wants you. This is very good news, don’t you think?
Now, I realize that Christians differ in their understanding of how God has chosen us. I explain this difference briefly in my commentary on Ephesians: “For centuries these two verses have stirred up vigorous theological debate. Calvinists see these verses as demonstrating the truth of God’s election and predestination of some to salvation and (in some Calvinist systems) others to damnation. For advocates of free will, these verses show that Christ is the chosen one and that we who choose to believe in him participate in the benefits of his own election and sonship.” Yet, no matter how you work out the theological details, the basic teaching of this passage is clear: God has chosen you.
In tomorrow’s devotion, I’ll say more about what God has chosen us for. I promise it is something wonderful. In the meanwhile, I’d encourage you to reflect on the simple fact that God has chosen you.
Something to Think About:
When you hear that God has chosen you, how do you respond? What do you think? What do you feel?
Do you ever think of yourself as having been chosen by God? If so, why? If not, why not?
If we believe that God has chosen us, what would keep us from getting puffed up with pride? What would be a more appropriate response to God’s choice of us?
Something to Do:
Remember a time when you were chosen for something special. Remember what happened and how you felt. See if you can connect this experience in any way to your experience with the Lord.
Gracious God, thank you for choosing us! Though there is much we do not understand about how this happens, we are indeed blessed to be chosen by you. What an amazing honor! What an opportunity!
Keep us from being puffed up with pride because you have chosen us. Help us, we pray, to be humbly grateful. Help us to know how much you love us and how much you have planned for us.
May we live our lives in response to your initiative, Lord. And may you receive all the glory! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.