Brilliantly appointed to do God’s business

I joined a house group last night and was good to meet with some different Christians.  We are studying Ephesians and whilst I had missed the first two sessions it didn’t really matter as we gathered to look at the first part of Ephesians 2.  Despite reading this passage of a number of occasions before, it was good to study it in more depth and underline the fact that God chose me, that God’s grace is what has saved me as I turned to him in faith.  It underlines that no matter how many good works someone does, it won’t make them a Christian, but as a Christian I am designed to do good works that God has already chosen for me to do.  I have a new life because of God’s grace, we considered what our lives looked like before we received that grace and it made God’s love even more real to me.

GOD’S BUSINESS

Remember to whom you belong, stop being who you are and start being who you were created to be, for you who were far have been brought near, accept the love that has no conditions, accept the unlimited depths of love that God has given, his grace, his gifts selected exclusively for you, let God show you how to take who you are and use if for a purpose greater than yourself, after all you are a masterpiece of his Creation, blessed and chosen, by his amazing grace you are saved, all your mistakes serve a purpose instead of serving shame, with God there is no blame, worship his name for the unmerited, undeserved, unearned favour that your Saviour has given to you, no longer parted, no longer distant, brilliantly appointed to do God’s business

I remember where I was when God chose me

Sadly, in this world, we are often judged by our outer appearance.  There are unrealistic pressures imposed by elements of the press and society to look a certain way, making many people dissatisfied or unhappy with themselves.

With God there are no such pressures.  In fact, God looks at the heart.  Check out the story of how David was anointed, youngest of eight brothers God chose him.  He was probably pretty insignificant within his own family, not the strongest, the most intelligent and probably not even the best looking (but that’s speculation!) as the youngest he would have been overlooked on many occasions for one of his older, more experienced brothers.  But God chose him, God knew he was the right person because God saw into his heart (1 Samuel 16).

Isn’t that great news for us.  God sees into our hearts and chooses us for service based on our heart.  It doesn’t matter what you look like or what you see as your faults, God bypasses that and goes straight to the important place, your heart.

1 Corinthians 1:26-30 –  My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn’t think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families.  But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.

What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important.  God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him.  You are God’s children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy.

I REMEMBER

I remember where I was when God chose me, I remember how the world scorned me for my sexuality, I recall the shame heaped on me, the blame I put on others who scarred me, I remember that empty feeling, the nights just staring at the ceiling, angry feelings overwhelming me, fear and anxiety crippling me, the enemy gripping onto me and I failed to see that anything good would come out of me, but Jesus you saw my heart, you saw the treasure deep inside this clay vessel, you saw beauty rising from the ashes, flashes of potential which you knew with gentle handling could be fashioned into something outstanding, a glorious reflection of your power, a transformation like no other, you the potter took the clay and made it what it is today, you looked past my flaws, opened the door of my heart took all that was good and made it better, you searched deep within to find the treasure.

I’m no longer concerned about public opinion

Jesus calls each of us by name.  If you are reading this as a Christian there will have been a moment in time when Jesus called your name, and you responded.  It came to me today that Mary Magdalene was the first person called by the risen Lord.  The first of us who believed in our “risen” Saviour.

  • John 20:16 – Then Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him, “Rabboni.” The Aramaic word “Rabboni” means “Teacher.”

She is the model we should all follow, what did she do when Jesus called her name.  She went and told others that she had seen Jesus.  This is exactly what Jesus calls us to do.

  • Matthew 28:19 – Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

CALLED

He has called me by name and I am his, he has called me, my name was on his lips, my name that was engraved on his hands spoken out loud, picked out, selected, not just one of the crowd, chosen by Jesus to be victorious, elected to receive his glorious grace, a place reserved for me in his heavenly Kingdom, I’m no longer concerned about public opinion, cos he who counts the stars and knows them by name is the same God who has redeemed me and called me by name, he sees me as worthy to no longer go thirsty, his rivers of living water flow through me, he calls me to share, to dare to be bold, to speak life into those who are weary or out in the cold, he calls me to go out, make disciples of the nations, his desire that all will receive his salvation.

My mouth like a sharpened sword ready at all times to quote from his word

Never think you are not good enough, never feel like you are not in the right place, doing God’s work.  Listen to this amazing word – before I was born the Lord called me.  WOW how can we ever be anything but awestruck by that.  How blessed to be anointed and chosen by God.

Isaiah 49: 1- 3 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendour.”

 BEFORE I WAS BORN

Before I was born the Lord called for me, think about that in all its simplicity, God called for me, he saw me in my Mother’s womb and even then he knew me, he knew the plans he had for me, to prosper me, protect me from harm, his arms already reaching out to enfold me as I was born into the reality of a fallen world where for a time I would not know the depth of love he had for me, chosen by God it was only a matter of time before I admitted my crime of turning my back on my wonderful Saviour, until I confessed all my behaviour that was sinful, until I knelt in obedience before my God and asked for his forgiveness, and how he has blessed me making my mouth like a sharpened sword ready at all times to quote from his word, he hid me in his shadow when life’s path got quite narrow and he carried me when it got so hard that I needed him to support my scarred and weary body, God almighty caring for me until I was ready to be released as a polished arrow to penetrate at the heart of need, concealed in his quiver until like a river of living water he released me to display his glory and splendour, he used me, a sinful offender because God no longer sees the sinful parts once we give him our hearts, he doesn’t see what we were but what we can be, he sees our potential to be successful fishers of men, he loves us unconditionally, can I hear an AMEN?

I look to the sky, tears fill my eyes

It’s so important to me that I was called, I was actually chosen by God.  Think about that, it’s kind of mind blowing but also an incredible responsibility.   These are just a few verses which reflect my calling, I am called to bear fruit, to do his purpose, to have hope, to live a holy life, to have fellowship with Jesus, awesome!

  • John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
  • Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose
  • Philippians 3:14 – I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
  • Ephesians 4:4 – There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called.
  • 2 Timothy 1:9 – He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9 – God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

DEDICATED

I look to the sky, tears fill my eyes as I comprehend the immense act of love that saved me, I choke up, I feel amazed, I praise you with intent, I meant something to you when you died on that cross, I meant something to you and your life was lost because you loved me, your life sacrificed because I needed your light to shine over my life of darkness, I needed your blood to wash me clean, I needed your love to intervene and show me hope, I look to the skies, I wish I could see you now, I wish I could tell you face to face how much it means to have escaped the life I was living, to have this awesome feeling in my heart knowing I will never again be apart from you, I want to thank you personally for choosing me, so here’s what I choose to do I choose to give my life to you, to bear fruit, to press on towards the prize, I realise that I am called to hope, to live a holy life, to live in fellowship with God’s own son, here I come Lord, take my life and let it be dedicated Lord to thee.

God put a great big CROSS in my box

God elected us – chose us, that was the theme of our evening worship yesterday and it is still a blessing to me every time I think about how God chose me.  We are just average people living average lives and then God pops up because we are on his list, we have been chosen and he calls us to follow.  What a privilege but also a responsibility.  I was looking at a painting by a Christian artist on Saturday and it was a stairway from heaven of water (living water) and the artist was saying that most Christians stay at the bottom of the staircase, still getting wet from the water but not venturing closer to God.  However God wants us to seek him and we can get closer if we take first one, then another and yet another step of faith.  He chose us so in my mind there is no way we should shy away from seeking him with all our heart, mind and soul. 

1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

CHOSEN

Part of a chosen generation, God put me in this situation, strategically orchestrating my steps since I chose to say yes, overlooked by others but handpicked by God, privileged to be valuable to my Saviour, confident in my labour, beloved child of God, anointed and appointed, elected by God, like if God had to tick polling cards he put a great big CROSS in my box, the cross meant that I was forgiven, I was chosen, I was part of God’s holy nation and the CROSS signifies that I too have died to the old and have risen with the new, part of God’s elected crew, ready to do his will, ready to be still and hear his voice, to jump up in worship and to rejoice, ready to serve, ready to follow, to give God unique control over all my tomorrows.

The whole earth is his, yet he treasures me

Was given a word earlier in the week:

1 John 2:27 – As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him

I have been looking at this and it has led me to some other verses, in particular:

  • John 15:7 -If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you
  • Exodus 19:5 – Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine..

Exploring these verses has led me to appreciate more the importance of allowing God to lead, guide and counsel me, to understand the importance of living in his word, reading it daily, praying it over situations and understanding all that he says so that I can obey him.  It also makes my heart skip a beat that I am a treasured possession of God even though the whole earth belongs to him, wow.

VICTORY

Chosen, wanted, appointed, anointed by God to do his work, needing no other teacher as he reaches into my heart, sets me apart, living in me and I in him, I remain in him and allow his words to live in me, God put me here for a reason and this is my season to spend much needed time on my knees living the dream, spending time with my Father, abiding in his love, giver of life, his anointing teaches me all things and I remain in fellowship with him, claim the love that never ends, the joy that makes me full, a friendship that’s endless, my dependence only on my God who loves me, I am no longer of this world, I remember God’s word, “obey him fully and you will be treasured”, above all his possessions, the whole earth is his, yet he treasures me, where now Satan your victory?