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chosen

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14, NRSV)

God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. God knew what was going to happen and knew He wanted you as His child.

He destined to adopt us as His children, making us heirs with Christ to the kingdom of God.

I am His child, accepted by Him, loved by Him, forgiven by Him, redeemed by Him, chosen by Him.

You are His child, accepted by Him, loved by Him, forgiven by Him, redeemed by Him, chosen by Him.

You are wanted. Never forget that!

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mercy

So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, “Out of Zion will come the Deliverer; he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.” “And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all. O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:25-36, NRSV)

Why are you a part of the covenant?

Is it your birth right?

Did you do the right things to be included?

Israel is included even though they are an enemy of God according to the gospel, but according to the election of God, they are chosen. And we who are not a part of Israel are included because of the gospel, and the election of God.

You see it is all based on mercy. God’s mercy freely given to those whom He chooses and those whom He chooses will choose to follow Him.

So rely on God’s mercy and know it is not of your own doing that you are chosen!

 

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Only 12?

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles:Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. (Luke 6:12-19, NRSV)

He called His disciples and chose 12 of them???

So we say there were 12 disciples but Luke here clearly says there were more than 12 and Jesus chose 12 of them to set them apart.

Why 12? 12 tribes of Israel more than likely, plus it is a nice number.

And the word disciple can pertain to all of us as disciple means one who follows or learns from another.

or we could say apostle also because apostle means one who is sent.

So we are learners and followers of Jesus and ones He has sent.

So we may not be a set apart disciple or apostle but we still are one!

 

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Chosen

170313Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. (Genesis 12:1-4, NRSV)

God chose Abram and called him to go from his homeland.

God promised to make him a great nation and that God would bless Him and make his name great.

And Abram believed and followed where God was leading him.

Remember just like Abram you too are chosen, and God is asking you to follow.

 

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Did he really just say that?

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. Just then a man from the crowd shouted, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son; he is my only child. Suddenly a spirit seizes him, and all at once he shrieks. It convulses him until he foams at the mouth; it mauls him and will scarcely leave him. I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon dashed him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astounded at the greatness of God. (Luke 9:28-43, NRSV)

I always love the transfiguration stories of Jesus. I mean Moses and Elijah show up and, of course, Jesus knows who they are, He was there when they were created, before they were formed in their mother’s wombs. But how do Peter James and John know them? There weren’t any photos floating around. Moses and Elijah never had a selfie!

But Peter says that James and John and he will make for the 3 of them tents, so we could stay here for a long time. But since he was drowsy and probably dreaming. Did you catch that in Luke’s rendition of the story, “Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep.” Did they dream the whole thing? I don’t believe it was a dream. Because when Peter started his funny talk about tents, God the father broke in and said, “Jesus is my chosen one, my son, listen to Him.”

Jesus is made whiter than any white there ever was, cleaner than any of us would ever be. And He is God’s chosen, His Son, and so we should listen to Him.

Put away our funny words, and thoughts, and listen to what He is telling us and follow Him where He leads!

 

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you are

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.”  They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:1-10, NRSV)

Do not be worried if you are rejected by mortals, for you are chosen by God!

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people. You have been set apart.

Not you will be once you get everything worked out and your life together.

You are. God has chosen you as is and claims you as His own.

So don’t think that your status with God will change, He has chosen you and you are His!

Never think less of yourself, because God thinks you are worth dying for!

 

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The Empire Strikes Back

151206In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” (Luke 3:1-6, NRSV)

In the fifteenth year of Emperor Tiberius…

It is all connected to the Empire!

It is about when they were in power.

When those who were following God were maybe using religion to play political games.

And the Messiah stepped into the world, the chosen one who was going to bring balance to the world.

The one who would free the chosen people from the bondage of the Empire.

They may seem to be in control, for the moment. And they may win the battle, but our God has already saved us all and won the war!

 

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