“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…” Colossians 3:12a
In his devotional book, Hidden in Christ, James Bryan Smith tells the story of Tim and Lori Gillach, who were sitting on the couch one evening when a thought came to Tim and he asked Lori, “What do you think God has put us on earth for?” After thinking, Lori answered, “To be parents.” Tim agreed. They are exceptional parents of two children, Smith relates, but that night, felt led to do more. At this stage in their lives, being a parent again would involve adoption.
So Lori began the research. After much searching, she discovered that baby girls in China were being abandoned to orphanages in large numbers. She did her research, which led them to plan the adoption of a little girl. Lori made the long journey to China, taking various forms of transportation, lasting a number of days. Finally, Lori met her little girl, which she and Tim had already named Chloe. Chloe had a shaven head because of lice and was thin. Lori immediately took Chloe into her arms and began the journey home. When Lori and Chloe reached their home airport, Tim and the other two kids were waiting with a sign that read, “Welcome Home Chloe!”
Chloe is now a grown young woman, and she knows, as many adopted children know, what it really means to be chosen. She is cherished and she knows it. She was in a dark place devoid of hope, and is now in a place of virtually boundless blessing.
In the verse above, when Paul says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people…”, he refers again to what God has done for us in Christ. We were in a dark place, without hope and destined for death, but are now alive in Christ. We were ALL chosen by God. “For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave his Son…” (John 3:16) He went to extreme lengths to demonstrate His love. We are loved with a boundless, undying love, and as I said yesterday, there’s nothing we can do about it! We cannot sin enough to stop it. We cannot run away from it. And we did nothing to earn it or merit it. God loves us because that is who He is. We are chosen, plucked from a world of darkness, and brought into the light of His Son… a world of hope and boundless blessing.
As Colossians 3:12 above says, we are holy and dearly loved. We are holy not because of our behavior (certainly not!), but because we are chosen. If we are Jesus-followers, we are children of God, with the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us. We are sacred. That is what holy means: sacred, uncommon, set apart for special use. You may have a family heirloom that is very special and you treat it differently than your other possessions. And just as you wouldn’t throw it into a mud puddle, a life full of sin isn’t befitting us either, since we are sacred, chosen, and dearly loved children of God. It is beneath us.
Really grasping the love of God is a game-changer for me. Knowing that I please God and that He loves and accepts me has changed me. I don’t have to try to earn God’s acceptance. I don’t have to clamor to please people. I am a child of God with Christ living in me and I live in the unshakeable Kingdom of God. I know my identity. I know who I am. I know whose I am.
And I am chosen, holy and dearly loved.
So are you.