I Was Never Chosen
I find the irony delicious.
My day to day is chaos. There has never been a more dangerous, frenzied, and outrageous time in our lives than right now and I am at total peace. In God’s amazing grace I have watched what we used to call, “Midtown Moments,” explode all over the 8th Street Mission.
I watched two homeless brothers share a meal after scrapping up change and torn dollar bills to buy it. I saw my wife facilitate a breakthrough with a woman who has been recently abused and shared that because of that abuse she didn’t care if she went to be with Jesus or not and had given up. I witnessed Mike D’s son Eric share the gospel with a man who could barely speak English and then purchase the man a pizza as an act of agape love and there are a thousand more stories just like those.
I know, you’re saying, “Big deal,” right? So what’s the point?
According to man, I am not qualified to be a deacon, an elder, be ordained, minister, certainly not pastor and hold an office of religious stature and a hundred other things that I have been told I couldn’t do because of my divorce or my credit hour shortfall in college.
Nope, sorry not qualified—not worthy.
My buddy Shawn would say, “You gotta get over that, bro.”
I have my brother and here’s why and where it gets delicious.
As Jesus prayed from the garden shortly before his betrayal, “I speak these things in the world, so that they may have My joy completed in them.
14 I have given them Your word.
The world hated them
because they are not of the world,
as I am not of the world.
15 I am not praying
that you take them out of the world
but that you protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world,
as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify[e] them by the truth;
your word is truth.
18 As you sent me into the world,
I also have sent them into the world.
19 I sanctify myself for them,
so they also may be sanctified by the truth.”
I think we just had us a God drop the mic moment! The word Sanctify here literally means, “To be set aside for special use.”
Jesus, and the God of the universe, our Father has set me and you aside for special use because He took our place on the cross!
Paul writes in Philippians 3:8-9, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them [our best efforts] rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”
Paul had no idea what his Savior’s prayer was in the garden that night. But what he did know was that his relationship with the Father taught him how to love Jesus and that all else of this earth was rubbish.
I grew up believing that it was somehow important to God that I be a deacon, an elder, be ordained, a minister, a pastor and hold an office of religious stature—all of this world.
I know now that outside my relationship with Jesus Christ all of that is rubbish.
I have the greatest job in the world. I am free to love Jesus and share the good news with others and you don’t need a title for that.
I was never chosen by man, but I was called by God.