By Pastor Eric Everhart
Growing up, one of the things I hated most about school was gym class. It wasn’t gym class itself that got me anxious, but the team sports we had to play. Captains would be picked for each team and then select the players they wanted. Maybe you can remember this when you were in school. The process alone was brutal. You stood there as the captains scrolled down the line of students, slowly choosing their players. The best players were selected first, then the popular ones, followed by friends, and then there were the “others.” The anxiety got worse as you realized there were only a few other students left standing there with you. “I don’t want to be last,” is all I could say to myself as the captains’ options got slimmer. The thought of being picked last was almost unbearable.
We should be eternally grateful that when it comes to our faith and our relationship with Jesus Christ, God isn’t standing by as one of the captains, slowly picking his team. We have assurance that God has chosen each of us to be “on his team” long before we were even born. Isaiah 46:3-4 says, “I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will carry you along and save you.” Wow! That takes the anxiety right out of the picture! We are not left to be picked last. Instead, God has already chosen us to be his long before we could even think about it! It won’t be based on how good I am at basketball, if I am quick enough at dodgeball or if I’m big enough to hold the line on the football field. No. God has picked us to be his sons and daughters out of his sheer love for us and there is nothing we can do to lose that love (Romans 8:38-39). What an awesome feeling of hope and peace we should have each day knowing that the creator of the universe had a plan and place for each of us long before we existed! “But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace” (Galatians 1:15).
But wait, there is something else. Sometimes after being picked for a team, we get frustrated because we didn’t end up on the side we wanted. We get upset and even refuse to join the team. We may also refuse to play or walk away altogether.
He has indeed chosen us first when it comes to being on God’s team, but we have to accept this beautiful gift given to each of us. God has made the first move in choosing us to be his. He didn’t want us because we chose him. Instead, he chose us so that we could select him. The Lord of life has chosen you for himself, Jesus Christ has saved you to himself, and the Holy Spirit leads and guides you. Brothers and sisters—choose life in all of its fullness, decide to accept your place on the winning team, God’s team!
Whose team are you playing for today? You have been picked by the King and have assured victory, have you accepted your place on God’s team?
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:4).
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