If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:19
I have chosen you. What a profound thought, to be chosen by God. This phrase caused me to ponder the past 24 years of ministry. When closing in on a landmark year – twenty five – I become contemplative.
My husband, our family was chosen. Go ye into all the world. This is more of a command than a choice, but God chose where we should go. Harry’s prayer answer was, Here am I; send me. God chose and prepared others to accomplish the tasks He gave to us. He never left us alone.
First, I see foundations were laid. The original foundation was Jesus Christ; He chose us; He knew us before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4) Our church family supported us as we built. Churches throughout the world were chosen to be part with our work. They were chosen with us; together we built.
The land for the first church was chosen long before we knew, then given. You get the picture. I ponder:
1. Lost and searching people were chosen and their need met. God chose to meet need, yet it remains. We must choose the One that has willingly chosen us before the foundation of the world. (According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world … from Ephesians 1:4) Many CHOOSE and churches grow.
2. Folks teaching in these churches; chosen and equipped. Women loving the little ones. Church leaders accepting God’s call to love the little children in Vacation Bible School. Teachers from India and throughout the world; they come. All the world; CHOSEN.
3. I imagine the ones God has chosen to encourage us, sometimes when they could not have known we needed it, those He has chosen to continue building of churches and their buildings. I marvel how GOD HAS CHOSEN – just the right people – with just the right heart.
4. Hours of physical labor in sweltering temperatures. If you have done it, then you know.
5. Where once was nothing, I see children being born into the churches and developing personal faith. Parents that chose well have changed the future of their families for all eternity. GOOD CHOICES.
5. Harry, Lois, India and I prayed that this work will exist until LORD’s return. We did not imagine so fine a young man as Zachary to marry our daughter – India! – God chose them! Only in a Hallmark Movie; right? No. GOD CHOSE HOW this would happen and it is a love story that has touched more than our family.
6. God has chosen remarkable men to disciple and train other men. They reach others and they love people. I am humbled when I think about them as they have sacrificially come. Because there remains much work, I believe God has chosen others and when the time is right – they will ALSO CHOOSE.
7. GOD HAS CHOSEN men and families to lead the churches, to love His people, building a Godly heritage that will grow throughout the land. Pondering the effect of choices just within our lives is staggering and truly, a nice thing to consider. Great things He hath done.
When I think of some of these things, I marvel. God could have easily chosen someone better than me. But He CHOSE ME. He gave me a far richer life than I imagined as a young woman. He also chose to incorporate many of my personal dreams into our lives. We can trust God to choose for us. He thinks good toward us and knows how to make lives end well. Jeremiah 29:11 – it was the verse that strengthened me to accept His choice for my life. I have not always chosen well, but I did that time.
God’s Word talks much about choices, God’s choices and ours. Without doubt, the secret to a happy and victorious life is choosing what God has already chosen.
And I will add a final thing that I see GOD HAS CHOSEN: THAT THIS WORK SHOULD GO ON. More young men choosing to be pastors, accepting responsibility to be properly trained. The work is spreading, and with it: light. My husband is communicating with pastors this morning, anxious to get back. My son-in-law leads the work in India, with his India, at this moment. Zachary’s family is there and learning about the work, teaching Sunday school and loving … just everyone. Our paperwork is being handled skillfully at our church and God chose a woman about 24 years ago to manage monthly prayer and newsletters; the Gospel spreads when many choose faithfulness.
God chose us for a work that I knew was too big for us. I knew the vision was overly ambitious, even though I did not say it. My silence in this instance made me look smarter and wiser than I really was. Proverbs 17:28 comes to mind, but is far too painful to write. God had already chosen a team for us. LORD especially bless you if you are active in what He has chosen you for – CHOSEN FOR YOU!
Consecrate me now toThy service, Lord, By the pow’r of grace divine; Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, And my will be lost in Thine. Fanny Crosby
Might our will be lost in His …