In his sermon titled “Chosen”, Pastor Phyl speaks of all the choices that we have to make in a day. Our life is full of choices. When we get up in the morning, we choose what we will wear. We decide whether to have breakfast or not. In our ever growing consumer world we have even more choices. In fact, various internet sources tell us that on average, we make 35,000 choices in a single day. 226.7 of those relate solely to food. A Prime Minister can make over 50 governing choices in a day.
So many choices. What to read, what to watch, what to buy. What we say, or don’t say. Whether we get married, when we get married. Whether we have kids, when we have them. What school we send them to. They all effect our lives. Every choice we make has an implication in our life, and we are the ones that have to live with these implications.
But, there are no accidents with God. He makes choices too, and even though they may not make sense to us, He knows what He’s doing, and He doesn’t make mistakes. Sometimes, we see that God has chosen to act through a certain person and we wonder why, when there are other ‘better’ people that He could have chosen, but it says in 1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” There are no accidents with God. He chooses to work through certain people. He chooses to use us. There are three things that God is looking for in our hearts and minds. These are not talent, nor intelligence, nor attractiveness.
In Luke 9:35 God says “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him”. God shows clearly here how he chooses to act through certain people. He may choose us for many things. We may be His chosen instrument, just as Saul was, in Acts 9:15: “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Saul wasn’t exactly a ‘good’ man, and yet God chose him. People may not have been able to understand it, but God knew what He was doing. We must not question God’s choices because He is all knowing and has reasons we know nothing about. He demands the glory.
Speaking from his chosen scripture for this sermon, Pastor Phyl explained that Samuel was sent by the Lord to anoint the one that He had chosen. While three sons of Jesse were brought before Samuel, none of them were chosen, but Samuel asked if Jesse had any other sons, and Jesse told him about David, who was out tending the sheep. Then he was brought before Samuel, who was told by the Lord to anoint him. God had chosen him.
Pastor Phyl went on to say that there are three qualities that we need, in order for us to be chosen too. These are qualities that we must hide in our hearts if we are to live a life that honours God.
The first is to put Him First in obedience. It can be difficult to be obedient, though. For example, Moses found himself caught between God and man, but he had to be obedient to God, in spite of the Israelites’ complaining, and he was then able to see God’s glory displayed. When the servants in John 2:5 tell Mary that there is no more wine left, she tells them “Whatever He says to you, do it”. She is telling them to be obedient, and when they are, they see the power of God when He turns the water into wine. Mary was obedient to God’s call, as were the servants in turn.
Secondly, we must put God First in loyalty. In our heart, we must show dedication and commitment to Him. We must serve out of passion and out of our hearts, giving Him everything we have. Farming is not glamorous work, it is hard labour, but David stuck to it, being loyal to his flock and obedient in staying with them. The big question is, where do we put our loyalties? The truth is that if we honour God in the small stuff, then He will honour us with the big stuff.
Thirdly, we must put God First in heart and motive. We must serve him willingly. God doesn’t want our abilities, He wants our availability. He wants our willingness. He wants us to respond to Him and to say yes. Having been anointed, David, a young shepherd boy responds. He is committed, dedicated and willing, trusting God with all he has.
In closing Pastor Phyl asked whether we would have a heart after God, being obedient, faithful and loyal to Him and Him alone.
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 1:27, Ephesians 1:4. Luke 8:35, Acts 9:15, 1 Samuel 16:1-23, John 2:5