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The Beautiful Gift of Being Chosen
By Joel Osteen - Mar 29, 2024

Easter is a time when we celebrate the good news that, though we didn’t deserve God’s love, His mercy, and His goodness, “While we were yet strangers, while we were far off, God brought us near through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). Jesus says, “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). God handpicked us. Now, you may feel as though you don’t fit in, you’re not good enough, you’re a stranger. None of that stops God. He still chooses you. Thoughts will tell you, “You’ve made too many mistakes. You’re not qualified. You don’t come from a background of faith.” God says, “That’s okay. You’re exactly whom I’m looking for. I choose people who don’t look like you’d expect, people who don’t perform perfectly, people with flaws and weaknesses.”

Think of Simon who was from Cyrene, a city in North Africa. He was a foreigner, a stranger just traveling through Jerusalem who suddenly found himself carrying Jesus’ cross (Luke 23:26). God could have chosen one of Jesus’ disciples to help Him in His final, critical moments, but He purposefully chose a stranger who didn’t look like he belonged. Simon wasn’t Jesus’ disciple, but he was chosen to be a part of history. He could have tried to refuse, but I can imagine that deep down he heard a voice whispering, “I know you’re a stranger, but you’ve been chosen. This is your moment.” Simon accepted the calling and stepped into a destiny greater than he ever dreamed.

Only a short time later, when Jesus was dying on the cross, there were two thieves crucified, one on each side of Him. One mocked Him and said, “You can’t even save yourself.” The other thief said, “Jesus, when You come into Your kingdom, please remember me” (Luke 23:42). He believed Jesus was the Messiah, that He was the King of God’s kingdom. Jesus didn’t respond, “I don’t know you. You didn’t follow Me or My teachings. You’re a thief.” No, Jesus said, “This day you will be with Me in paradise.” Down to His last breath on this earth, Jesus was showing us that He chooses strangers, that our past doesn’t determine our future, that when we’re at our worst, God is at His best. That’s when His mercy shows out. Jesus was saying, “By grace you are saved, through faith—it is a gift from God.”

The tragedy is to go through life being chosen and never recognize it. Get this down in your spirit: You’ve been chosen by the Creator of the universe. You belong to God’s family. He didn’t choose you based on your performance; He chose you based on His love. Accept that God has a calling on your life, a purpose for your life, and it’s all by grace. This is the beauty of our God.

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