Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Ambassadors for Christ:God’s chosen people
Jeremiah 26: 10-15
v14 “Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you.”
All of us want to achieve success, particularly if that includes labeling ourselves or our work as unique. Being “chosen” means to be selected as the best or most appropriate option, and in our minds, we define it as a task/purpose no one else can be qualified for, and upon completion, we will gain the admiration of our peers, be well-recognized, and receive more good things. That sounds great but may not biblically accurate or consistent. The Bible is full of chosen people who did not achieve “success” the way we measure it today, and one of those prominent examples was Jeremiah.
He is known for his laments and pleads to God on behalf of his people who were often disobedient, idolatrous, and antagonistic towards God’s law. As a result of their sinful behavior, the message across the centuries of the old prophets was repentance and faith: Turn away from evil and towards God for forgiveness and life (Ezekiel 18:21-22); this is the basis of our salvation and prosperity (Isaiah 30:15). Jeremiah preached this message with fervor as his people willfully rejected it: (vs. 9) “You must die! Why do you prophesy in the Lord’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?” After all, who wants to hear messages of death and destruction? But Jeremiah knew this was God’s reality if the people did not respond. Jeremiah led a miserable life where no one listened, he was beaten, imprisoned, and later stoned to death. And yet, this was his glorious chosen calling!
What does it mean to be the chosen, royal priesthood? The chosen people proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of the darkness (1 Peter 2:9). God dwells among those people (John 14:16–17). His chosen generation is His prized possession, His treasure (Deuteronomy 32:9). He loves them with a jealous love and insists that they worship Him only (Exodus 20:5). He shelters them and has given them His name (Numbers 6:22–27). All these wonderful riches have come to us not because we deserve or have earned them, but because God chose us in His mercy and love to belong to Him. When we receive Him, we are not only granted eternal life, but are also restored and adopted as sons and daughters who will share in the fellowship and sufferings of Christ. Since we are objects of His mercy and not His wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9), we are called to share this message with the world even if/when many reject it. Not everyone who hears the gospel receives it but only the “few” who have ears to hear. The “many” hear, but there is no interest or there is antagonism toward God, and this is reflected in their behavior towards the messengers, such as in Jeremiah’s days.
Jeremiah unapologetically addressed the sinfulness of kings, prophets, and his people because that was his chosen calling. While we may not be called to martyrdom, God has called us to be the light on the hill and salt of the earth, so that in our good deeds, we will glorify Him. I challenge us in the seasons of plentiful and drought, to remember the calling and the value we have because of our identity in Christ. Church, do not lose heart and rest assured in the eternal promise; when we stand before God’s unbridled glory hidden in Christ, having lived faithful and obedient lives, he will look upon and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant...Come and share in your Master’s happiness!”
God, I praise you for the glorious victory won through Christ on calvary and for calling me out of the darkness. Lord, help others see the magnificence of Christ through a broken vessel such as I, and that I would grow in my love and devotion as one of your chosen people. Strengthen me by the power of your spirit to live a life honoring and well-pleasing to you, and may your will be done above mine. In your name I pray, Amen!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Do you expect to be honored in a world where your Lord was crucified?”- Charles Spurgeon
Shane Thomas, Long Island Marthoma Church
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church