Chosen and called

Quite often in Christian circles you hear how we have been called or chosen by God. The Bible states it quite clearly in Ephesians 1:11 when Paul reminds us that “he chose us from the beginning”. But what does that mean? What have we been called for? Why have we been chosen?
The first thing to point out is that the fact that God chose us is a huge honour. He doesn’t need us. He spoke the world into existence – what could He possible need from us? Yet even though He doesn’t need us, He still chooses to use us. He wants us to be a part of what He is doing, so being called by God is a massive deal, and something we need to take seriously.
So what have we been called to do? I believe that as Christians there are three things we have been called to do, and once we get those things right, everything else will fall into place. We are called to love God, to serve others and to become like Christ. How we respond to this call will vary for each of us, mainly with regards to how exactly we serve others. But there are basic principles that will be the same for all of us. And if we believe that God our Father, creator of heaven and earth has called us, and we are serious about maturing in faith, if we want the feast of solid food rather than spiritual baby food then we need to work at responding to each part of our call from God.
We need to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind. (Deuteronomy 6:5) This means surrendering totally to Him. It means treasuring Him above all else – above money, above popularity, above comfort, above all possessions, above all relationships. It means being content with Him and Him alone. It means a love that impacts every aspect of our lives – every thought we have, every move we make, every word we say. It means a love that isn’t just there on Sunday mornings, but is there every minute of every hour of every day, even when it’s tough. Even when there is a storm raining down in your life and you feel like throwing in the towel.
And out of this radical passionate love for God will flow a desire to love the people He made in His image. A desire to let them know about Him. A desire to tell all the world what Jesus did for us on the cross. But more than that, not just tell, but show. To practically demonstrate God’s love to a desperate world by serving those in need. Being His arms, His hands, His feet. Because on their own, words are just words. But back them up with a life of action, a life that demonstrates you are serious about your love for God and then people will start to take notice. And we will start making progress on Jesus’ instruction for us to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19)
And as we respond to those first two parts of the call it is inevitable we will also make progress on the third part, becoming like Christ. As Christians we are called to be transformed into the image of Christ, to be His hands and feet. In Romans 8:29 we are told God chose us to “become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” The best way to start is by studying how Jesus lived – what He did and what He taught and to start doing likewise. Which means loving God more and serving others more.
That’s what it means to be called by God – to be called to love Him, to serve others and to become like Christ. That’s the basic concept that I’ll refer back to and flesh out a bit more. And remember each of us also will have a more specific calling to a task or service that only we can do.
So now the choice is yours. You know you have been chosen and called by God, and you know the broad outline of what that call is. So how will you respond?

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