Do you remember being in middle school gym class and waiting to be chosen for a team? The coach would select 2 team captains, then those captains would take turns one by one building their own teams. Now I’m not sure who came up with this system, but I’m here as a fully grown 43 year old woman to tell you that sucks! I still remember just hoping someone would call my name early. Hoping I would be chosen to be part of a team. But my value as an athlete was rarely recognized and I stood just waiting to be chosen because they kinda liked me. For those of us who have ever struggled with an unhealthy need to be liked and chosen, I believe it could have started right there in 7th grade PE!
What if today, you’re being chosen FIRST? What if the team captain sees your value and worth and undeniably wants YOU on their team? How would you feel?
Ephesians 1: 4-7 “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”
Before this world was even created God was thinking of YOU. He was thinking of you, loving you, choosing you. Yes, the creator of the universe wanted you and he placed you in the middle of his creation because you bring him great pleasure. And you are without fault in his eyes. Yes, that’s exactly what this scripture says. He chose you in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Daughter, he doesn’t look at you with disgust. Nor does he look at you with disappointment. He sees you as the daughter he paid the highest price for because you were worth it. And this is what he wanted to do. God wanted to save you because you are worth saving. Your life is worth the sacrifice. And THAT is how God sees you. Maybe that’s a far cry from how you see yourself, and if so, you need to take another look.
Take another look, because you have failed to see your value.
Take another look, because you have failed to see your true worth.
Take another look, because you have failed to see your potential.
If you’ve been shrinking back, believing there’s nothing special about you, nothing outstanding about you, nothing remarkable about you … oh sister, think again! YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!
God purchased your freedom with the blood of his Son and that blood covers ALL your sins. Not just a little. Not just some. Not a select few, but all. All your sins have been covered. What is the most shameful thing you carry around with you? You’ve been dragging the guilt of this sin like a stone tied around your neck, weighing you down, holding you back and limiting your potential. And listen to me, it’s NOT YOURS TO CARRY.
Oh it was your sin, no doubt. Your bad choice, your neglect, your mistake, it was you, but it’s no longer yours. On the cross the price was paid for you personally and every single one of your sins were bought. You have been forgiven. And what does our scripture today say? “This is what he wanted to do and it gave him great pleasure.” God wanted to pay the price for you. Jesus willfully did this for you knowing in advance every bad choice you would ever make.
Ahhhhh, think about that for a moment. God knew every bad choice you would ever make in your entire life and he said “Yes, she’s worth it. She’s the one I want. I want to pay the price for her. I don’t want her to have to face the penalty for her sins or carry the guilt through her life. I’ll cover her.”
This is what has been bought FOR you, freedom. And this is what has been bought FROM you, shame. You have no right to carry around the shame of your sin any longer. Someone bought it from you. Now imagine if you had a car and someone bought that car from you. It would no longer be yours, right? Even if that car was a total hunk of junk and you felt it had no value, if someone bought it from you, it is no longer yours. When you accepted payment, you relinquished your rights.
And understand, this is what Jesus did for you. He showed up and bought that old hunk of junk that was littering your front yard and he hauled it off for you. He paid the price. Now it’s no longer yours. You have no right to go hunt it down and try to bring it back home. It’s not yours.
As my 3 kids have gone through those rough teenage years, this is a truth I’ve had to remind them (and myself) of. They’re going to screw up. They will make world class jacked up choices just like I did, and God knew that when he chose them. It didn’t stop him. In fact, it made him all that much more determined to save them because he knew they couldn’t do it on their own. Won’t you tell your kids they don’t have to carry around that guilt and shame any longer? They have been forgiven.
Maybe you’ve been holding a grudge against someone who wronged you. Won’t you let it go today? It’s not yours to carry. If God can cover your sin, don’t you believe he can cover someone else’s sin against you too? He can heal that wound. He can make you whole. Jesus paid the price for it already. You can walk in freedom now.
Oh to be chosen! To be valued and loved and wanted! All your life that’s what you’ve been wanting, and here it is. You’re not left out, you’re called out. You’re not forgotten, you’re forgiven. You’re not passed by, you’re plucked up. Jesus has called “MINE!” and he’s looking right at you. Why? Because you’re worth it!
In closing today, I will read our scripture again, this time from the Message translation (Ephesians 1: 4-7):
“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making.”