(Photo courtesy of Maya Kennedy)
You are Chosen and Dearly Loved
It is Now Time to Act Like It
By Maya Kennedy
How many times have we sidelined ourselves out of a deeper and fuller relationship with God? I know I have one too many times. So many of us believe this lie that we are not good enough, not worthy enough, or just not enough at all. God tells us on a number of occasions that we are so worth loving, and if the King of Kings believes we are, then why can’t we? God has personally redeemed us, summoned us by name, and has called us HIS (Isaiah 43:1). No matter our past, no matter what others may say about us, no matter our own insecurities, God takes our brokenness and redeems us. We need to rest in the truth that God redeems the broken more than ever during times of trial and suffering in our own lives. Sometimes I can’t help but think to myself, why God? Why would you do all of this for someone like me? The answer is so simple that it doesn’t seem true but that is the beauty of it: God loves us. Take that simple powerful truth and rest in it. God is truly pursing you and wants a deeper relationship with you (Jeremiah 31:3).
When we look at scripture, one of the biggest stories that stands out is the story of Paul. Originally Paul’s name was Saul and he ruthlessly persecuted Christians and sought to destroy the church. Despite Saul’s actions, God uses him to further his Kingdom. Saul’s persecution of Christians starts in Acts 7, when Stephen, a disciple, is being stoned to death. Stephen cried out to the Lord and immediately fell into a deep sleep. Instead of waiting for Stephen to wake, Saul approves of his being killed in his sleep. Saul also worked to scatter the apostles and destroy the church in Acts 8. Chapter 8 verse 3 reads, “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison,” showing how cold and hard Saul’s heart was to the Lord. In Acts 9, Saul was on the war path searching for Christians to put in prison when the Lord spoke to him, knocking Saul off his horse and onto his knees. From that moment on, Saul was seen preaching to the people about the Lord. From a murderer to a follower of the Lord, God used Paul to bring more people to him. God did not care about his past, he cared about his future. In Acts 13 it is explained that Saul would now be referred to as Paul and this becomes his name for the rest of Acts. This name change can be looked at as the dramatic conversion between his former self to his redeemed self.
So, when we are unsure of ourselves for whatever reason, let us think back to Paul. His life speaks volumes on how God still chooses those that have no business being “chosen.” We are God’s children, adopted and accepted into the family as co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16). Now that we know that we are the children of God, chosen, holy, and dearly loved, it is time to act like it – to clothe ourselves with the qualities of Christ (Colossians 3:12). Be confident in who God has created you to be and walk out with a boldness! Summer has just begun and I for one have traveled so much already! The world is a big place and so many people do not know God. Clothe yourself in compassion, humility, and kindness so that those in new places can know the Lord through who you are! Remember, no matter where you find yourself in life, God has called you HIS and no one can take that away from you.