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Called and Chosen

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,

who has strengthened me, because

He considered me faithful, putting me into service . . .

I Timothy 1:12 (NAS)

It must have been very traumatic for me because I still remember the feelings after all these years, and if they haven’t gone away by now, I think they must be there to stay! What was it that brought on these feelings of despair? (Remember that it was a long time ago, please.) This tragic, very emotional event was being chosen for the “Red Rover” team. Did you ever play, “Red rover, red rover, let someone come over (and I always hoped it would be me that they called for–but I was a girl and a little one to boot!) And that chosen “someone” was to run as hard as they could and break through the clasped arms of the opposing team! Then wild cheering and you were a winner! But to be left standing with the group of rejects who were not chosen for the team was almost unbearable! Not to give up, come next recess I would be standing there among the hopefuls.

To be an accepted part of some group/ organization/ family is one of the driving desires for all of us. A long time ago when “hippies” were weird (they aren’t any longer) one of the identifying marks was that the males in the group didn’t wear any underwear. (Really? Really!) So I can just imagine someone who wanted to be a part of the “hippie” clan, sidling up to the group and proclaiming, “Hey! I’m just like you! I don’t have on any underwear! Can I be a part of your gang?” Whatever it takes to be an accepted part, we will often do it.

Being a member of a winning football team can become so important that anything it takes’ignoring my family, cutting back on my scholastic achievements, getting up early and staying up late building my body through blood, sweat, and tears’that’s okay. I want so desperately to be a part of the team!

Then there’s Paul. Paul knew who he was in Christ; he knew he was totally forgiven; he knew that he was now a righteous, holy, blameless person’all of those beautiful things bestowed on all of us as Believers, but he could never quite get over the incredible fact that God had allowed him to become a part of “His team.” Not that being a part of His team guaranteed status, comfort, plenty, or safety. It was important to Paul because he admired the Master so much and wanted to have his name on the list of apostles.

Because of his violent persecution of the Believers, Paul felt unworthy in his position as an apostle and apparently felt the necessity to defend his position.

For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God (1Corinthians 15:9).

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord (1Corinthians 9:1-2).

Paul just knew what the whisperers were saying as he walked by a group huddled together: “See that man over there? He’s the one who sent my parents to prison’I never saw them again.” “As far as I’m concerned, you can’t change the spots on a leopard and that’s the same man who has been going around killing Christians. No way am I going to trust him!”

Would he ever live it down? He was ashamed of it’terribly ashamed, but he had one marvelous thing in his favor: He knew that God had forgiven him and that God had chosen him to be on His team. This controlled his every act.

For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying’well, that’s better yet (Philippians 1:20-21).

Not only was Paul on God’s team, he was “called to come over!”

Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel (Acts 9:15 NAS);

But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles (Romans 11:13 NAS),

Paul’s dream came true . . . to be on God’s team and his final words tell us that he accomplished his dream: The glorious fight God gave me, I have fought. The course I was set I have finished, and I have kept the faith (II Timothy 4:7 PHILLIPS).

We’re on His team. He has chosen us. How wonderful! How incredible! And He has assigned us as His apostles to do certain things. Do we consider this awesome tribute the way Paul did?

“Hey! I’m on The Lord’s team! He chose me! I am someone very, very special! Not only that, He has called me to ‘come over!’ I’ll break through that line! I’ll be a winner! Just watch me run!”

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.