Extra Strength: Chosen by Love {John}

We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

Listen to Sit, Walk, Stand: What’s So Good About the Good News from Sunday, May 17 2015

By John Worth, Immanuel attendee and blogger

God cared enough to choose us before the world began.

Have you been thinking on that? I have. As I’ve reflected on the message last Sunday, I have thought about how I am chosen. I am not just a number or a job title or even my name; I am an adopted Child of God.

I was an orphan with nothing to offer yet was chosen to become a co-heir of Jesus. But the part that stands out as most unbelievable is that it had nothing to do with how good I was (or was not), or how I may have worked hard for it. He chose me solely because of His grace through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and His great love for me. When I really let it sink in it all makes my head spin; there are lots of “why” questions and only one answer that stands: God has chosen me because of His great, His deep love.

This thought of being chosen brings to mind the adoption process our family is a part of right now. We are currently preparing to travel to Eastern Europe to adopt two girls into our family. We know that God providently brought these two sisters across our path and has given us the opportunity to choose for them to join our family.

Why did we choose them? Honestly, we chose them because of love. We chose them because we love them. We delight in them. They have been wonderfully and fearfully made by a God who is madly and clearly in love with us. We chose them because God chose and loved us first giving us the opportunity, in a very tangible way, to understand what love looks like, giving us the opportunity to extend that same kind of love to others.

We have been chosen because of love by love Himself.

I want my soon-to-be daughters to know God has chosen them, and he loved them enough to rescue them, to adopt them into His family just like he loved me enough to rescue me and adopt me into His family. God has used our adoption journey to teach me about what it means to be chosen and about what it means to be loved. He has shown me through this journey about His great love for me in His adoption of me.

Today I am choosing to live as one chosen and loved by God, adopted into His family and redeemed through His son.  Today I am choosing to be loved by Love. Will you?

IMG_8516John Worth is a lifelong attender of Immanuel and husband to Hyacynth. John’s two boys keep him and Hy on their toes most evenings. When he’s not nose deep in spreadsheets at work John enjoys helping others navigate the waters of life.

Be Challenged: 

  • Dwell in the deep truths of God’s love for you by sitting in His Word. Reread Ephesians 1 and ask the Spirit to overwhelm you with His love as you read.

Go Deeper:

  • Tell us about how God’s love changed your life after you said yes to Jesus! Email HyacynthWorth{at}gmail{dot}com if you would be willing to share your story.

Our Prayer for the Monday After: Sit, Walk, Stand: What’s So Good About the Good News?

TheMondayAfterPrayerEach Monday we’ll be bringing Sunday into the work week by sharing a prayer for the week based on the Sunday sermon. You can now catch the sermon blogs written by our blogging team Wednesdays, where they’ll offer a mid-week shot of espresso to help re-energize, encourage and challenge us in the midst of our work weeks! 

The Monday After Sunday, May 17, 2015: Sit, Walk, Stand: What’s So Good About the Good News?

Yesterday, Pastor Joe Boerman launched the first part of his final sermon series at Immanuel with his message, What’s So Good About the Good News? We looked at Ephesians 1:1-14

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.

I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

Spiritual Blessings

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 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.[b] He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[c] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own[d] by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

Pastor Joe highlighted a few things:

1. “God literally came to us, stuck His hand into history and said, ‘I love you, I have come for you, I care for you, I want to rescue you.'”

Blog 5.18.152. “The good news is not just that God knew you but also He called you to be His child and paid the price for that to happen.”

3. “Jesus said, “whosoever will, may come.’ The offer to come to Jesus is world wide. So come.”

For the next seven days:

Make this your prayer and ask God to help you believe in His word: Lord, I am Yours. Help me remember it and live like it.