Deuteronomy 14:2 - …for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
God’s Usual Unusual Suspects
The people of Israel were not the largest, richest, or most powerful group on the planet when God chose them. Nor were they the most righteous or obedient. And yet God chose them. In 1 Corinthians 1, the Apostle Paul tells us this is God’s usual mode of operation. He manifests his wisdom and power by choosing, and then raising up, the unwise and weak to serve him. It’s been a pretty effective plan thus far. There was a fairly well-known empire that was turned upside-down by the “dregs of society” a couple thousand years ago. It seems to still be working.
What is also striking about this verse is that Israel is referred to as God’s “treasured possession.” What a wonderful way to see oneself – as a treasured possession – something incredibly valuable to God.
Not In Us
When we think of ourselves as valuable to God, our first impulse might be to agree with the verdict. “Of course I’m treasured by God,” we may think. “I have so much raw talent, drive, character, and more. Why wouldn’t I be invaluable to God?” And yet, this sort of thinking is antithetical to biblical truth. In a way, it steals a bit of God’s glory and diminishes his grace.
The Bible reminds us, from beginning to end, that there is nothing in ourselves which compels God to choose us. Instead, his choice flows from his own good, perfect, and pleasing will that results in God loving us first.
But still, to think that we who are in Christ are God’s treasured possessions is an amazing notion. Yet that’s exactly what we are as heirs of the new covenant.
How ought we to respond to such news? Humility comes first to mind. There is no room for pride in the biblical worldview. How about gratitude and joy? Yes, there should be plenty of both to be sure. There’s also obedience. We mustn’t forget that. Lives lived in humble, grateful, joyful, and obedient response to the God who first loved us is essential, and should be natural. It should register as an, “of course” response from us.
But does it? Does your life reflect that sense of chosen-ness?
Are you able to wrap your mind around the idea of being God’s treasured possession? If not, why not make today the day you begin living in humble, grateful, joyful, and obedient response to who God is and what he has done on your behalf.
God of grace, I love you only because you first loved me. I love you only because you have awakened me to your love by grace through your Holy Spirit. I love you only because you turned my cold, dead heart into something living, able to love. I give you praise, praise, and more praise for this supernatural work in my life. That I can take no credit for this is humbling. I immediately sense how undeserving I am. And yet you love me! You have chosen me to be your treasured possession! Such a realization is more than I can fathom. But you have told me it is true and I pray I will worship you endlessly because of it. Thank you Father for your love. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
This Week’s Prayer Guide
[You can use this prayer guide in your own personal prayer time. However, I encourage you to use it with a group of Christian men. Each week you should spend time praising God for who he is, confessing your sin to him (be specific) as well as expressing gratitude to him for his gracious forgiveness. Also, don’t forget to thank God for the many ways he has poured out his goodness in your life. Then, focus on the following areas of supplication, which will change from week to week.]
Petition – prayers for yourself
· Help me to mature in my faith and to increasingly please God by my thoughts, words, and deeds.
· Particular struggles in various relationships
· My activities for this day
· Other needs
Intercession – prayers for others
· My Family
· My local church
· My denomination
· Para-church ministries, particularly Christian education and discipleship
· Evangelistic ministries
· Other needs
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