In John 15:16 Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you …” This is the best news the believer could ever hope to hear. It means that salvation is secured in God’s righteousness and not our own. Jesus also said in John 5:30, “I can of Myself do nothing.” If the Son of God claimed that He could do nothing of Himself, then you and I can do less than nothing without God. Many people believe they are saved because they did the right thing and chose God. If a person can be saved by doing the right thing, can’t that person lose their salvation by doing the wrong things? Many believers live in constant and excruciating uncertainty about their relationship with the Father because they believe their salvation is dependent upon how well they perform for God from day to day. I haven’t been the most godly husband or wife to my spouse lately or I know I need to read my Bible more or I don’t attend church as faithfully as I should, so how can I believe that God loves me as much as the Bible claims? These are the type of questions that a believer will begin to ask if they don’t understand that God chose them, they didn’t choose God.
Isaiah 46:9-10 says that God knows all things before they happen; He knew every decision you would make before you were ever born. He knew every mistake you would make when He chose to save your soul from eternal damnation. 1 John 4:19 says that, “We love Him because He first loved us.” God doesn’t love us because we love Him. He loved us before we loved Him. A believer must believe this if he or she is going to have a healthy relationship with God. If a believer doesn’t believe this they will spend their time on earth trying to earn God’s love with good works. Every day will become an unsettling roll of the dice as to whether they’ve done enough to be counted worthy towards God. They will not share the love of Christ with others because they feel they’re not worthy, or they will share the love of Christ out of obligation and think that God loves them because they fulfill their obligation. Our Heavenly Father is not like many of our earthly dads, easily angered or completely indifferent. God’s love doesn’t change according to what we do or don’t do from day to day. God showed His love for us when Jesus died on the cross over two thousand years ago and was raised from the dead for our sanctification three days later; that love hasn’t changed because of what you’ve done or didn’t do this week, this month, or this year.
Scripture says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. There isn’t much joy in knowing the Lord if He can be offended as easily as a begrudging boss or a spiteful dad. The foot of the cross is the only place where you can come wounded, flawed, imperfect, unable to meet your quota, scared, or even rebellious and still always find love and peace and joy that lasts even when circumstances fail. The prostitutes and thieves and liars and cheaters understood this when the religious elite and good upstanding citizens didn’t in Jesus day. The same is true today. The Gospel is only for people who don’t deserve it, not the ‘good’ people who feel like they could earn it. The word of God shall not return to Him void; no flaw can turn God’s love away from you. Repeated sin will affect your relationship with God, but it will not change how God feels about you. It is like a lifeguard who saves a man or woman from drowning but then pushes them back in to the water because they don’t meet the lifeguard’s standard. Only an evil lifeguard would do such a thing. In John 10:11-12 Jesus said, “I am the good Shepard …” He goes on to say that only a hireling would abandon the sheep once they were in his fold. Jesus is nothing like a bad lifeguard. Jesus chose me—and every other person who believes on His name—completely of His own accord. He knew exactly what He was getting into when He paid my purchase price in blood; we can all find lasting comfort in the fact that Jesus never suffers from buyer’s remorse.