"..He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.."
- Ephesians 1:4
A "Presidential Invitation" is a very high and prestigious honor that few people ever experience! Can you imagine the sensation of going to your mailbox, opening it up, and pulling out a golden lined, delicately engraved, personal invitation, directly from the White House?
Wouldn't it make you feel incredibly special to have one of the most powerful men in the world, the President of the United States, contact you individually and personally?
What would you think as you opened up the envelope and gently pulled out this elaborate and ornate invitation?
Would you perhaps be holding your breath in disbelief? Would you be looking around for a TV truck, thinking it to be a joke of some kind?
Once you actually took it out and held it in your hands, running your fingers over the high quality gold lettering, what would you do with it?
Would you save the invitation and frame it in the hallway of your home? Would you show it to your friends, or maybe save it in a special place to show to your children when you're older?
Most important of all, would you respond to the invitation by attending the event? Or would you perhaps dare to stand up the man in the Oval Office?
Though it may sound outlandish to you, every true disciple of Jesus Christ has been the recipient of an invitation that far exceeds any presidential or royal invite.
This is precisely what Paul the Apostle tells us in Ephesians 1:4, where he says of the Christian believer:"..He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.."
If you understand what he's saying here, it will absolutely blow your mind! You see, the word for "chose us" is the ancient Greek word "eklegomai", meaning "to select out of a group, to pick out, to choose out of."
Literally, what Paul told us, is that every follower of Jesus has been specifically, individually, and personally selected and chosen out of this world by God Himself! Paul is declaring that each true disciple of Jesus has been especially and individually picked out of this world, through the gracious choice of our King!
Remember what it used to feel like in school, when nobody chose you to be on their team? Can you recall the embarrassment you of those kids who were always picked last..or perhaps never picked at all? Have you ever conceived of the heartbreak an orphan must feel, who is never selected by potential parents to be adopted?
But for the Christian believer, exactly the opposite is true! The King of the universe has chosen you, individually and specifically! For reasons known only to Himself, God Almighty has seen fit to hand pick you, out of this crazy world, to save you, and then bring you to Himself!
Don't you see how special that makes you?! Don't you understand how being selected individually and personally by God makes you a priceless treasure and incalculable in value?! Can you comprehend how precious and magnificently special you are to God, evidenced by the fact that He picked you out of the entire world... just for Himself?!
This wonderful truth should forever banish any thoughts of worthlessness, self condemnation, or littleness that would attempt to poison the mind of a child of God. This reality of being specifically and personally chosen by your Creator, should forever steel your mind regarding the inestimable value that you hold in the heart and mind of God!
Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 13:44,45, when He told the "Kingdom Parable" of the man who was walking the field and stumbled across a priceless treasure and pearl? Jesus put it like this:
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
Though you may seldom hear it, the proper understanding of the parable is this: the Jewish people are beautiful treasure to the heart of God, and the Gentiles have now become, in Christ, a priceless pearl of great value to Jesus.
The Scriptures boldly and unashamedly declare your inconceivable value and worth to the heart of God. Even the Old Testament book of Malachi makes this obvious. In Malachi 3:17 we read:
“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,“On the day that I make them My jewels."
So the next time, that you're feeling down about yourself, remember that the King of the universe has specifically chosen and personally invited you to enter His glorious and eternal Kingdom!
Even today, if you have forgotten your true identity in Christ, remind yourself that Jesus' choice of you in salvation makes you more valuable than any treasure, more priceless than any jewel, and simply of more worth than anything you could possibly imagine!
Today, reread your royal invitation from the King Himself, and remind yourself of just how much He loves YOU, how much He values YOU as his child... And then thank Him for choosing you by His infinite and marvelous grace! (Read Ephesians 2:8,9)