“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4 NLT
For the first time, perhaps ever, I read Ephesians chapter 1 verse 4 and really read it in the way I truly believe it was intended to be read. I used to always read the verses as “God loves us (those who have surrendered their lives to Christ) and chose us (those who have and who will surrender their lives to Christ) to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
Now I understand that what it really means is God loves US (the entire Human Population that has ever lived, currently lives, and will ever live) and chose US (the entire Human Population that has ever lived, currently lives, and will ever live) to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
This means that there is no one here on earth that is exempt from receiving the love of God, the grace and forgiveness of God, the redemption and salvation of God, all of which has been purchased by his Son Jesus who shares Godship with his Father and the holy Spirit, and died on the cross so that Wicked, Sinful, Broken Humanity could be made New, made Whole, and made Righteous and share in the inheritance of Jesus christ and enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven forever.
This also means that the only way to be exempt is to, in your free will which is also a gift from God, choose to exempt yourself.
Its like an invitation to a party. Everyone on the entire earth, every culture, language, age, gender, and status is invited. Some will be excited and prepare themselves in hopeful anticipation. Others will be excited and get ready, until something comes up and they end up canceling party plans. Others will stick it on their fridge and forget about it, others will throw it away or by other means discard it. Still there will be those who want to go, but feel inadequate, and for one reason or another, choose not to show up. In the end, only a handful of people show up and they end up having the time of their lives, but at the end of the day who was invited? Just the people who show up? No! EVERYONE!
Its this reality that God doesn’t exclude people from salvation, redemption and forgiveness that needs to fuel the way we–those who have already received the forgiveness, mercy, and grace of God and have surrendered our ideas of how we should live our lives to accept the path God, through Jesus, has set at our feet and prepared and purposed for each of us in advance–treat others as we live on this earth.
If you’re the kind of Christian who has set up a hierarchy for themselves…Tear it down!!! We have all fallen short of the glory of God! Jeremiah 17:9-10 reminds us of the wickedness of the human heart; Isaiah 64:6-7 tells us of our sinful nature, Galatians 5: 19-21 spells out what our sinful nature craves, and Romans 3:23 reminds us of what following the desires of our sinful, wicked heart has earned ALL OF HUMANITY!! So when Jesus died he died for All of Humanity not just the ones who accept his invitation. He exempted no one, so we, as christ followers, should follow his example and treat everyone with the love, mercy, forgiveness, patience, and grace of God which he has extended to each of us, though we do not deserve it.
If you are not a Christ follower, have no desire for God, don’t care about him, don’t feel like you need him, are curious about him but don’t want to give up your life, etc. If you do not have a rich relationship with Jesus, but maybe, you heard of him–and still, maybe you haven’t. Here’s some good news.
It doesn’t matter!
It doesn’t matter how far you are from God. Jesus didn’t die for you because you thought you were worth his time. He didn’t die for you because you were righteous and awesome and perfect. He didn’t die for you because you are rich and important. He didn’t die for you because you understand the ways of God and are so devout. He didn’t die for you because you wanted him to. For this reason, and this reason alone he died for you: because he loves humanity and chose humanity in advance to be reflectors of his glory and to share in his inheritance–that we all will be, in Christ, holy and without fault in His eyes, and NO ONE is exempt. Including you.
In your free will you can choose to ignore him, reject him, despise him, over and over again as long as you live, but He will never stop pursuing you and extending you an invitation of his grace, forgiveness, and redemption, even unto your final breath on this earth.
In my journal this morning I wrote this, and with this I will close.
All of OUR COLLECTIVE SINS are what Jesus carried to the cross, and he has forgiven them all–the very root sin, deep within the human heart which desires its will over God’s, its way over God’s, its dreams over God’s, its authority over God’s, its world over God’s, itself over God.
He has forgiven that, and in Christ, revealed the true purpose, power and authority of the human race. That we are to create, build, interact with others, and shape our world as an act of worship to the Lord God who created us, as we reflect His glory to the world so that they will know his name above all other names and come to worship him!
Its not that our names, our lives, our hopes and dreams and aspirations, and human desires don’t matter. Its that they all find a greater purpose and have a deeper meaning when we dedicate them to the glory of Jesus Christ and his Father, through the holy Spirit, as an act of wholehearted worship to Him.
We must stop exempting ourselves and others. Ask yourself this question: Are you human? Regardless of whether or not you understand what it means to be human, the answer is yes (otherwise you would not have been able to comprehend what you just read, or read it at all for that matter. Or, if you are blind, what someone else has just read to you) so find hope and relief in the fact that God is calling you, inviting you to accept the love, forgiveness, and redemption of Jesus Christ so that you can become His and be a complete, whole, purposed human being who is no longer lost and broken and empty, but found, healed, and has received the fullness of life.
No one is exempt!! All are invited!
Accepting or declining the invitation is purely your choice, but He never stops asking. Even unto your last breath.
What will your answer be?