And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach Mark 3:13-14 (ESV)
I chose you. I wanted you. I called you. Does that surprise you? Yes, that does surprise me. Why is that? I did not want you. I was not interested in coming to you. I had no desire to follow you. It was not my plan to serve you. There was nothing in me that deserved a call from you. I did not merit your forgiveness. I did not earn your salvation. I was a pathetic human being. I was self-reliant. I was self-sufficient. I was self-indulgent. I was living and walking a dark and sinful path that led away from you. I thought that I didn’t need or want anything from anyone. I lived solely for my own comfort and pleasure. I used people and consumed things. I lived as the center of my own universe. I was my own god. You have a good assessment of your old life without me.
What happened to you? How did I get your attention? What turned your life around? How did you hear my call? What made you want to come to me? I was living a bruised and battered and broken life. I was hurting people. People were hurting me. I was getting paid the wages of my sin. What are the wages of sin? The wages of sin is death. Death was a good description of my life. I was weary and worn out. I was discouraged, depressed and defeated. I was without hope in the world. I was at the end of my rope. I was in the bottom of a deep hole with no way out. It seemed like there was nowhere to turn but to you. That is how you got my attention. So, I cried out to you. I asked you to show yourself to me. That’s good.
Did I show myself to you? Yes, you did. You drew me to yourself. I confessed my sins to you. I turned my life over to you. You forgave my sins and cleansed me of all my unrighteousness. Yes, I did. What else am I doing for you? You brought me into your presence. You restored my soul. You are changing my heart. You are transforming my mind. You are guiding my life. Now, I love you with all my heart and mind and soul. Yes, you do. I can see that in you. What does your love for me make you want to do for me? I want to obey you. I want to follow you. I want to serve you. I want to live my life with and for you. That is very good.
Where do you think I will send you? What do you think I will ask of you? You will send me out into the world. You will ask me to tell others about the new life that they can have in you. Will you do that for me? Will you go where I send you to do what I ask of you? Gladly, without a doubt. I am at your service. Use my life to fulfill your purposes and accomplish your plans. Yes, I will.
Lord, thank you for calling me to come to you. I heard your call. You helped me to come to you. Now, there is no place I would rather be than in your presence. Now, there is nothing I would rather do than go out into the world to serve you. Prepare me. Use me. Amen
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