Imagine the feeling of being chosen… maybe when you were a kid and for once you were the first one chosen by the team captain at recess. Remember how that felt? You felt special and important; “I am wanted and valued”. Or what about the job that you really wanted and the interview was really tough but you were selected and given the position! That feeling is amazing and gives us so much confidence. It also gives us some pressure to perform and live up to the expectations of the one whom chose us.
Another scenario is a bit different – remember what it was like when that guy chose you and told you that he loves you no matter what? You don’t have to prove ourselves but rather just accept the gift of love that is offered. You have already done everything you can do to win his heart and he doesn’t demand any lists of tasks in order to make him love you more or to keep loving you.
I think this is a reflection of being chosen by God. Paul says in Eph. 1:4 “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” He chose us to be holy not because we were holy!! So love, choosing, and grace were extended before we were holy or perfect or blameless or even created! We were chosen as creations of God and because of his love — for no other reason! Stop a moment and reflect on this fact…
Our human love for each other is just a dim shadow of the immense love of the Father for us but it is what we can relate to. It just makes this love of God that much more amazing to compare how it feels to be loved unconditionally here on earth with how much MORE the love of God is for us individually.
“But there must be something I have to DO?” you say. The loving and amazing answer is “No”. Grace has already been given to us “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:4-5) The most amazing thing is that the saving is already done! There is nothing you can do to make yourself “more saved”. We must just accept this gift.
Knowing that we are saved brings us freedom in our Christian life (see Gal. 5:1). Paul discusses the law vs. grace many places throughout his writings and he gives this important warning: “You, my brothers, were called to be free, but do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.” (Gal. 5:13-14) So it comes full circle and the love that has been extended to us in “unmerited favor” we too should extend to others in acts of service and unconditional love.