Friends By Choice
by Rev. Howard Rosen, Jr
Pleasant Grove Baptist
We see Jesus explaining to His disciples that they were intimate friends of His because, He had chosen them and ordained them and were now to leave them with the job of bringing forth fruit. Also He tells them that they have an intimate relationship with the Father and they could ask Him for anything to help them do what they were chosen to do.
But we also see another message in these passages . . . I have chosen you.
Sometimes we are picky about who we choose as friends. We only see the surface of a person and we make choices according to what we see on the outside, and how we see them at first is the impression we often accept not willing to look closer.
But when we take the time to get to know them we began to see the good things, we learn to over look their faults, accept their differences, and then we see a friendship begin.
But when God chooses a friend, chooses someone to do a job, calls someone into the ministry, He sees them from the beginning as what they are going to become.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 20:15 Many are called, but few are chosen.
Let’s take look at some of the choices God has made, keeping in mind that each and every one of us are chosen by Him to do a special job in the work of our Lord.
1. Being a Friend of Christ – Is one of the most urgent and most rewarding tasks of our life. What we are chosen to do for God is the only thing that is everlasting.
2. Being a Friend of Christ – Gives us a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ, and allows us to teach others the riches of God’s grace.
3. Being a Friend of Christ – Is a privilege and a responsibility to all that have faith in Him. We are to protect the relationship.
4. Being a Friend of Christ – Gives us the privilege of communication with God the Father. Through prayer and fellowship in His word.
5. Being a Friend of Christ – Gives us the position of Ambassadors of Christ, spokesmen for the Kingdom of God.
I. GOD CHOOSES US
1. Every follower of Jesus is so by divine choice. Not by choice of our own, but touched in the heart by the Holy Spirit of God.
2. Most of us will have to admit, we were in need of a touch, but it was God that did the drawing, God that reached down and brought us to the place of friendship.
3. As Jesus says here, You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.
II. GOD CHOOSES US AS INDIVIDUALS
1. We are not chosen to be one mold in some mechanical form all doing the same thing.
2. When the Bible talks about unity, it is talking about doing things together, not all doing the same things. We are all a part of the body, but not all are heads.
3. Diversity is not a bad word in God’s vocabulary, we can not be what we are not, or do things we are not equipped to do. Neither are we equipped everything, we are to be open in allowing others to do their part in the work of Christ. It is not our place to do the choosing, it is our place to support the chosen.
4. There are different kinds of gifts, but all are of the same spirit. The Bibles is clear that we are all chosen to do the work of bearing fruit; it is God that chooses how we are used.
III. GOD CHOOSES US BEFORE THE WORK IS DONE
1. One of the great supernatural truths of God’s word is that He uses mortal man in the work of His heavenly Kingdom, as well as things that without His touch are nothing.
2. In the opening pages of this blessed book we find that God chose a spot of dust to create man in His own image, and chose that man to be the center of His divine plan of showing His great mercy, great grace and great love.
3. He chose a barren couple named Abraham and Sarah to give birth to a nation that would change human history for all time.
4. He chose an unemployed Egyptian-Israelite that stuttered to save a captive nation, his name was Moses.
5. He chose a teenager, with no high school education, just a keeper of sheep, but put a sling in his hand and he took out a nine foot giant, and grows up to be a man after God’s own heart. Even though we know this young man was not always in the best behavior. We might not have chosen him, but God did!
6. He chose to keep this pattern a throughout the Bible, for it was a young kids trust in Jesus that fed enough people to fill a stadium.
7. He chose a lose living woman from Samaria, to take the news of this man named Jesus back to the city. What a different message they heard from this woman’s mouth. Instead of come here man, it was come see a man!!
8. He chose the number one persecutor of the church to become His top evangelist, we know him as Paul.
9. He chooses all kinds to be His friends and to serve Him . . . Jacob was a liar, David had an affair, Solomon was too rich, Jesus was too poor, Abraham was too old, Peter was afraid of death, Lazarus was dead, John self-righteous, Paul was a murderer. John the Baptist didn’t dress stylish, Martha was a worry-wart, Mary was lazy, Samson had long hair, and Noah got drunk. . . My friends God chose you, and will use you, because God sees the finished work!
IV. GOD CHOOSES US SO HE CAN WORK THROUGH US
1. If the world would have its way, Christianity would have never been brought this far.
2. Even the concept of Christ likeness is in opposition to the world. The world says to succeed in business, in government, or in management you must begin with the best resources possible, not so when God chooses.
3. God did not choose us to be successful, but faithful.
4. He did not choose us to change everyone, but to change ourselves, He will work through you.
5. He did not choose us to lift people out of sin, but to tell them how they can be.
6. He did not choose us to heal the blind, but to bring the blind to Him.
7. He did not choose us because we are strong, but because He can use us in spite of our weakness and imperfections. The very thing that will cause a person to be disqualified by man’s standard is the very thing God will use to show His standards.
God says. . . I choose the weak, because they are aware of their need. I choose the simple, because only they can be made wise by the word of God. I choose the unpopular, because they have a first hand knowledge and experience of their once despised and rejected Savior. I choose the broken-hearted, the poor in spirit, the wounded, the scarred, because only they can help heal others. I choose the selfless and the ego-less, those who in the light of God know that they are nothing. Only they can be filled with God’s Presence.
God makes choices all the time,
And we often wonder why.
But when the work of God is finished,
And we see things through His eye,
We can only stand and marvel,
And say my oh, my, what a perfect guy.
To show His mighty wonders to such a little thing as I.