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12 & 13 February 2022 (Pastoral Page) CHOSEN BY GOD

By Asst Ps Lai Keet Keong

I was on my way home after my morning walk when I saw a scene I could never forget. A man, probably in his 40s, was walking his daughter to a neighbourhood childcare centre. The father was dressed casually, likely from a middle-income family and walked with a limp. What caught my eyes, however, was his little girl. She bore a palm-sized birthmark patch on her right upper cheek that belied a sweet and lovely face.

As the father and daughter passed me, a kind of heaviness fell in my heart. For I saw in this little girl a lack of joy or excitement. She did not seem to look forward to meeting her friends or playing her favorite games at the centre. Perhaps she was just tired since it was so early in the morning! Yet I wonder how often she had been teased because of her birthmark. All it takes is some nasty kids poking fun of how she looks and calling her names. I was saddened by the thought that at her tender age, she may have experienced rejection by her peers and others.

We live in a world where face value and superficiality are prized more than they are worth. Some people are rejected before they are even given a chance to have a go. In some workplaces, we are only as good as our numbers. We see the same lack of joy, beneath clean-shaven faces and perfumed outfits, that belie a desperate soul grasping for significance in this temporal world.

John 15:19 reminded us that that while we are in this world, our significance lies in heaven. For God, our heavenly Father and creator, has chosen us out of this world!

God chose you from the beginning of time. He called you by name and set you apart from this world. It is to God whom you and I truly belong! And because God chose you, He knows your situation more than you do. He was there when injustice and prejudice fell. He was with you when you made mistakes you wish you hadn’t. Through it all, His love for you has never swayed. John 16:33 went on to affirm, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I believe the Holy Spirit is affirming you and I that we are God’s treasured possession (Deut 7:6), His precious jewels (Mal 3:17), His chosen people (1 Pet 2:9). God loves, accepts, and chooses us, not for what this world made of us, but because we belong to Him.

May you remember and be encouraged:

  1. God created you. He made and fashioned you in your mother’s womb. He is your loving, heavenly Father.

  2. When you went astray, He called you back and never gave up on you. He chose you to be His people, called and commissioned you to bear His goodwill to this world.

  3. God who chose you is with you! He knows the troubles you face. They are not strange to Him. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ overcame the world, God will grant you the strength to overcome.

  4. Finally, you are chosen for a purpose. The purpose is not merely to excel in this world. For you serve an eternal God. Therefore, find your purpose. Seek His will. Then the powers of heaven are more than able to meet all your needs according to His riches in Christ’s glory (Phil 4:19). This is the life worthy of your all.

I humbly invite you to pray this prayer with me.

“Dear Lord, help me to return to the significance of the purposes and plans You have for me. I belong to You! You are my God, my refuge and my strength, my ever-present help in all situations.

Help me to walk in willing submission and joyful obedience. I surrender my fears, hurts and uncertainties to you. I rely on Your mercy and grace through all the days of my life. Let Your will for me be fulfilled, so that from this day onwards, may my life be a living sacrifice, that is holy and acceptable unto You. In Jesus’ name I trust and pray, Amen.”

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Thank you Pastor Keet Keong for sharing such a touching observation. The exhortation is most uplifting and helpful. The prayer is soul searching. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Francis Loo

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