To those of us among the many common people – never chosen valedictorian of our class, nor elected to any office higher than hall monitor, nor picked for the ball team or the first chair in the orchestra – the verses above offer comfort and instruction. God has revealed to us that His choice of those “called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:9) is one of pure grace.
This method of choosing, so foreign to man, will bring eternal praise to God, even as it brought joy to our Lord, as Luke tells us: “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes … for so it seemed good in Your sight’” (Lk. 10:21). This truth should bring joy and gratitude to our hearts as well.
If anyone reading this has always been a success – a university president, professional wrestler, bank president or listed in some “Who’s Who” – please feel free to stop reading now. But first thank God that in His grace He saw fit to include you among the few wise, mighty and noble He called.
Now back to those of us who never had what it takes. Whatever it was we could have been, we weren’t. When others were chosen for privileges or honors, we waited in vain for our names to be called. We lived on the wrong side of the tracks, didn’t know the right people, weren’t bright enough, had crooked teeth and a slight limp. We were not one of the chosen ones.
Then one day the most mighty and yet most loving Voice in the universe called our name. He knew us through and through, but that didn’t stop Him! He told us that He had already “chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4). By His call He made us “saints,” and not only was our calling a holy one, but also a high and heavenly one. All was changed when we became “the called of Jesus Christ” (Rom.1:6).
It no longer mattered that we were “foolish,” because God displayed His wisdom in us. Our being “weak” was no longer a handicap, for Christ’s “strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9-10). Our being without reputation became a plus rather than a minus, since our Lord Himself chose to be born in a stable and was the son of a carpenter. If we had been looked down upon we found ourselves in good company, for we now belonged to One who was “despised and rejected” (Isa. 53:3).
We discovered that God made full provision for all our deficiencies through Christ who was made unto us “wisdom … and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). Even those who belonged to the most hopeless category of all, “things which are not” (1 Cor. 1:28) found the One whose very name is “I AM” more than enough to perfectly meet our deepest need.
Let’s rejoice in our calling. Those of us among the “many” weak have lost our sense of shame, inferiority and failure, while those of the chosen “few” have lost their opportunity for glorying in the flesh. And together we have gained a worthy subject for boasting – the Lord Jesus Himself!
By Carolyn C. Gibb
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org