We've written before about the interesting relationship between Jesus and us, described in John 15 as the relation between the vine and the branches. There are numerous lessons which come from this section of Scripture, and to refresh your memory we mention again things like the concept of pruning away branches which do not bear fruit, and the principle that the branches cannot produce fruit when they are apart from the vine.
There is a verse later in that chapter, John 15, that gives us yet another connection to consider. Jesus says in verse 16, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit."
Today we wish to talk about choices......something we make every day of our lives. Early training in our infancy leads us to learn and understand to choose obedience to the commands of our parents. Failure to make that choice will lead to consequences.
We also have choices to make when it comes to those people with which we are going to associate or be friends. Those are choices we make based on having similar interests, likes and dislikes, or perhaps the frequency of contact. We choose a vocation, something in which we can work to support our families as well as accomplish worthwhile duties and have a sense of pride in a job well done. We choose our life partner after meeting, dating, spending time to really learn that person, and finally the decision to choose that person to spend the rest of our lives together. Those are important choices, but the greatest choice we make is when we choose God as our Father and Jesus as our Savior.
When Jesus was choosing his disciples, the Bible lets us know a little about how he went about choosing them when he would find them and say something like , "come, follow me." He chose them based on what he could see in their lives, in their hearts. When he made them his choice, he was also inviting them to choose him. Their choice to follow him, similar to our choice to follow him, brought about life-changing changes.
Choices continue to be necessary for us to make. Like in the case of Moses who chose to suffer with the people of God rather than dwell in the courts of Pharaoh. Or in the case of Paul, after he answered the call of the Lord, he chose to preach and serve God through sharing the gospel, knowing it would probably lead to great suffering, imprisonment, and perhaps even his death.
Likewise, the Bible has its share of those who made wrong choices. King Agrippa almost chose Jesus, but never found the right time to do it. The one we know as the rich young ruler, wanted to make Jesus his choice, but turned away when he considered all the wealth he would be losing.
Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, he still calls us to himself. In choosing to die in our place, he invites us to choose him. I repeat, the greatest choice we make is when we choose God as our Father and Jesus as our Savior.