“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:4
Scripture reading: Ephesians 1:1-12
It doesn’t matter to which denomination or tradition you belong, the doctrine of election causes us difficulties and questions. Yet, it is undeniably a doctrinal truth which runs through all of Scripture, beginning already with God’s call of Abraham and later His choice of Israel out of all nations.
Moreover, the topic of election is nearly always introduced in Scripture for a practical purpose. It fosters assurance of salvation, holiness of life, humility and gratitude. But still no explanation of God’s election is given other than God’s love. This is made clear in Deuteronomy 7, “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples.”
It was out of love that God chose us. That is, He chose us simply because He loves us. He does not love us because we are lovable, but only because He is love and with that mystery, we must rest content.
In our text, Paul asserts that the apostles know their brothers and sisters in Thessalonica to have been loved and chosen by God. However, if election is essentially a secret known to God alone, how could the missionaries possibly dare to claim that they knew it? Well, the apostles had seen the fruits of election among the congregation. They spoke of their work of evangelism and their holiness. These were both evidence of the activity of the Holy Spirit’s work among them.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that God will deepen and strengthen your faith by convicting you of being an elect child of God. Ask God to grant you what you need to make your calling and election sure.
Rev. Mark Zylstra is an emeritus minister of the United Reformed Churches in North America. He and his wife Corrie, live in Smithville ON and their home church is Wellandport, ON URC. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.