When I first started seeking the Lord, I was driving down I-20, I was high, and for some reason, I had a Bible in the front seat. I flipped to Proverbs, and everything it said about the punishment of the wicked applied to me. At first, I got scared, but then I realized that God wasn’t threatening me, he was showing me I needed a savior.
That’s the simplicity of the gospel: Christ died for our sins, and when we ask him for forgiveness, he shows us grace.
The Bible says no man comes to the Lord unless he’s called (John 6:44), so if you’re a believer, that means the Holy Spirit called you. Religious people want to go deeper than that, but until you grasp the love of God and learn how to reflect that love to those around you, there’s no foundation to build on.
The night before I was going to share this message at Word Alive International Outreach, I heard the Lord say to me, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “called” is the specific role God gives each of us, whether it’s to be a preacher, a teacher, a prophet or something else. But the Lord showed me I was interpreting this verse wrong.
Preparing for the Celebration
The Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22 tells the story of a king who prepares a wedding celebration for his son, but all his guests refuse to come. So he sends his servants out into the streets to gather as many people as they can find to fill the banquet hall.
“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” (vv. 11-14)
This guy had the wrong clothes on. So I asked the Lord about the significance of the garment he was wearing that got him kicked out of the party. Then I opened the Bible app on my phone, and the verse of the day said:
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:14-17, MSG)
God’s Chosen Choose Love
Love is our uniform as God’s chosen people. You can respond to the invitation to come into his Kingdom, but if you don’t have love, you’re going to get kicked out. Anything done without love is in vain.
When the Bible says, “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8), it’s not talking about the love of Jesus covering our sins. This scripture means that the love in your heart will cover your own sins and the sins of others. We must forgive one another if we want God to forgive us.
Sometimes people are scared of God because they don’t know what he’s going to tell them. But he doesn’t have bad news for you. Jesus is the good news. All he wants us to do is respond when we’re called and walk in love.
You are called, and you are chosen. Just don’t get caught at the wedding feast without love.