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31st July: Chosen... For What?

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

One of the most frustrating things about being a houseman is that you so often feel like a small, impersonal cog in an immense impersonal machine, just a 'pair of hands' to fill up forms, and do repetitive procedures. This can be frustrating and threatening to your sense of identify, both as a doctor and as a child of God.

Peter reminds us that as Christians we have been individually chosen by God (1 Pet 2:9) and Paul adds that this choice 'was made in Christ before the creation of the world' (Eph 1:4). We are each therefore of importance to our Creator himself. He is personally concerned with our welfare and destiny. What a privilege is ours! To realise it is to find the cure for feeling insignificant and of little consequence in the vast hospital complex.

But we need to notice, too, God's purpose in choosing us. It is 'that you may declare ('show forth' AV) the praise of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light'. We declare his praises not only by what we say about him, but by the people that we are, the things that we do and the way we do them. 'Live such good lives among the pagans that they may see your good deeds and glorify God' (1 Pet 2:12).

As we draw on his resources through the lifeline of prayer and reading his word, he will show forth his character in us even in the most unpromising situations, and we shall be 'to the praise of his glorious grace' (Eph 1:6).

To him that chose us first
before the world began;
To him that bore the curse
To save rebellious man;
To him that formed our hearts anew
Is endless praise and glory due.
Isaac Watts

Further reading: Eph 1:1-14.


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