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Day 23

Sealed: Adapted from Romans 8:31-37. In the name of Jesus, I claim this mighty prayer in my own life. If God is for me, who can be against me? You who did not spare Your own son, but delivered Him up for my sin, how will You not also through Jesus freely give me all things and protect me through all circumstances? Who can bring a charge against me as one of Your elect? Only You can justify! What is able to separate me from Your love? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No! In all of these things I overwhelmingly conquer through Your love. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing are able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.

The question of “election” has always been a kind of stumbling block for me. What does Paul mean when he says, “Who can bring a charge against me as one of Your elect? Only You can justify!”

When I participated in a Bible study of pastors preparing sermons, we talked about what being “elected” meant. Did it mean a person chosen by God to serve God was “better” than others? We decided that Scripture is clear: people are chosen to bless others, blessings are given to be shared, and by the way—no people earn a “chosen” status because they are already good—God’s grace in people brings about the goodness after God chooses. We remembered that when David was chosen over all of his brothers, God told Samuel, (1 Sam 16.7) that “the Lord does not see as mortals see, they look on outward appearances, but the Lord looks on the heart.” When God chooses a human being to carry out a task, it does not mean that the human being is “better than others” but it does mean that human being’s heart is open to service. That said it is the Lord’s strength—not the human being’s self-reliance—that will bring the service full circle. So prayer involves a supernatural relationship that requires a heart that has not been hardened and is open to accepting God’s transformational grace. Will we allow God’s grace to touch us when we are elected to serve? Can we trust that God’s grace is our seal of protection keeping us connected to God and able to complete whatever task God has in store for us?

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