Daily Devotionals

Identity Theft Week 1: Monday

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. John 15:16

One of my least favorite memories from PE class in grade school was picking teams. You see, I am not athletically inclined at all. Because of this, I was always one of the last people to be chosen. I was never offended because I knew my athletic abilities were subpar at best, but I always felt embarrassed and unwanted. Of course, no one likes to feel unwanted or like anyone’s last choice. However, there is good news if you have ever felt unwanted or someone’s last choice. Scripture teaches that this is never the case with God. In fact, Scripture teaches the opposite. Every one of us is wanted and chosen by God.

Shortly before His death, Jesus explained to His disciples that they were chosen by Him and for a purpose. He said, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name” (verse 16). In his last hours with His disciples before His arrest and death, Jesus wanted the disciples to know that they were chosen. He made it clear: He chose them. He specifically chose each of His disciples, and He chose them for a purpose. They were chosen to bear fruit. The fruit Jesus was talking about here was more disciples who would spread the message of Jesus to the rest of the world. That’s why Jesus gave the command before He returned to Heaven: “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus’ disciples were chosen, and He wanted them to know it.

Just as Jesus’ disciples were chosen, Scripture teaches that God also chooses you and me. Throughout Scripture, we read that Jesus chose to die on a cross so that you could be a part of His family. Also, like Jesus’ disciples, we are chosen for a purpose: to make more disciples of Jesus. We have the honor and privilege of spreading God’s message to the rest of the world.

Moving Toward Action

Take some time to think about what it means that we are chosen by God. Then, with your notebook or journal, answer the following questions. How does this understanding and teaching from God’s word affect your view of yourself? How does it impact your identity? Are you living like this truth from God’s word that you are chosen is true? If not, how would living believing that you are chosen by God affect your life? Finally, what step can you take beginning today to truly live out this truth from God’s word?

Going Deeper

John 15:1-17 (NLT)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.