The VIP Club
I have very little experience in being “chosen.” I have never been a particularly gifted athlete, always forced to rely on hustle instead of talent. So I was always one of the last ones picked for softball or basketball. My wife and dog are the only ones that think I’m good-looking, and one of them only tells me that so that I’ll give a treat. That my wife even chose me to be her husband; lol, I can’t help thinking that I’m the beneficiary of a major fell-down-on-the-job moment in heaven’s match-making division. I’ve always imagined myself to be sorta average, and despite people’s opinion to the contrary, I am consistently unimpressed with myself.
So you’ll have to excuse me if I gush and blush a bit as I talk about being chosen to join a very special group. I warn you; you’re gonna be jealous. Some of you will wonder if this might make my head swell to previously-unrealized heights. Others of you are sure to ask me how you can also join this group. But let me tell you about it first.
This is a very special, invitation-only club. I can’t let you in unless you have been invited. The only reason I got an invitation in the first place was because the club’s founder really, really liked me. Not in a “I’m impressed with what you’ve done” or “how you look” or “who you’re connected to” way. But in a “I just really like you,” “I think you’re awesome,” and “I want this to last” sort of way.
I have been invited to join God’s family.
I am. It means I have access to more riches than if I were adopted as a Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, or Gates. It means I have more power and influence than if I joined the Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Bush clan. It means that I am guest at more lavish dinner-parties than those thrown in New York, London, Paris, or Tokyo. It means that I can take advantage of greater perks than members of the world’s greatest platinum-level resorts, societies, or clubs. I enjoy savings superior to what Sam’s Club or Groupon.
But being a part of God’s family, like any club, has its expectations. Being part of any group always comes with expectations. My wife expects me to meet several expectations if I want to remain in her exclusive group of “us.” Like pick up my underwear and do the laundry. Silly wife.
As a part of God’s family, I am expected to be holy and blameless (Eph. 1:4). For some, this may seem like a deal-breaker. But it is not for me, and here’s why:
I was chosen to be a part of God’s family before I was ever born. In fact, I was chosen to be a part of it before my grandparents were born. And their parents. And their parents. And… well, I was selected to join God’s family long before the world even began. Like, long before Genesis 1:1. Yeah, that long ago. But even way back then, God knew my name, my DOB, what I would do in life, my secret thoughts, my closet sins. He knew me from the inside out: the good, the bad, and the very ugly. But he chose me to join his group anyway.
God knew that I would be broken when I received my invitation, and that I would question whether I was really cut out to join his group, given its heavy list of expectations for its members. But he invited me anyway because this group doesn’t have unreasonable expectations that members must meet without any coaching or aid. No, God decided to give me a piece of himself to help me meet the obligations (Rom. 8:14). And he allows me to start over with a clean slate every time I mess up. So, while I try to be holy and blameless as God has asked, it's never really me that's doing it, but God. His Son forgives my failures and his Spirit helps me live better. To borrow a phrase from another group member, there isn’t really any way I can lose by being a member of this group (cf. Rom. 8:31-39).
And here’s a really cool thing about all this: the fact that God invited me to join his family before expecting me to “live up to it” actually makes me want to “live up to it.” If I had had to live up to it before the invitation, I would have lost interest. I seem to always bail on things that are too hard for me (again, I’m very unimpressed with myself). But given that God invited me to join the club, and then asked me to live up to his expectations, giving me all the help I could ever need in the process; well, that’s just one of the many reasons why this club is so awesome.
And it is my great pleasure to invite you to join this group as well. I said before that it is invitation-only, but the secret-that-really-shouldn’t-remain-a-secret is that everyone is invited (2 Pet. 3:9). I hope you will make plans to join today if you have not already done so. If you have already joined, then thank the club’s Founder for choosing you to be in the “in” group.
And then invite someone else to join. He won’t mind.