Chosen For Love

January 27, 2017
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing"1 (Lyrics)

Ephesians 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. (NRSV)

I once heard a story about a child who was taught a special tune in his native village. His teacher told him that if he forgot it when he grew up and went out into the world, he should come right back home and learn it all over again.

We live in a world that aches for love, that hungers for a sign of God's caring. Although we may remember a time when the world seemed to shine with God's goodness, sometimes it seems like that was a long time ago in a faraway place.

Earthquakes and famines, floods and fires, disease and death, terrorist activities and accidents cause some people to doubt their faith in a good God Who cares.

And then, some little blessing: a green light, a parking space, the sound of a favourite hymn, a note from a friend, a chance meeting, a smile, a hug … and we're apt to say jokingly, "There is a God!"

But there is an element of truth in all our joking.

We're reminded of a time, before we ventured out into the world, when we knew our true name: Beloved of God. And we're brought back to that place to learn our song all over again.

Sometimes, even ministers forget the tune and have to come back to learn it all over again. One year, when I came back to the office after the Christmas break, I didn't know if I had the strength to go on. It had been a difficult year. I found a package sitting on my desk. Inside the package was a card explaining that the gift was a prayer shawl worn by many Christian and Jewish women in Israel.

I unfolded it, and read these words from Song of Solomon 6:3 and 2:4 inscribed on the material: "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine. His banner over me is love." I was reminded of a chorus that we used to sing together with the children of the Sunday school in my home congregation:

    My Beloved is mine and I am His
    His banner over me is love

    He brought me to His banqueting table
    His banner over me is love

    He lifts me up on a firm foundation,
    His banner over me is love

And I whispered to myself, "There is a God! And God cares!" I learned the tune all over again and was ready to face the world once more.

We were made for love, destined for love, chosen for love, from the beginning of time.

Whenever we feel as if no one cares or understands, let us remember the tune that God played at our birth. I think that it's a cross between Jesus loves me and these verses:

Isaiah 43:1,4a – But now thus says the Lord, he who created you … I have called you by name, you are mine. … You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you. (NRSV)

And if we forget the tune, may we come right back home and learn it all over again!

Prayer: Dear God, help us always to remember how very much You love us. Amen.

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About the author:

Helen Hartai <helenhartai@gmail.com>
Nestleton, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Helen.


    Beautiful devotional today! Just what I needed to hear.


    Thank you, Helen, for this reminder that we are cherished by God. Blessings.


    Very uplifting. Enjoyed this.
    (B.C.)


    Thanks for a good reminder today Helen!
    Blessings.


    Hi Helen,
    God does indeed care for us, enjoyed your writing.
    Blessings.


    Hi Helen,
    Thanks for a timely and helpful message. I pray all is well with you and your family. Blessings.


    Daily I read these messages. Pleased to read your this morning before this afternoon Bible study!!!
    Blessings to you.


    What a beautiful reaffirming devotional! God does indeed love us and is always near but it’s reassuring to hear it and be reminded.
    Thank you.


    Helen, thank you for this thought provoking devotional. There truly IS A GOD and he is wonderous and full of blessings. Sometimes though, I think we fail to see these many blessings. Keep writing.


    Yes that song reminds me and comforts me today as I read your message. Something special about it resounds in my brain and tells me that God is with me and in me. It gives me that jolt of energy to keep going. Thank you for writing about this.


    “You are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you.”
    I am going to write out those words from my God and put them up where I see them first thing in the morning.
    ‚ÄéThank you Helen.


    Dear Helen:
    Thank you so much for reminding us of God’s love for us. It’s heartwarming in these wintery days.
    God bless you.


    Thank you Helen for this LOVEly devotional this morning. We always need this wonderful reminder of our great God’s love for us. A great start for my personal prayer this morning.
    Sending “love” and warm thoughts to you and your husband,
    (ON)


    Oh Helen! Your devotional today touched my heart and revived ‘songs’ of my childhood – rich in depth and meaning!
    Thanks for helping me to learn it all over again how much the Father loves me even when I haven’t loved myself.
    These were are precious.
    You have been a real blessing to me. Thanks. Keep writing!!


    Thank You Helen for that beautiful devotion; it truly lifted my spirits this morning. I lost my wife of over 50 years, a year ago. And though I refuse to grieve as those who have no hope, I get exceedingly lonely at times. Just before opening the daily devotion, I was reading Psalm 84: and verses 2 & 3 stood out to me.
    I trust that God will give you an exceptional blessing today. God bless you above all that you can ask or think.


    Greetings Helen,
    I enjoyed your morning devotional so very much. It took me back to my days in Sunday School and the days, too, when my children were little and all the children would take little music instruments and go to the front of the Church and sing out all those Bible songs. I miss that so much in our church now as we are a very elderly congregation and have no children presently attending. We pray that someday things will change and we will have some young families attending again.
    Many thanks again for your devotional.
    Lord bless you,
    (B.C.)


    Hello Helen,
    Thank you for your meditation. We humans get so caught up in life and sometimes forget how God truly loves us. We are so blessed with our faith and His caring.
    Trust you are well.


    Hello dear Helen,
    Hope all is well with you and yours across the miles. I got the chance to read an impressive article for you the other day and it was about remembering the tune of God’s love if we happened to forget it. The story was very well written indeed and it brought me close to God more than ever before. Needless to say, you are a talented writer beyond the words can ever describe.


    Dear Helen,
    Yes, there is a GOD and he cares! And he works in marvelous and mysterious ways – as proved by your devotional.
    Last week as we were driving to a Robbie Burns dinner, we worried whether we would know anybody, would anybody speak to us and whether this was such a bright idea after all. However, we had not been there more than five minutes when we discovered some dear, old friends and neighbors whom we had lost track of during our respective wanderings as corporate gypsies. It was a wonderful evening – old friends found, pleasant company, good food, good music, and new found appreciation for the poetry of Bobbie Burns. All throughout the dinner and the following weekend, I kept being struck by the thought of what a blessing the dinner was and how it had turned a ho-hum weekend into a real pleasure.
    It is often these seemingly random “little” blessings that are the true proof of God’s love and do the most tide us over the rough patches.
    Thank you for a most timely and bang-on devotional.

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