March 30 I Wednesday
“Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” —Romans 9:21
The opening verse of this devotion is an analogy that Paul uses, where God is the Potter. The potter can make a beautiful pot out of clay to be put on display and admired, or an ordinary one, kept under the sink to store cleaning utensils. It is the prerogative of the potter to use what he makes for the purpose that he sees fit.
God’s purpose in choosing Israel was not about salvation, but about service. Having described the people of Israel as God’s chosen, Paul says, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1). Paul writes this because the Jewish people having been chosen by God was not in relation to their salvation, but to serve God’s purpose, which Israel did, but they were missing the issue of salvation.
Scripture presents six categories that describe being the elect or chosen by God. The first is the nation of Israel. The second is a remnant within Israel chosen by grace that Paul speaks of in Romans 11:5. Today, Israel consists of two and a half of the original 12 tribes; the rest were taken into captivity, intermingled or intermarried and, along the way, lost their identity. The third, Jesus speaks of His apostles as being chosen. Fourthly, certain angels are described in 1 Timothy 5:21 as being the elect. The fifth category is Christ, and the sixth is the Church or Christians, of which there are about 11 references in the New Testament to Christians being chosen.
If we look at the first five categories, it is evident that being chosen is not about salvation; it is about service. Every Christian is chosen in Christ to be a means of accomplishing God’s work. He has called each of us to a particular purpose, and whether we relate to the pot under the sink or the one on display, no one is more important than another. We are all needed and of equal value.
Peter writes, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election” (2 Peter 1:10). Paul does not mean to make our salvation sure, but to make the purpose for which God has called us sure. Just as Israel was chosen for a purpose, we are chosen for a purpose. God’s purpose for us is that our lives become an expression of His Son lived in and through us. Whether a bus driver, nurse, stay-at-home parent or the CEO of a company, we are a conduit for God’s work, serving Him in whatever capacity He has placed us.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I ask that You make me an effective conduit for Your work in this world, and that Your life becomes increasingly expressed in and through me. Thank You, Lord.