"You are a chosen generation." 1 Peter 2:9
Each particular title of the people of God has a practical import of its own. When God has been pleased to give us so many distinct and peculiar names, it is that we may consider our obligations as they are thus expressed, and regulate our characters and lives accordingly.
These several titles may be arranged under several distinct classes. They display the origin, the relationships, the characters, the privileges, the prospects, of the servants and followers of Christ.
The present title comes under the first head. It describes the ORIGIN of our Christian state and character. It takes us back to the grace which has been manifested to us before the world began. It shows us that all things are of God, who has reconciled us unto himself, by Jesus Christ, and has sent to us the word of reconciliation. Let me consider the practical importance of this great fact--Am I one of a chosen generation?
Then, I would consider,
1. WHO has chosen me. God has chosen me. All my hopes and privileges come from this one source--of his own love, with which he loved me before the foundation of the world. With what gratitude I ought to think of him--with what confidence and affection I ought to regard him! It was not I that sought him; but he that sought me. This is a blessed remembrance to me. My character and hope spring not from my feeble will, but from his abounding grace. They stand not in my weakness; but in His eternal strength. Do I love him? Have I sought him? Do I delight to pray to him? Is it my real desire to obey him? All these are the result of his choice. Every plant that can bear good fruit in me, my heavenly father has planted. Let me never fail to give him the glory and praise for his work.
I would consider,
2. WHY he has chosen me. It was for no excellence of mine. I was not, when his choice was made. When I came into being, it was in sin and death. My nature was corrupt. There was no prospect of good from me. There could have been no motive in any excellence to be found in one so sinful. Not for any good thing I could ever do for him. I could have no good, but from his gift. He could make all the instruments he needed, as well as the end he desired. He could never depend upon me to bring out his ends. No. It was his own will--His own grace and love. I can assign no other reason than this. He had mercy, because he would have mercy. There has never been anything in me, but obstacles and objections to his work. I ought to think of this with deep humility--with entire renunciation of myself. I ought to give him all the glory, both for his choice, and for all that shall come out of it. My own sinfulness shuts out every reason for his goodness to me, but his own mercy. I can never have anything of my own, in which to glory.
I would consider,
3. For WHAT PURPOSES he has chosen me. To honor himself. To show forth his own glory. He means to show in me his grace, and love, and power to save. He will display this in my present life of trial. He will display it in my future life of glory. How earnestly, then, ought I to watch! How carefully ought I to walk, that I may honor him! It must be my effort, in all the fruits of holy action, to glorify him. I am never off of duty in this respect. Every part of my life has some connection with his great design. Every step is a part of his plan. Let no part oppose it. When I am obedient, I fulfill his will and further his design. When I am disobedient, I dishonor him and violate his purpose. Oh, with what vigilance ought I to walk with him, and before him, that my whole life may carry out the purpose for which I was made! This will be happiness to me, as it passes. There is no other happiness for man. This will be happiness after it has passed. My eternity can be happy, only as He reigns in it supremely, accomplishing all his will.
I would consider,
4. For what RESULTS he has chosen me. Surely this is for everlasting glory. He can have no inferior end to this. The end is eternal life. Then my hope ought to be clear and constant. God has chosen me to salvation. This will encourage me to press forward--to contend faithfully. I cannot be overcome. No weapon that is formed against me can prosper. O, let me never faint then. My present pilgrimage may be full of trial and pain. In the world I must have tribulation. But God my Savior will carry me safely through. He will make me more than a conqueror. And then his rest remains. How glorious will be the result! How satisfied shall I be, when I awake up after his likeness, and behold his glory!
I would consider,
5. Has God thus chosen me? The EVIDENCE of it is in my own character and state. I would never have sought him but for that. I was far off, when he brought me near. It was he who made me seek his face, and his favor. My choice of Christ is the evidence of Christ's choice of me. It is a very precious evidence. For I really choose him. Nothing seems to me so important, as an interest in my Savior, and a partnership with him. How willingly would I part with everything rather than this! How rich and full should I feel myself with this alone! Oh what mercy has thus been bestowed upon me! How grateful, how humble, how watchful, how hopeful, I ought to be, as one of God's chosen generation! Let me strive to grow in this blessed character, and in these heavenly fruits. Thus my walk will be peaceful and successful. And the God of hope will fill me with all joy and peace in believing, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
What thousands never knew the road!
What thousands hate it when 'tis known!
None but the chosen tribes of God
Will seek or choose it for their own.