“Do I have to?” A question we once asked when told to do chores or take a bath has since become a question with far deeper roots — our purpose.

Do I have to talk to people today? Do I have to go to church? Do I have to tell my kids I love them every night? Do I have to help my elderly neighbor mow their lawn? Do I have to … ?

The truth — no. We don’t have to. We don’t have to serve. We don’t have be generous. We don’t have to have compassion. We don’t have to extend grace. The reality is none of us have to do what we’re asked — though we can’t neglect to accept that there’s a consequence with every choice, whether right or wrong.

It’s a concept most often referred to as free will — the ability one has to choose for themselves their course of action in life.

Then why? Why do I spend so much of my life doing all of these things?

Because God. Because God called you — right here, right now.

The Choice is Ours

God doesn’t necessarily need me, or you, to carry out his will. Surely there are countless, more qualified, sons and daughters to call upon for this very task.

God has a choice and yet he’s chosen me — a lowly wretch with an ugly past and a chaotic present.

God didn’t carry me through the valley only to leave me on the ledge of a mountain.

God didn’t rescue me from the pit of darkness only to watch the lights go out once again.

No. He called me away from the ledge and rescued me from the gates of Hell because of who He is.

And that — that’s the grandeur of grace.

He wanted my chaos, my trouble, my pain and the many lessons I’ve learned along the way because with them I am qualified; and he intended that through it all I’d find purpose.

With every foolish choice, every wrong turn, and every scrapped knee He knew I’d find His purpose for my life.

He has been preparing me that when He called I might respond just as Isaiah had in Isaiah 6:8.

And when he called, with exuberant joy, I responded, “Here I am. Send me.” 

Why? Because it is the lowly, the sinner, the shamed, the outcast, the prisoner — the one’s society calls rejects — who deserve to know they are not what the world has deemed them as. They, too, are loved and nonetheless worthy of God’s perfect grace.

How tragic to live, even one day, not extending the very grace and compassion my God so generously poured out on me to those who’ve been rejected and scorned just as I once was.

Society tells us to reject those of a lesser status — to shame them for their past, to ridicule them for their mistakes, and to disgrace them dependent upon their economic status. But what a different world it might be if those deemed as rejects knew the very grace of God.

Divorce rates would drop.

Recedivism rates would decrease.

Suicide rates would fall.

Above all, Christ would reign in the hearts of more people. After all that is the mission, right? To go and make disciples that they, too, may be saved.

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