But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. ~2 Thessalonians 2:13
If you spent time with me, you would soon know that I gather small pebbles and other natural items. Whether in forest or walking along ocean waves, I scan the area ahead of my steps for colorful stones. I have a rock polisher, and find it completely mesmerizing to transform a common pebble into a thing of beauty. The pebbles don’t look too impressive before I begin, often embedded with dirt, scratched, worn by countless years of weather, but they shine like precious gems when they have completed all four cycles of polishing.
I suppose I am telling of my rock polishing as a comparison to Christ Jesus choosing us for his own, washing me, washing you, cleaning away the clinging muck and scars of our sin. In His great love for us, he saw beneath our filthiness to what could be beautiful. He cleansed and purified our spirits by dying in our place. He is the source of all our blessings. If we call in repentence upon his name He will save us and dwell with us for all eternity. His Word says it is true, and I believe in what He promises. Blessed be the name of the LORD.
C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology
“He loved us first before he washed us: “Unto him that loved us, and washed us.” Not “Unto him that washed us and loved us.” This is one of the glories of Christ’s love, that it comes to us while we are defiled with sin— yea, dead in sin. Christ’s love does not only go out to us as washed, purified, and cleansed, but it went out towards us while we were yet foul and vile, and without anything in us that could be worthy of his love at all. He loved us, and then washed us: love is the fountain-head, the first source of blessing.”