You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 ESV)
There is a popular notion that a Christian becomes a Christian by his own choosing. But this passage tells us plainly that is not the case. A Christian is a Christian only because God chooses him. Rather than being bad news, it is good news. Left to ourselves, no one would ever choose God (see Psalm 14 or Romans 1). Each of us has gone astray, looking for our own way to curry God’s favor. The last thing that we want to admit is that we can’t get there by our own achievements, even of we limit that achievement to our own choice!
Lord, thank you for showing me, a horrid sinner, mercy. You turned me away from my futile efforts and humbled me. You stripped away the false hope I so wanted to have in my own goodness and granted me faith to believe in your Son, whom you gave for me! Knowing that you did not withhold your own Son, would you grant me now your Holy Spirit to guide and empower me to bear much fruit in your name.