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Chosen by God

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Rufus was on death row. His kennel bore a Heartworm Positive sign. He was a tall, skinny hound dog with big brown eyes, quietly standing in his cage looking at us, while the rest of the dogs were hopping around and barking. “Are you treating him for heartworms?” I asked the city shelter worker.

“We don’t do that here,” he answered. “But if you adopt him, we’ll try to help cover the cost of treatment.”

His chances of getting adopted weren’t good with the heartworm warning plastered on his cage. I felt sorry for him. I applied to adopt him that Saturday and was told I could pick him up on Tuesday after they had neutered him.

The next day, my daughter and I were walking up to our church and I said, “I think I made a mistake adopting Rufus.” I had started mulling over the cost of his medical needs and feared a non-house-trained dog in my house. Buyer’s remorse was setting in.

“Oh, it will be all right, Mom,” she said. But I was not so sure.

Our small group Bible study began, and soon the name “Rufus” popped up. But it wasn’t about the dog. As it turns out, Rufus was the son of the man who carried Jesus’ cross (Mark 15:21). Later, during the sermon, the pastor mentioned a man named Rufus as one of the Apostle Paul’s friends in Romans 16:13: Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own” (NLT).

Needless to say, I took note of two biblical mentions of Rufus on the very day I was thinking of canceling the adoption. And since that Tuesday, he’s been part of our family.

But the part in Romans 16:13 that applies to all of us is “whom the Lord picked out to be his very own.”

Every person is born with a sinful nature that places us in a box marked for destruction (Romans 3:23 and 6:23). It might even be fair to say we also have a spiritual type of heartworm as is pointed out in Jeremiah 17:9:

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

But the Lord picked us to be His very own. His Word says we “are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Not only are we chosen, but we are also adopted.

You received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. (Romans 8:15-17)

Because of your faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, you have been chosen to spend eternity as a child of God. He never changed His mind about taking you in, even knowing you’d need some house training. In fact, God the Father paid a tremendous price for you to be welcomed into heaven, your forever home, someday. It cost Him the life of His Son. That’s how much God loves you.

Father God, we are so grateful to be called Your children and know Your perfect love. Help us to surrender all our worldly ways to You, our Master and King. Use us as vessels that light up our world with Your light—and invite everyone to join in the joy of knowing You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Beth Patch on CBN's Brand Team

Beth Patch is a writer and senior internet producer/editor for She's been writing and producing web content for CBN since 2008. Her empty nest now homes a German shepherd named Princess Leia and a hound dog named Rufus.

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