So many times when teaching youth, or anyone for that matter, this question arises: "Do we choose God or does He choose us?" This has always been a difficult question to answer because the answer is "yes".
There are Scriptures that clearly say we choose God. For example:
"... to all who receive Him, to those who believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12
In this verse we can see that we choose to receive God and to believe in His name.
But then there are verses that clearly say God chose us. For example:
(Jesus speaking) "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit... fruit that will last." John 15:16
Same book of the Bible. Same writer. So, which is it? Did God choose or did we? The answer again is "yes" and I think this analogy (while imperfect) can help us grasp this mystery. Bear in mind that the Bible is perfect and does not contain error. Rather, sometimes a concept is so beyond our understanding that we perceive as an incongruity.
I think the question of whether we chose God or whether He chose us can be answered like this:
Does a groom choose his bride or does she choose him? The analogy of Christ as the groom and the Church as the bride is used numerous times in Scripture. Thus, I'll steal that imagery.
When Christ chose us He do so like a man on one knee proposing. Christ humbled Himself, although He didn't need to, to get on one knee. He came down to our level and proposed salvation to us. How did we choose God? By saying "yes" to His proposal. He extended the love which we then accepted. Beyond this, I'd argue that if God is on one knee proposing there is no person that could refuse Him.
Having said "yes" He placed an engagement ring on our finger that is the Holy Spirit. I get this from Ephesians 4:30 which says, "... the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Meaning, the Holy Spirit is God's seal of His promised redemption just as an engagement ring is man's seal of his promise to marry.
So, God chose to humble Himself to our level and extend His love to us. We chose to accept His extension of love and reciprocate it. 1 John 4:19 "We love because He first loved us." Now we are sealed as if with an engagement ring by the Holy Spirit.
And a wedding is coming. Revelation 19:6-7
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give Him the glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and His bride (the Church) has made herself ready."
So choose God because He chose you first. If He's proposing salvation to you, accept it today.