I Would Have Hated You

8/09/2007

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit..." - Titus 3:3-5

I have some incredible friends (you know who you are). I simply love spending time with these guys. We laugh together, we laugh at each other, we play video games together, we eat wings together, we encourage one another, we correct one another, we bear one another's burdens, and we experience true fellowship together. I treasure the friendship of each of these men. They are a gift to me.

But the truth is, apart from Christ's redemptive work in my life, I would not enjoy fellowship with these men. In fact, I would hate them, and they would hate me. I wouldn't want to be with them. There would be no sweet fellowship, no encouragement, no correction. Just hatred.

But oh how sweet is the power of the gospel. When Christ saved me, all my relationships changed. First and foremost, my relationship with God Himself changed. I was once an enemy of God, now I'm His beloved child. I was once a God hater, now I'm a God lover. I was under the furious wrath of God. Now I know nothing but love.

My relationships with others changed as well. The Spirit of God causes me to experience sweet, soul-satisfying fellowship with other Christians. Where as once I would have despised spending time with other Christians, now I long for it and treasure it. Prior to conversion, my sinful pride would have caused me to isolate myself from others. Now the Spirit of God moves me to bring others into my life. And to top it all off, God gives me friends who I absolutely love spending time with.

Isn't God kind to us? When was the last time that you thanked God for a specific friendship? When was the last time that you expressed your gratefulness to God for the people in your life? The next time you find yourself enjoying an evening with friends, pause for a moment and lift a prayer of gratitude to our generous God. We deserve Hell, instead He gave us friends.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:20 AM  

2 comments:

thanks for this thought Stephen. I am about to go and spend some time with close friends and you have helped me to thank God more for these buddies and the fact that we have been saved into fellowship.

Dan said...
August 10, 2007 at 1:37 AM  

Thanks for the encouragement Dan. Yes, what a sweet thing to be saved into fellowship. I just got back from meeting with a bunch of guys and it was sweet indeed.

August 10, 2007 at 8:27 AM  

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