Have you been a Christian for a long time? I have been a Christian for more than fifty years. I received an email recently from a friend who has been a Christian for a long time too and he was lamenting that he loves God but the fire doesn’t seem to burn as brightly as it once did. Life with God can be good but when we have been following Jesus for a long time, we can forget how bad we had it before! Today, let’s listen for a reminder in a passage from Paul’s letter to a man named Titus:
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7)
Isn’t that a great passage? I like the way Paul identifies with his readers when he uses the word “we.” Let’s listen to it again: “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.” Do you miss that life? I sure don’t! God has delivered us from our foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved, lustful, malicious, envious, hateful lives. Isn’t that wonderful? He did it, not because of anything you and I have done, but because of His great mercy. But wait…there’s more good news. God didn’t just save us; He adopted us! Both you and I know what rascals we once were. But despite our waywardness, God has taken us into His family. Today, you may feel that some of the old fire has died down—but there are still some embers in there. Take a few moments to stir up those embers by thinking about where and what you were before the fresh new life God has given you. He adopted you and made you His own child. Praise Him for his astonishing grace and mercy.
God doesn’t just love you from afar; He has adopted you into His family…and that’s very Good News!