Changed Companions

Most of us have run with a less desirable or even a very sinful crowd before we came to Christ. Now, we now desire to be involved with others who know and love our Lord and His Word, and who are interested in the things of God. Our closest friends are our brothers and sisters in the family of God (or some who are starting to open themselves to Him). The change of friendships is usually so surprising that it is often difficult for those outside of Christ to understand. In I Peter 4:3-4, Peter wrote: “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you.” We, knowing the pull of unsaved companions, can relate to Paul’s statement in I Corinthians 15:33: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” The underlying thought seems to be that being closely involved with the unsaved can corrupt our standards. This is why we are to separate from unequal yokes, unclean things, etc. (See II Corinthians 6:14-17). However, this doesn’t preclude our being friendly toward them, without following their lifestyles. When they know the reason for the profound changes in our lives, they may reject us. However, for some, the difference may motivate them to receive Him as Savior and Lord. While we reach out to them, without running with them, our hearts are bonded with those of like precious faith. A holy life and a heart of love, God may use to draw a seeker to salvation.  We, who already know Him can identify with Charles Wesley’s fervent cry in the hymn: “O for a Thousand Tongues.” “Glory to God and praise and love be ever, ever giv’n by saints below and saints above –the Church in earth and heav’n.” Selah! Our brothers and sisters in Christ are friends as well as family forever!  Ron

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