I love quotes. I think I may be a quote hog or maybe an addict. When I am reading a book I always keep a pen or highlighter in hand to note the quotes that really speak to me. I am not a person you would probably want to borrow or buy a book from because of all the underlining and notes I make. Quotes make me really happy.
Whenever I come across a quote I really like I will open up my ancient version of Microsoft Publisher and copy the quote into the program, then I give it a fun colorful font (with a shadow or outline for curb appeal) and tape or tack it up on my wall. I have done this for years. For the twenty years I have been in ministry I have acquired about two handfuls of quotes that have made the honorable transition from book to eye catching MS Publisher document that hangs on the wall.
On my 41st birthday my wife bought me six picture frames and put some of these special quotes in the frames so I could hang them on the wall in my old office. This was a very thoughtful gift.
The quote above from George Whitefield is probably one the most (definitely in the top three) favorite quotes simply because of the truth factor and reminder of the horrible consequences of sin. Since the creation of humanity sin has separated fellowship between God and us. It was because of sin man and woman were cast out of the garden and it continues today to put up barriers between God and humanity. Sin not only creates a barrier between God and people; it is also the main factor that ruins true godly fellowship we have with one another. It reminds me of what the presence of unrepentant sin in one's life has done to sever the fellowship I have had with those that I love. Whether it is my own sin or the sins of others it is without a doubt the main thing that has broken holy fellowship between myself and others. This is why I hate sin.
On the contrary the unsettling thing for me is I claim to hate sin and yet I find myself running to it more than I from it. Why is that? I wish I had the answer. I do know that when I allow sin to run unchecked in my life I feel distant from God and separated from other believers. I also acknowledge the destruction and hurt sin can and does produce in a family, church, small group or individual, yet I allow it to be present in my life.
It is only by the grace of God that I can find true forgiveness and pursue the life of holiness He calls me to. I will never reach sinless perfection in my life but through the power of the Holy Spirit I can have God's presence in my life to overshadow the temptations of sin that are ever before me. Words cannot express how much I enjoy fellowship with God and with fellow believers and I am thankful we have the privilege of having both. My hope and prayer for life is for unity with God the Father and unity among fellow believers. Will you pray for and with me as I seek more joy in fellowship with God and with believers than I do in pursuing the "pleasures" of sin?