"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..." - Titus 3:3-4
To “save” someone is to rescue them, to snatch them out of imminent danger. Sometimes we aren’t entirely aware of the full danger out of which we were snatched or how close we were to destruction.
They used to call it being “Shanghaied.” A sailor on shore leave in the city of Shanghai would be out having a “good time” in the red light district and wake up in chains the next morning in the hold of a ship. If it was done by an expert, he never knew what hit him.
When we’re “Enslaved to passions and pleasures” at the beginning we’re only aware of the good feelings, and living for them. We don’t realize that we’re being enslaved; we think we’re just having a good time.
Foolish, disobedient, led astray by the promise of pleasure, usually by the time you realize you’ve been shanghaied, it’s too late to just “back out;” the chains are already in place and the rats are crawling over your face.
For us who are Christians, at some point, whether it was before we woke up in the slave-ship and realized we’d been had, or for some by God’s mercy (and maybe our mother's prayers) before we got that far, the goodness and lovingkindness of Jesus appeared in our life and He rescued us.
Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me. The life of malice, envy, and hatred is gone and I’m free. I praise You and worship You! Keep me close. Amen. Pastor Dan Giles