Often times we do not understand why we go through trials. We often think of them in a negative way or as a punishment. Yet we know that the Bible tells us that we will experience trials and that we should have great joy when we do. So instead of looking at the struggles in our lives as a negative, we should look at them as a way to contrast and show the Jesus to the world.

Being totally self-sufficient is prized in our culture, but God has designed us to live in community. God exists in community through the Trinity. He created us in community with him in the garden. It’s his original intent for us. We can’t just put our heads down, go to work, and provide for ourselves and families. We need to take the lead in engaging others together.

Much of the lyrics we sing are full of metaphors, similes and paradoxes; yet paradoxes can be found throughout the Bible. Often times we read or sing of these paradoxes yet think very little of the deep meaning behind them or how our story connects in worship to them. In understanding our relationship to Christ and what he has done for us, we must understand the paradox of Already/Not Yet. Christ has already died for our sins, but we are still not yet perfect.

We all have messed up and sometimes we mess up big time. And we live in the regret of what we did or didn’t do. We don’t have to forget our sin or the past, but God can use the regret to remind us of the depth of his unending grace. Our challenge is to trust in a God of second chances and unending grace. God’s grace helps us use our past sin(s) to remind us of where we do not want to go, while keeping our focus on following Jesus forward.

Fasting can easily become ritualistic and a burden of religious requirement. Often we don’t even know how to fast or why. But once we understand why and how to fast, the question is no longer what are we going to fast, but what are we going to replace it with? By removing the distractions in our lives and replacing them with one of the four spiritual activities, we have an opportunity to make the room needed for God to do a transformative work in our lives.

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© 2021 Pantano Christian Church | All Rights Reserved.

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