We all have experiences with guilt, regret, and shame. No matter how long we follow Jesus, we are confronted with things in our lives that do not match who Jesus is and the person He has called us to be. They might be things from our past or even our present. These things can become a part of our stories and who we are. In fact, it is hard for us to imagine our lives without these things because of the roles they have played and the impact they have made. But Jesus invites us to be free from the guilt, shame, and regrets of our past. That doesn’t mean these things magically disappear, but they are forgiven and reconciled so we can live in the freedom Jesus offers.

We typically think of prayer as asking. That’s what most of our prayer is most of the time. And it’s fine. The Bible invites us to ask. We know how to pray that kind of prayer. But we need to add to our prayer habit a greater emphasis on giving thanks. Before we can be thankful, we have to start giving thanks to God, “for He is good.” Giving thanks changes us and allows us to praise God in even the most difficult of circumstances. Thankfulness opens our heart to the heart of God.

At the end of the year, we tend to look back and evaluate the year that has passed, and at the same time, looking forward to what is to come; Top 10 Things from 2018 and New Year’s Resolutions. It turns out, there’s nothing wrong with looking back and forward at the same time. This tension is something God actually calls us to: look back and see Him in where we’ve been, and set out to seek Him in what is coming tomorrow. God calls us to a rhythm of reflecting on the past and seeking Him as we go forward.

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© 2021 Pantano Christian Church | All Rights Reserved.

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