Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Jeremiah 31:1-20 and 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18.

Jeremiah 31:19  ‘After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’ (NIV)

            I think most of us, if not all of us, remember things from our youth that we later regret or still make us feel embarrassed. We may have had some great times with our friends and peers, but there were probably some moments when we were careless or headstrong, uncaring or arrogant which led us to do something that was stupid, painful, or humiliating. Sometimes memories of those occasions will just pop into our minds and we will feel the sting of shame or the remorse of something we know hurt or humiliated someone else. And, as the years go by, those memories can still unsettle us emotionally, as well as spiritually.

            For me, during those moments of regret, I find myself asking for God’s forgiveness and grace. I can’t do anything to change the past, but through Christ’s mercy, I can stop myself being chained to the past. This process is called repentance in the Bible and it involves turning away from what occurred by turning toward God for forgiveness, healing, and restoration. It’s a wonderful gift that God grants to all of us because His Son Jesus procured that process for us by dying on the Cross for our mistakes and sins.

            Today, whatever guilt you are carrying or regrets that you are battling with, please know this: all can be forgiven and our connection to God can be restored. We only have to turn to God, ask for His mercy, and be accepted by His Son. It’s a very simple process and a liberating experience.

Point to ponder:  Is there something in my past which still deeply troubles me? Am I willing to bring it to God and seek His grace?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know everything about us, so we cannot hide our past from You. Inside of ourselves, we carry regret, guilt, and shame. Help us to sincerely repent of these things and receive the blessings of Your forgiveness, mercy, and grace. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest Pentecost drawings called “Spirit of Brian.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.