Surprised by Jesus: A Backward Look

Gazing Toward the Future

During the Christmas season, many of us make wish lists. Or we imagine our children’s happy surprise when opening “the perfect gift.” At New Year’s we choose something we want to improve about ourselves in the coming year.A stylized golden star and ice crystals with the words, "Merry Christmas."

During both holidays we look toward the future. Today I invite you to look back into your past.

A New Challenge

If you’ve been walking with the Lord, over time Jesus has fundamentally changed the person you are. Take out a pad of paper and a pen. Find a comfortable chair in a quiet corner. It’s time to catch a glimpse of the person you used to be.

Since you became a born-again Christian, you’ve been on a journey. Remember where you started from. Remember all the signposts and turnings and unexpected detours. All the twists and turns of the road you’ve traveled as a faithful wanderer.

If you’re anything like me, you get discouraged when you look at sins you still struggle with. This holiday season, take time to remember the sinful attitudes you’ve overcome, because of the Holy Spirit’s work in your heart.

Today, take note of your triumphs. This is a time to celebrate your own personal “stones of remembrance.” Concentrate on how Christ has fundamentally altered who you are inside.

  1. How has your thinking changed since you came into “the kingdom of light?”
  2. Are there sins you don’t struggle with anymore?
  3. Has your heart been softened, where it once was hard?
  4. List divine answers to prayer that changed your understanding of what God is like.
  5. List spiritual breakthroughs, key verses, and startling divine insights.

Make a complete record of how you’ve spiritually grown as a Christian. During this process, thank God for each wonderful change in your inner life.

And don’t forget to praise Him for everything He’s about to do in the coming year.

Merry Christmas.

This image came from but I added “Merry Christmas.”


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