Last Friday I turned 28 years old! Birthdays are a reminder of the what has been, a marker of where you are, and a celebration of life to come! But more importantly, on April 2nd (two days from now), I will celebrate seven years of being in a redeemed relationship with God. I can’t wait to celebrate this! Why? Remembering what God has done in our lives encourages and moves us to love Him even more. I’m amazed at how much I see myself and others simply forget all that God has done. We get weighed down by our busyness, anxieties, and sin, and I think we need to reflect more on what God has done for us.
Take Noah for example. In Genesis 8 the flood subsides after 150 days and Noah’s family is finally able to walk on dry ground again. God tells Noah to go outside of the ark and live. When Noah steps out of the ark he immediately builds an altar to God. Why? He is reflecting on what God just did: God protected and preserved Noah and his family. Noah’s response is celebration and praise to God.
Look at the life of Moses and the Israelites. In Exodus chapter 15 Moses and the people of Israel had just crossed the Red Sea. God has rescued them from a hopeless life of slavery in Egypt. Their response is to burst out in song and dance and to celebrate what God has done. Then, throughout their entire lives, these people were reminded about what God did in those days. They would reflect and celebrate how God protected and saved them.
Do you? Do you daily reflect and celebrate how God has rescued and protected you? When I think back to that Monday night in the library at Georgetown College, I reflect on how God used the gospel to change my whole life. I am forever grateful to Jesus for taking on my sin and my punishment.
Jesus tells a story in Luke 15:11-32 about a father with two sons. The youngest son walks away from his father and squanders his inheritance and his life. The son reaches an all-time low when he has to eat with pigs just to survive. Then he remembers the generous love of his father and decides to return. As soon as he sees his father, he gets on his knees and repents. How does his father react? In verses 20-23 we see that the father immediately forgives him and then celebrates his son’s return.
This is how God reacts to us! Because of the sacrifice of God’s only son on the cross, he immediately forgives us of all sin. He brings us into his family and then he puts on the biggest celebration we could imagine.
Take some time to reflect on that day or season in your life when you first repented and God forgave you through Christ. Then celebrate it with some friends. Talk to each other about how good God has been in your life and all the amazing things He has done.
Reflecting and celebrating moves our hearts to thanksgiving. Make this a habit! See what love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called sons of God!