Shake Off the Past and Move Forward
Notes from a sermon by Rev. Doug Brown, Senior Pastor
Evangel Assembly of God,
13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
First, we must review the past. Take a spiritual inventory of our lives. Look at our accomplishments, our failures, and our dreams for the future. In order to do that, we must be sure that we know Jesus Christ as our Savior. Review your past—even though it may be painful—so that you won’t make those same mistakes again. Have you “shattered” some other people’s lives because of your mistakes? The reason we look at our past is to learn and remember. We must look at our past and learn NOT to do those same mistakes again. Don’t repeat the same mistakes over and over again. After we’ve remembered our mistakes, we must leave the mistakes behind. Let go of the mistakes and then repent. We must turn from these sins and ask for forgiveness. We must do everything we can do to make them right. If we’ve hurt someone, we must ask for them to forgive us.
Next, don’t beat yourself to death
over things that happened yesterday.
Walk away and leave them behind.
Don’t keep reminding others of their past either. Let them move ahead. Don’t remind them
of their failures. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” Do NOT live in the past. Don’t keep looking back and being a
“shell” of what you were in the past.
Don’t say: “I remember when
live in the past. Let it go. We’re moving forward in Jesus
Christ. We are determined to
accomplish something for the
Press forward and live for Jesus. Live so that every attitude, activity, and action is to the Glory of God. Whenever you are about to do something, stop and ask yourself, “Will this action, attitude, or activity glorify and honor God?” Ask yourself this question about everything you do. We must be living for Jesus with all that is within us. The sole and central purpose of our lives must be to glorify God.
We must also live by Jesus since we CANNOT do it by ourselves. We must crucify our own body and live by Jesus’ strength. We must be in Jesus to bear fruit. We must allow Jesus to have TOTAL control of our lives. Some may think that this is a crutch, but a crutch is what a cripple man needs. Each of us needs Jesus even if it is a crutch. We need Jesus in everything we do.
Then we must consider how we labor. Paul was striving and reaching. We must look at ourselves. How do I stand? We should never know that we haven’t done our best job at our place of employment. We shouldn’t have to back up to receive our check knowing that we haven’t done the best job that we could do. We shouldn’t speak badly of those in authority. God doesn’t separate our lives into the weekdays and Sunday. We should not speak badly of others. There is no such thing as a “Sunday Christian.” We must live right every day and every hour of the week. So, how do we labor? We must allow Jesus to live through us and in us. We must do all we can to bring honor to Jesus Christ. We must do all we can to bring others to Christ.
You can gauge your faithfulness, your motives, and your earnestness by your actions because faith and works are connected together. Faith without works is dead. It’s not faith until it’s put into action. Consider how you love others. How do you display the love of God? We must love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind. We must have the right kind of love for our fellow man—those we see and work with every day. We must love one another. Men will know that we are His disciples if we love one another. We must be patient, kind, not boastful, keeping no records of wrongs, and be longsuffering. Love always protects and always hopes.
Sometimes we are tired because we didn’t get enough sleep and just drag in. We sit down and pay no attention to others. We must push ourselves to be friendly to others. It isn’t love until it is expressed. We have to “put ourselves out” to let others know that they are “cared for.” People want to know that someone cares for them. We must pour out our love on others.
Is your Christian life pleasing to the Lord? Is there sin in your life? Is there something you need to “clear up?” God offers us a way to make things right. He offers us grace. We should “right the wrongs.” We will then make necessary changes. Then we’ll see fruit in our lives. How is it with you?
My Prayer: Dear Jesus, forgive me if I’ve hurt
anyone with my words. Help me to
control my thoughts, my words, and my actions. I know I cannot take back anything I’ve
said that hurt someone. Now that
you’ve forgiven me, help me to forget about those things and to strive to do
right in the future. I can’t do it
without your help. Thank you for