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Forgetting What Lies Behind and Reaching Forward…

January 30, 2020

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Forgetting What Lies Behind  and Reaching Forward…

One can get really down  when all they can think of  are the negatives  in their past.      With thoughts like:  “I failed at that…  and that…  and that…  and that.”  —  “I’ll never be good enough  at that.”  —  “Nothing ever works out  for me.”  —  “I’m just no good.”  —  “I doubt if God  could ever love me,”  etc.,  a person lets themselves  get burdened  with their past.

The more down they feel,  the less energy  they have  for the future.      They cause themselves  to lose hope  because they dwell  on the negatives  of their past — and refuse to reach forward  to a life  of forgiveness,  faith,  hope,  and love  in Christ Jesus.

The apostle Paul  had a lot to be ashamed of.      He had been  so self-righteous  and proud  of his education,  zeal,  and persecution  of the early Christians.      And,  he was so confident  of his perfection  in keeping every Jewish law.      He had no clue  how awful  and condemning  his self-righteousness was  in God’s eyes.      Then  he met Jesus  on the road  to Damascus.   ( Acts 9:1-30 )      He found out  what a sinner he was  and how  all of his efforts  had actually been  against God — not for God.      He hadn’t really understood  any of the scriptures,  in spite of  all his education.

So,  he was a total failure.      None of his past efforts  were worthy  of anything.      His life had been a waste.      He wasn’t the least bit righteous,  like he had proudly imagined.      Paul could have become  so ashamed  that he might have  just crawled in a hole  and stayed there.

But,  he didn’t.      The past  was the past.      God gave him a future — as He does  for all of us.      So,  Paul wrote  in Philippians 3:12,  about coming to know  the power  of Jesus’ resurrection.      He says,

Not  that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,  but I press on  in order that  I may lay hold of  that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Brethren,  I do not regard myself  as having  laid hold of it yet;  but one thing I do:   forgetting  what lies behind  and reaching forward  to what lies ahead,  I press on  toward the goal  for the prize  of the upward call  of God  in Christ Jesus.

We don’t fully know  the power  of Jesus’ resurrection  in our lives either.      But,  that is no reason  to give up  in despair.      We have God’s promises,  just like Paul did.      We,  too,  need to forget  all our blunders  and stumblings  in the past — and start “reaching forward  to what lies ahead.”

We all have  that “upward call of God  in Christ Jesus.”

God wants us  to realize  our opportunity  for salvation,  just as He wanted Paul  to realize  that our salvation  is only through God’s grace,  by faith  in Christ Jesus.      God is willing  to take us  as we are,  and keep molding us  into something precious  in His sight.

Let’s  let Him  mold us  as we open up His word  and allow Him  to teach us.      He is the Master Teacher  and our Savior.      Then,  we’ll say,  “Hallelujah!      Lord,  You have called us.      Now  create in us  clean hearts  and right spirits  through the resurrection power  of Christ Jesus.”

Love,
Margaret

 

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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