BY REV. DR. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Scripture: Philippians 3:13-14 – “Brothers and sisters, 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
As 2017 comes to close, we should turn the page to the book of Philippians where Paul gives us some things to think about for the New Year. He says to forget those things that are behind us. Many of you can’t wait to get into a New Year hoping your life will start over. However, it doesn’t work like that. Our life doesn’t automatically reset when the clock turns midnight on Sunday. This is not a Cinderella story, where the next day a prince or princess shows up to your house with a glass shoe and you both ride off into the sunset. Our stories are a little more complicated. Our lives require a bit more work on our part.
It’s not easy to be traumatized and forget. But some people hold on to bad baggage much longer than they should.
The longer you dwell and move around with bad memories, the longer you prolong your breakthrough experience.
You can only claim you’ve been delivered from something when that something has no more power over your life.
When Paul mentions “forgetting what is behind,” he is speaking about total transformation and removing negative power over your existence. He is speaking about change. Changing your direction in life by changing how you think.
Too many times, good people dwell on the bad things hindering their otherwise bright future.
So in this New Year, I challenge you to leave behind your shortcomings in all forms: the failures, the hurt, the disappointments, the stupid decisions, and of course, the sins. Confess it, forget it and move on. Because when one holds on to these things, it can damage your process of moving forward.
In 2018, I will be introducing to my congregation and followers an initiative called the Cleanse, Construction and Completion initiative that will have an end goal of what I am calling Total Transformation. I challenge you to go on this journey with me and others to begin to remove and cleanse yourself from unhealthy foods, friends and even family members from your life. Begin to construct a new plan, support system and new ideas.
Last but not least, be determined to complete what you have started. In Philippians 1:6 it tells us that “He who has started a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” This scripture lets us know that God wants to make you better, bigger and more effective in every area in your life but the choice is yours to accept. Faith without works is dead. You must work toward this higher mark that God has placed on your life.
True believers work hard knowing whatever they wish to accomplish can be done through the promise and presence of God in their life. In 2018, make a lasting promise to yourself by “forgetting what is behind.” Don’t be comfortable in your accomplishments. Press forward with zeal, vigor and determination and this year will indeed be the most productive, rewarding and memorable year yet.
God bless you all and Happy New Year!
177-06 129th Ave, Jamaica NY 11434
Email Pastor Craig at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org