"I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." Philippians 3:12-14
My Pastor's message yesterday was so good, I stayed in all three services and listened!
Your past is gone. You can not change it. So why do we focus on it so much?
Josh said, "When you carry your past into the present you contaminate your future."
Isn't that true? Think about it. If you are so focused on your past, living in "What If" and "If Only" land, you are messing up your present and future. God does not want us to live this way.
I was reminded this morning of the Serenity Prayer, one of my friends gave me a bookmark for my birthday, it says:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Whatever you've done in your past, if you ask God to forgive you, He will and has.
Psalm 103 tells us what God is like, and how He feels about us.
Psalm 103:8, "The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will NOT constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does NOT punish us for all our sins; He does NOT deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west."
One other major think that I have never realized until yesterday was this... the most famous verse in Scripture that we quote about what Jesus did for us is in Isaiah. It's Chapter 53, verse 5. We use this for healing as well.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
Josh taught us that iniquities are those things in our heart, our attitude, inward motivation.
Transgressions are the outward movements, our hands, our actions.
An example would be: Iniquity: covenant your neighbors stuff, Transgression: stealing your neighbor's stuff.
Jesus was wounded, an outward wound for the sins we do, and He was bruised, an inward bleeding, for our thought sins.
We are fully forgiven of our sins, and God doesn't even remember them, so WHY do we allow our past to haunt us?
This has got to stop. It's holding us back from the plans God has for us.
Are you struggling with something from your past? I hope you realize now that God is not holding that against you. He loves you.
If you need prayer, just contact me. I will gladly pray for you!