GET TOGETHER- DON’T LOOK BACK, KEEP MOVING FORWARD
Php 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul although a religious man before he met Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus had a sinful past. He had been a persecutor of Christians. I love to tell people that God loves to turn His enemies into friends. Paul would get to write thirteen letters and possibly fourteen letters of the New Testament. The Holy Spirit uses Paul in a great way to expound on the new birth that Jesus had said that we must have if we are to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He also writes much about how we are forgiven from our past. Here are just a few of those verses 2Co 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Ro 8:1 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Col 2:13 ¶ And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” (NKJV) I like that word all in that last verse. My first-grade teacher Mrs. Gallagher taught me that meant all. It means all! That is the sum of everything.
The Apostle Paul had to know that he was forgiven. I am sure that the enemy would try to bring up his past as he traveled from village to village, town to town, and continent to continent to share the good news of Jesus Christ. We all have sinned as Paul wrote in Ro 3:23” for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But Paul also knew that out of the love of God that there was forgiveness for the repentant sinner. Ro 5: 6 -9 ¶ For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Paul knew that he was forgiven. That is why he could look through the windshield and not through the rearview mirror. Remember the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. Our future is greater than our past. Paul said that he was reaching forward. The Greek term here is epekteinomai, ep-ek-ti’-nom-ahee. Don’t ask me to pronounce it. When I took Greek I got a C- and that was the favor of the Lord. It means to stretch out toward some goal. The Adam Clarke Commentary says it like this “points out the strong exertions made in the race; every muscle and nerve is exerted.”
I think about a football player stretching out to cross the goal line. When he holds that football out over the pylon. He isn’t concerned if he fumbled the last play, or if last year he didn’t get in the game. He is stretching it out for the goal line. Today if you are reading this and you have been to the cross of Jesus Christ don’t look back. Run the race. Don’t stop until the race is finished. If you have never surrendered your life to Christ and you like me had a sinful past Jesus is ready to forgive you just as He forgave me, the Apostle Paul and billions of others who have turned to Him. He has an eternal home in heaven for us as a prize and He also has good things here for us here on earth. So, keep looking through the windshield. Keep your eyes off the rearview mirror and may we echo what Paul is saying in word and in deed “Php 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
Let Us Pray
Lord we thank You for the mercy that You have shown to us. We thank You that we are forgiven children of God. If any that are reading this have not come to that place Lord we pray that You bring them to that place. And may we all forget those things that are behind us and move forward to those glorious things that are ahead of us. Lord keep our eyes looking through the windshield, and not at the rearview mirror.
In Jesus Name
Be blessed good friends! We love you and pray God’s best for you.