Thursday, January 26, 2012

I wanna go back

Are you old enough to look back on your life and remember a time when you were young and living a life much different than you are now? I am in my mid forties and spent my high school and college days growing up in the 80's. Many times I will hear a song from back then that reminds me of friends I used to hang out with, an old flame or an event where the particular song was playing. The other day I heard Eddie Money's song I wanna go back. It struck a chord with me because I too sometimes find myself wanting to go back and do some things over. Take a look at the chorus:
I wanna go back
And do it all over again
But I can't go back I know
I wanna go back
Cause I'm feeling so much older
But I can't go back I know
This past Sunday our pastor read a verse that got this thought rolling around in my head. Here is what he read:
Philippians 3: 12-14 - 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, 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.
The second part of vs 13 says "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead". We don't know exactly what Paul was forgetting but maybe we are given a few clues.
Acts 7:59 - 8:1 - 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. 8:1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.
Acts 9: 1,2 - 1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Do you think Paul, on occasion, wanted to go back and do it all over again? Do you think he was reminded over and over from the crowds and the leaders in the synagogues of who he was, and what he did? Again, we don't know for sure but it is possible that if he looked back at who he was and who he became it may have been something the Holy Spirit used when Paul penned some of his most incredible verses on the grace of God.
I Corinthians 6: 9-11 - 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
I Timothy 1: 12-16 - 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
The Bible teaches over and over that God will not remember our sins if we confess them and ask for forgiveness:
Jeremiah 31: 34 ...“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Isaiah 43: 25 - “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Micah 7: 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
One of the most difficult things for us to do is to try and forget the past. Try to let go of the mistakes that happened back then whether it was last week or 25 years ago. If God will forgive and forget our past sins we are to do the same. We've got to stop singing Eddie Money's song over and over, dredging up past mistakes and issues. What's done is done, it's time to look forward and see all that God has prepared for us.

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