Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that another year is here. With all that is within me, I plead with you to leave 2014 behind you! Let Your Past Be Passed! In Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV), the Apostle Paul states: “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.” Do not live in bondage to your past which has been forgiven and forgotten by your Lord.
Paul had a torrid, wretched past, but he did not live in bondage to it. Before his dramatic conversion, he had Christians killed and thrown into prison. He even beat them himself (Acts 22:4, 19-20)! He held the coats for the people who stoned God’s great servant, Stephen, to death (Acts 7:58). How could a man who murdered Christians say “I forget those things which are behind?” Paul could say this because the living God of heaven and earth forgave him for his terrible sins and then called him into His service. Look at what he said in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV): “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
It is not God’s plan for you to allow the devil and man to condemn you for sins that have been repented and forgiven already by your Lord. In John 8:36 (NKJV) Jesus states: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Almighty God wants you to be free in Christ! Refuse to allow the devil and man to use your past to keep you from moving forward in faith. Paul states in Romans 8:1-2 (NKJV) “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. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” When you are forgiven, you are free! Move forward in faith and go where your Lord leads you to serve Him.
The living God of heaven and earth mightily used the Apostle Paul. He wrote 13 of the 27 books in the New Testament and he started many churches. He personally led many to faith in Christ and discipled them. He was not haunted and held back because of his past. He was motivated by his past! In 1 Corinthians 15:9,10 (NKJV) he states: “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
When God forgives you, you are clean enough for service in His kingdom! Kay Arthur states: “The past is past and will never be changed. Why focus on what cannot be changed? Why dwell on what only makes you miserable? It is forgiven by God.” Live for JESUS in 2015 as you have never lived for Him! Your Lord needs you to make a difference for HIM in this cold and spiritually lost world! I love you!