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Faith Moves Forward
by Susan Ferguson
3/24/2014 / Devotionals
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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)
Sometimes I am haunted by my past blunders, the times my feet slipped, and the times I missed the mark. As I talk to other Christians, I find that some share the same grief. The apostle Paul encourages us to leave the past behind and to press forward to what lies ahead.
The apostle Paul, a former persecutor of the first-century Christian church, spoke from experience when he told the Philippians to forget the past and to keep their focus forward. Paul had regrets of persecuting innocent Christians, (1 Corinthians 15:9) but rather than be stifled by them, he accepted God’s forgiveness and pressed on to reach his potential in Christ. This great man of God took the message of salvation to the Gentiles, authored 13 epistles in the New Testament, and was a preacher, teacher, church founder, and missionary who shaped the history of Christianity.
Some have asked, “How is it possible to forget the past when I’m reaping the consequences of my sins?” Paul’s exhortation does not imply that memories of the past will be forgotten. Paul never forgets his former life and even calls himself the chief of sinners (1Timothy 1:15). Nevertheless, he places his trust in Christ and presses on toward his goal.
Philippians 3:14 tells us to press on toward the goal of knowing Jesus and becoming more and more like Him. Through forgiveness in Christ, we can move ahead and not be held back by wrong choices, sins, or failures. Faith moves forward and can pave the way for blessings and new beginnings. The sins and blunders of the past do not have the final word – grace and forgiveness do.
Father, thank You for new beginnings in Christ and for the forgiveness we have in Him. In Jesus' name. Amen
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