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Forgetting the past

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Sermon shared by Glen Lawhun

December 2004
Summary: We must forget the things that beset us and reach with newness for the future.
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Php 3:13 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, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

Another year soon in the past,
Time moves by it seems so fast.
We often forfeit our greatest gift
Our life, our time, our joy so swift.

We look behind to see our life
That we might change and mend aright.
The things weíve done thatís not so good
To do them over if we could.

But we know the past is gone
Our life, our time, our work moves on.
To do the things we ought to do
To build, to mend our love so true.

So we donít count our goal as gained.
We look at the time that does remain.
We count the time in past as dead
And reach those things which are ahead.

We all know that the past cannot be changed. We all know that if we could we would go back and change some of the things that weíve done. We would all like to mend the fences we have left down and build back the bridges that are burned. We also know mended fences and rebuilt bridges are never the same as the original. The past is helpful in one way. The past can help us make decisions that will affect the future.

As Christians there are two things that our lives touch. Several times in the Bible we have read the greatest commandment proclaimed by Jesus.

Mr 12:30 íAnd you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.í This is the first commandment.
31 "And the second, like it, is this: íYou shall love your neighbor as yourself.í There is no other commandment greater than these." (NKJV)

The word neighbor is explained in Eph. 4:25

Eph 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. (NKJV)

The letter to the Ephesians was written to the church at Ephesus and in Eph 4:25 the apostle Paul says speak truth to our neighbors for we are members of one another. Being members of one another makes it plain that the word neighbor means brother or sister. Therefore when Jesus said to love your neighbor as your self, He was not talking about the person who lives next door to you but about the one who is your brother or sister in Christ. Those persons are to be loved and treated as you would love and treat yourself.

When we look back and examine our hearts, our souls, our minds and our strengths we can realize how we have loved our God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can see how we have treated our God and our brothers and sisters. We should have a self examination of our love in the past year that we might love more fervently as we look ahead to the new year or a new beginning. That self examination of time past can show us how our lives have touched the two most important things, whether it be in a good way or a bad way, our love for our God and our brother.
There is a quote made by one of our presidents:
Men who live in the past remind me of a toy Iím sure all of you have seen. The toy is a small wooden bird called the "Floogie Bird." Around the Floogie Birdís neck is a label reading, "I fly backwards, I donít care where Iím going. I just want to see where Iíve been." Harry S. Truman.
It is for sure we cannot live in the past.
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