Fresh start. New beginnings. Forgetting what is behind and pressing forward. What does this really mean: The old has gone, the new has come?
For some, it means a new commitment, like a New Year’s Resolution––regular exercise, eating healthy, following a daily routine, changing an attitude, using self-discipline, modifying an old habit, or reading through the Bible in a year. But is there more to it than just making physical life changes? Absolutely. Digging into God’s Word, the Bible, gives us a greater understanding of God’s Truths. Let’s examine Philippians 3:12-14.
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. 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Paul is writing to the church in Philippi, to believers in Jesus. Paul is not talking about working his way to a position in heaven. He secured this spot the minute He trusted in Jesus. Paul focuses here on the condition of His relationship with Jesus and becoming more like Him every day.
Paul is clear to point out that his past sins would always be before him. But he refused to let them dictate who he was in Christ. Prior to Paul’s face-to-face encounter with Jesus in Acts 9, his job was to arrest followers of the Way––followers of Jesus Christ. More than likely, etched in his memory were the innocent Christians he witnessed being stoned, imprisoned, persecuted, and even beaten to the point of death. But because of Jesus’ forgiveness, Paul was freed from his past. Every day, Paul chose to live in victory, not in defeat because of his former life.
What a beautiful picture of God’s love, grace, and mercy! Paul encourages us, as we mature as Christians, to press forward in living sold out for Him. We are forgiven––past, present, and future. Filled with hearts of forgiveness, we are new creations in Christ. The old has gone. The new has come. Don’t allow the enemy to throw the guilt of the past onto you. Leave it at the foot of the cross. Jesus paid it all. A fresh start awaits you each day. Rest in Him.
Do you live in defeat? Does guilt invade your heart and mind, or do you press forward accomplishing God’s purposes in your life? Begin by asking God to give you a heart of forgiveness for yourself as well as others. It is vital to trust and believe what Paul proclaims… the old has gone, the new has come. The moment you said, “yes” to a relationship with Jesus, He sent His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to live inside of you. The Spirit sealed the deal with a mark that says, “This one is Mine!” As a believer, you can never be snatched out of His hand. Now, you are equipped to live sold out for Jesus. Believe it. Know it. Live it.
Excerpt from SOLD OUT: Live for Jesus, Pg. 42
From My Heart to Yours,