The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 44

"………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 those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which Christ has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained" [Phil. 3:12b - 16, NIV, emphasis mine].

The end of the year and the dawning of a new one provides each of us with an excellent opportunity to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start.

As Christians we look back upon the past year as one more stage in the journey of life. It has had its ups and downs. It has presented us with thorns and burdens and has wearied our shoulders. BUT IT IS DONE! The old Year is about to pass away. We need to LET IT GO! God has brought us through it. The evils have passed by; the good remains. The future beckons, and the Bible tells us how to approach it.

If we apply Paul's words to the Philippians as a basis for our 'New Year's resolution', then Paul exhorts us to do three things:

Firstly, he tells us to forget those things which are behind. This does not mean that we lose all memory of our sinful past, but that we leave it behind us as done and settled, trusting henceforth in the righteousness that comes from faith in Christ. Paul is saying that because we know the Lord Jesus as our Saviour who provides forgiveness and hope, we can let go of the past and move ahead with assurance.

Secondly, he tells us that we need to reach forward into the things that God has for us in the future. Having confessed our sin, "forgetting those things which are behind" we can confidently face the future, "reaching forward to those things which are ahead". Remembering God's faithfulness in the past year and putting behind past mistakes will make entering the New Year a time of joyous anticipation.

Thirdly, Paul exhorts us to live up to the standard we have already attained. This means that we are not to go backwards. The only way that this is possible is by continually putting into practice the truth that we have already received.

On this last Sunday in the year let us give thanks to God for his faithful provision and protection and let's resolve to take Paul's advice on how to move forward.

Just remember this: to make room for the new, you need to get rid of the old.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues