"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." - (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
What a comfort to know we have God's approval and help in overcoming the setbacks and disappointments of life. Wherever you are in your growth—spiritually and emotionally—you are a candidate for a fresh start. This old saying remains true: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to leave you the way you are. If you choose to honor Jesus in your fresh start, he will be with you every step of the journey.
H. Norman Wright asks an important question: "Are you a yesterday person?" We can be free of past disappointments by focusing on Jesus and abiding in his Word. God is able to help us-and he will. Paul wrote, "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT).
Consider this …
In today's scripture, the apostle Paul talks about moving on. At one time he had relentlessly persecuted believers in Christ. After becoming a follower of Christ, he suffered all manner of persecution and suffering. But he kept his focus on Jesus. He did not carry the baggage of the past with him. Instead he looked forward to what lay ahead, pressing on to accomplish all God had called him to do and then spending eternity with his Savior.
No matter what is in your past, you too can have a fresh start . . . if you'll walk the journey with Jesus.
Lord, I've been stuck in the past in so many ways. Guilt. Anger. Unforgiveness. Forgive me for getting stuck there and help me get off to a fresh start. Like Paul, help me forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead as I take this journey with you. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Free to Grow: Overcoming Setbacks and Disappointments by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. The purpose of this group study is to help people overcome disappointments and setbacks that have arrested or are presently hindering their emotional and spiritual development. The group study will help participants understand how to be set free so that they can grow and become all that God has designed them to be. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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