LIVING FORWARD IN CHRIST JESUS

 “Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”(Ecclesiastes 7:10)

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Those days of yore

Cast in the lore

Of memories,

Picture-framed

In glass perfected,

Rose-colored

In time sight–

The captured past.

How “good” were the “good old days?”

We tend to reflect on those times with rose-colored glasses.

 “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood. . . back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time–back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” 1

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.       (Genesis 19:26)

Remember Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:32)

The best days are ahead, not behind. The eternal home is before us. To enter, we must become a new creation. And not look back.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 The “new has come.” Have we crossed the new threshold and entered, closing the old door securely behind us? Have we obtained the wisdom: “I haven’t come this far, to come this far.”

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. 13 Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

 “I press on—” The goal is ahead. The Lord waits, patiently waits, for us to continue forward, persevering onward toward Him.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.   (Hebrews 12:1-4)

 “Consider Him” when we grow weary, frustrated, or depressed. “Consider Him” when we feel we cannot go on and think of turning back. “Consider Him . . . seated at the right hand of the throne of God” and find the strength and hope to continue, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”

LET US PRESS ON TOWARD THE WAITING ARMS OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR–AND TRULY ARRIVE HOME.

1 Wolfe, Thomas. You Can’t Go Home Again. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes

( Sharon G. Tate blog 03/01/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

With Christ: A New Hope in a New Year

 

Beginnings with God

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:

The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The clock hand slowly moves,

Minute-minute—second-second,

Midnight strikes, the ball drops,

Crowds cheer a New Year-

Singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

The old with the new. Nostalgia for the past. “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?”

We celebrate the New Year with friends and family who are part of our past. With      reminiscence of those shared memories, we look ahead to creating new ones in a new year. Moving into the new year, we bring the past with us–“for auld lang syne” (for “old times’ sake” 2 ) and much more, to the extent that the past can become more influential than the present. Although the past is always part of us, it should never be the greater part of us.

In God’s Holy Word, the Old Testament is a place to return to—and not to be forgotten for much more than “auld lang syne” —for it gives us background, history, lessons, and   applications important to understanding the New Testament:

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Although this passage references happenings and events during the time of the Israelites, there are applications for us in the present. We, too, must not dwell in the past. We must do “a new thing” and become a new creation in Christ. God shows us the way in the Word of the New Testament:

**If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

**Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of    refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that He may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. (Acts 3:19-20)

** “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)

**Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (I Peter 1:3)

 The Apostle Paul gives us the resolution we need for this New Year: 

13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

This resolution will be carried out and fulfilled if we remember this promise of help: 

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

The clock hand slowly moves,

Minute-minute—second-second,

Midnight strikes, the ball drops,

Old year passing, I watch the fall,

 Then look up to Him– hope anew.

1 www.independent.co.up/arts-entertainment “Lyrics to Auld Lang Syne”

2 www.scotland.org  “The History and Words of Auld Lang Syne”

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 12/31/17) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word