Should I Forgive (Pt 6)
“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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV The past is past! Here is Apostle Paul writing to the church at Philippi. Notice two things Paul highlighted in the passage we just read - “forgetting those things which are behind,” and “reaching forward to those things which are before.” But what was Paul's past? I Timothy 1:13 NKJV clearly tells us about Paul's past: “Although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” Notice the expressions - A blasphemer! A persecutor! An insolent man! In fact, Paul (previously known as Saul) was present at the stoning of Stephen. “and they cast him (Stephen) out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.”Acts 7:58 NKJV. “Now Saul was consenting to his death....., As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.” Acts 8:1, 3 NKJV. This is the past Paul was talking about when he said, “Forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press toward the mark.” He said 'I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man but I have put all these behind me after I have received mercy in Christ'. It would have been a terrible thing for Paul to continually remember the havoc he had done to the Church by consenting to the death of Stephen and persecuting believers. You see, before we can go on with God and fulfill our destiny in Him, we must forget about the past. This is crucial if we are to attain higher heights in God. Paul, once known as Saul of Tarsus, had to forget about his past as a persecutor of Christians in order to minister effectively. To forgive and to forget go hand in hand. Unforgiveness and holding unto the past hinders us from receiving from God, from growing spiritually, and from being who and what God wants us to be. No one makes meaningful progress living in the past. The past is past! Let us spend some time and meditate on Philippians 3:13-14. Is there anything in the past that we need to let go? Remember it is called past... Once we let go of the fast, let us all reach forward to those things which are ahead. May The Lord help us in Jesus name. Amen. Have a wonderful week and God bless you. Amen.