Go Back And Start Over
Submitted by Dexter Truesdale
Pastor Flag Chapel Baptist Church—Jackson, MS
February 8, 2024
Php 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Most of us have had the thought, If I could, I would—"get more education; be a better parent; take better care of my health.”
Commendable thoughts, but it is not going to happen. We can’t turn back the hands of time and change the past. This is a sad truth for many. The sins, the failures, mistakes, and poor choices weigh heavy on the minds of many. They think there is no hope for the future—“I blew it, and now it is too late to turn things around.”
How wrong they are! It’s true, the past is set in stone, but the above verses give hope and direction for those who lament the past.
Notice the words, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Paul is saying, “Don’t spend your life lamenting the past. Instead, make the future the best it can be.”
The past is unchangeable, but the future is unwritten. It will be what we make it.
Truly, the past may discourage you, but in the Bible, you will discover most of God’s greatest servants had a disturbing past. Moses murdered an Egyptian, but he went on to deliver Israel. David committed adultery, but God later used him to gather the material for the great Temple Solomon would build. Peter denied Jesus, but he preached on the day of Pentecost. About three-thousand souls were saved. Paul persecuted Christians, but he became a gospel preacher, and the Holy Spirit used him to write much of the New Testament.
That’s the pattern throughout history. Billy Sunday was a drunken baseball player who got saved and became an evangelist. The past cannot hold you back unless you hold on to it. Forget it and move forward, and the sky is the limit.
Philippians 4:13 says, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. That promise is unconditional. It applies to all who know Jesus in the free pardon of sin. It applies to those whose past was well-invested , but it also applies to those whose past was wasted.
Our God gives second chances. See Jonah, Peter, Moses, and others. Your name can be among them if you hear and heed God’s instructions.
Consider: Forget. Press forward. And you will be amazed by what God can do through you.
Live & Learn: I’ve learned that dreams are where you want to go. Work is how you get there—Age 20.