Monday, January 7, 2013

Looking Up, Moving Forward

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

Many people have made resolutions of goals and objectives to achieve in 2013. We all know that resolutions are rarely kept and easily broken but this fact does not stop us from optimistically making promises to ourselves for new starts as a New Year beckons. However, the words of Paul show us that, instead of resolutions, we should adopt three practical attitudes to meet the challenges in store for us. 

DON’T LOOK BACK, “forgetting what is behind”. We cannot grow if we keep looking back. While it is fine to reflect on the past every once in a while and learn from it, there comes a time we must say, “I cannot change the past but I can change the future.” If we keep looking back, we will stumble over obstacles before us and we cannot move forward. As Christians and as an assembly of God’s people in HPC, we should never look back. We run the risk of becoming too comfortable of staying still because that is safer than stumbling over the obstacles in front. 

LOOK FORWARD, straining toward what is ahead, I press on…” We will only grow if we keep looking forward. We must never say, “I/We like it as we are now.” Growth means change. For individual Christians, it may be some habits. For HPC, it may well be methods, traditions and congregational attitudes and expectations. 

LOOK UP, “to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. We can only win the prize by looking up to Jesus and doing what he tells us to do. We work in tandem with Jesus who is our coach and also our cheer-leader. He will help us to win the race, if we keep looking to Him, not to anyone or anything else. He is also the source of our strength and energy. This takes prayer. We have to be praying and listening to Jesus to move forward.

The future is brighter than the past. We should not think “It will not get any better”. The truth is that it will get better. We have to take all of our negative thoughts and submit them to Christ. Christians need to think forward because God thinks forward. God doesn't stay in the past so neither should our church. 

Walk in the assurance that God’s love for us is unconditional and unending. Not only has he ordained a good future for us, he wants to help us attain that future. He wants us to become more like his Son Jesus. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ, not even our past. There is much more ahead of us because of God's love than behind us.

So we need to keep looking forward. God has big plans for us - as a Christian, as father or mother, as husband or wife, as a couple, as a student, as a church, etc. I believe God has big plans for us. So we need to keep looking up to him and hear his plans on how we are to move forward. Therefore, let us not look back. Let us look up instead to Jesus and we can look forward to a God-blessed 2013.

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