Introduction: You can’t go forward if you’ve looking in the rear-view mirror all the time. Look through the windshield of life not the rear-view mirror of life.
The majority of people drive a car or have at least been in a car so you can envision this comparison. The rear-view mirror is very small, and typically you spend less than five percent of your driving time looking behind you. However, your windshield is huge, because you must have clarity and visibility in front of you to be able to drive your car and arrive at your destination safely. The number one rule of driving is to always keep your eyes on the road, and a clear windshield is extremely important.
What does this have to do with Christian Progression? Are you more focused on what lies behind you in your rear-view mirror or what is ahead of you as you stare out the windshield of your life?
The Tony Evans Study Bible; footnote; Philippians 3:12 – 13
“To become an excellent Christian and fulfill your kingdom purpose, you too must have a short memory and a clear direction. So, what aspects of yesterday must you forget? All of them---the good, the bad, and the ugly. You’ve got to let go of your successes, your failures, and the ways others have hurt you. It’s not that you don’t remember the past; it’s that you don’t allow the past to be a controlling factor in your life. Don’t spend too much time looking in the rear-view mirror. A much bigger piece of glass called the windshield should have your focus because where you’re going is bigger than where you’ve been.”
Last year is past; the New year is here. It’s time to take inventory, to prepare for the future. It’s time to set goals for the New Year. In this lesson Paul is in a position to give us some proposals. We learn from a man who influenced millions. Our goals today are three questions.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT REGRETS?
A. “Forgetting those things which are behind”.
B. We all have regrets because we’ve all made mistakes.
1. We’ll like a replay of last year to make adjustments.
2. There are no replays; the past is past.
C. How shall we deal with last year’s blunders.
1. Confess our sins and be forgiven; 1 John 1:9.
2. Leave all past failures with the Lord.
3. Like Paul, forget those things which are behind.
HOW DO WE RUN LIFE’S RACE?
v. 13 – 14
A. “Reaching forth unto those things which are before”.
1. Paul approached the future with anticipation and faith.
2. He was eager to see what he could achieve for Christ.
B. Here are the facts we must face.
1. We are all either problem conscious or power conscious.
2. We approach every day expecting either the best or the worst.
C. The Christian life begins with faith; Rom. 5:1.
1. “The just shall live by faith”; Rom. 1:17.
2. Faith and fear are opposites.
3. Faith wins and fear loses.
WHY SHOULD OUR GOAL BE ETERNAL REWARDS?
A. “I press toward the mark for the prize”.
B. Paul was determined to hold back nothing from the Lord.
1. He was a fully surrendered man.
2. He was consistent in his Christian walk.
C. When Jesus returns, He will reward His faithful servants.
1. “My reward is with me”; Rev. 22:12.
2. Eternal rewards are more valuable than any other achievements.
Conclusion: LET’S FORGET THOSE THINGS THAT ARE BEHIND.
LET’S REACH FORTH TO THE THINGS BEFORE.