Press on!

What a blessed day it was for me yesterday when I closed my pastoral service at FDC. I was privileged to hear so many kind words, so much appreciation.  I woke up this morning pondering the question – ‘what’s next?’   I started to do what I have done for many years, planning and scheduling, except that I am now officially retired and this week is mostly a blank sheet of paper with a couple of volunteer activities penciled in. It’s a strange sensation after living a busy life for so long! 

As I prayed, the Spirit directed my thoughts to this passage. It was written in the context of promise to the people of God.  They were in a crisis, an awful time for the nation. They reached back to remember the miracles of the past, seeming to conclude that all the best things were only found in their history. But God says to them, You are precious and honored in my sight … I love you …  Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)  The directive to ‘forget’ did not mean that they were to erase the past, but rather to be willing to leave behind to gain the new future He was preparing for them.

What a word for me. 45 years of serving people in the local church with pastoral care and teaching has provided so many great memories that dance through my mind. There are highlights plenty recalled with joy and a some regrets too that bring tears. But … God is doing a new thing!

Are you a captive of the past? 
Are you living like that guy who still wears his high school jacket and dreams of his glory days on the football field, a study in arrested development? 

Each day brings new opportunities, God preparing us to accomplish His will for each season of life.

Do you want to live with hope, be a positive influence for the Kingdom, and know the joy of faithfulness?  There are real choices to be made.

1. Celebrate the victories and then put the trophies on the shelf.

The Scripture has plenty of examples of memorializing God’s work.  Remembering what He has done strengthens the foundations for our faith. Central to our Christian worship is the practice of Holy Communion in which we ‘proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.’   We do need to remember! However, we cannot try to relive those victories. They were for the moment.

2. Confess your sins and failures and then leave them in God’s grace.

If you have lived for more than a week, you have some moments that are regrettable. That’s life in this world where we deal with sin and the sinful nature.  But in Christ’s grace there is forgiveness and release from guilt. Yes, it is good to make things right where we can. An apology for wrongs is powerful for both parties!  Restitution is a principle woven into God’s ideas about justice. And when we have owned our wrong (confessed), when we have done what is possible to make it right, then we can learn from the lesson and grow in grace. For “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NLT)

3. Pray for courage to step up to today with faith.

We face forward! If we refuse to grow, we begin to die.  This is true emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.  God wants us to remember that we are ‘becomers.’  Until we step into eternity or are transformed at the Second Coming Christ with His Kingdom, we are people who live in time and who must, if we would please Him, take up the challenges of the day. Will you?

The word from the Word is Paul’s familiar word to the Philippians.  After he remembered the good things of his past, he turns to God’s future. His aspiration is noble: “ I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,” however he knows he is a work in progress.  “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 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.” (Philippians 3:12-14, NIV)

Celebrate what He has done right.

Confess the things you have done wrong.

Courageously choose to live today.

_________________

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)

Bless the Lord O my soul O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name


The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes


You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Worship Your holy name
Lord I’ll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Worship Your holy name
Worship Your holy name

Jonas Myrin | Matt Redman

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2 responses to “Press on!”

  1. Congratulations and best wishes. Whatever you choose to do I pray God’s hand will lead you and that Holy Spirit will empower you to continue serving HIM as you have done in the past. There is always something HE wants us to do. Have a blest time and enjoy this new phase of your journey.

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  2. Pastor Scott, I was aquainted with your daily devotions when my sister sent me a few. I thought they were very good and right in line biblically. They also reminded me of God’s principles in a practical way. I’ve read many daily devotion books through the years, but I must say, yours were the best. I saved most of them and took excerpts from them to pass on and even sent the whole devotion to my loved ones periodically. Thank you for your dedication and devotion to God’s calling for so many years. I pray that you will be richly blessed and you will find a passion in your retirement years. You have a lot to offer. Thank you, Ann Stacy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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