Turn the Page
Philippians 3:12-14
December 27, 2009


Me: Can you believe that were about to enter the 11th year of the 2000s?

Does anyone here remember the panic over Y2K? Its kinda silly now that we look back on it, huh?

Bill Vaughn was quoted as saying, Youth is when youre allowed to stay up late on New Years Eve. Middle age is when youre forced to. He also said, An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. ( Contributed by Jim Kane)

But on Friday we start 2010, and as with any new year, we have new opportunities.

One thing I really like about the New Year is that its an opportunity to start fresh on things.

Ive got a number of things Id like to accomplish, both personally and with the ministry of the church, and the new year is a great time to start things.

We: Its the same for a lot of people, right?

People look at a new year and they start to think of things theyd like to accomplish in that new year.

Maybe its a health goal, so they join the Y or some health club.

Or they set business goals, or even spiritual goals.

The new year is a great time to turn the page on stuff youd like to get going on and accomplish in the next year.

Its also a great time to turn the page on some things you should put behind you.

And thats what Id like to talk with you about today.

God: The passage were going to look at today is one of those perfect passages in looking at what we can accomplish as we look at entering a new year.

Ive used this passage before in this context, but I want to revisit it a bit and look at some lessons we can take away from it and apply to this next year.

Philippians 3:12-14

12 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. 13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Five lessons we can learn from Paul:

1. We all have an imperfect past.

None of us can look at our past and see nothing we arent ashamed of.

We all have blemishes and stains that wed just as soon no one knew about or that wed just as soon forget.

The apostle Paul was no different.

He had a pretty ugly past in persecuting the Church of Christ, and my guess is that he had plenty of time to reflect on the shame of that.

But we also have to remember that Paul was a religious guy even before he met Christ.

He was a Pharisee, he was an up and coming religious leader who had the trust of the religious establishment in place during the early days of the Church.

He could quote Scripture,
Tom Ruane
January 2, 2014
excellent! good word for a new year.