Sermon Illustrations

“The Land of Beginning Again!” Philippians 3: 12-14 Key verse(s): 13-14:“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.”

I wish there were some wonderful place called the Land of Beginning Again,

Where all of our past mistakes and heartaches,

And all of our poor selfish grief,

Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door

And never be put on again. (Louisa Tarkington quoted in Putting Your Past Behind You, E. Lutzer, Here’s Life, 1990, p.13.)

The Land of Beginning Again. Isn’t that a warm and comforting thought? How often haven’t each of us felt that if only we could go back and do it all over again. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of the grief, regret and sorrow that we carry with us every day could be translated into joy by simply wandering back into those halcyon days when things were better; when the bad things in this life had not as yet occurred? “Dropped like a shabby old coat,” we could shed our burdens and leave them behind in a place that we need not visit again.

“Over 2,000 years ago a young Greek artist named Timanthes studied under a respected tutor. After several years the teacher’s efforts seemed to have paid off when Timanthes painted an exquisite work of art. Unfortunately, he became so enraptured with the painting that he spent days gazing at it. One morning when he arrived to admire his work, he was shocked to find it blotted out with paint. Angry, Timanthes ran to his teacher, who admitted he had destroyed the painting. ‘I did it for your own good. That painting was retarding your progress. Start again and see if you can do better.’ Timanthes took his teacher’s advice and produced Sacrifice of Iphigenia, which is regarded as one of the finest paintings of antiquity.” (Today in the Word, September 2, 1992.) Forgetting what is behind, even the moments of time just recently passed, is an important part of...

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