Summary: God is bigger than my past.
Our past is an interesting part of our lives. You have to admit, you’ve got some great memories in your past. For many of us (pre-Facebook), we used things like photoalbums to help us return to the special moments of the past.
VISUAL: PICS OF THE PAST
o Show College Yearbook (Senior Year)
o Show old pics from past on screens.
- Phone Pic
- Cowboy Pic
- School Pic
- USA vs. Brazil Soccer Game
- David & Goliath
- Summer Vacation
It can be fun to reminisce on the past…but it can be painful too. In fact, I would contend that as the majority of us have great moments in our past – many of us have painful emotions stir up when thinking about the past. I’m confident that we’d have several people raise their hands if I asked: Do you have pain in your past?
Did you know THIS CHURCH has an interesting past? One that has pain…
o Fountain Springs Community Church was started in 1982.
o The church was started in the midst of pain…a church split occurred.
o People were angry with people. It wasn’t the glorious beginning to a church that we would have hoped to hear 30 years later.
o The church grew a bit…but then people started bickering…the bickering led to some selfishness…then people began not liking other people. The church…this church…it got messy.
o In 1999, the church reported having an average Sunday attendance of 35 people.
o By 1999, families had left the church…a pastor had left the church…people were wounded.
o I don’t need to go into all the details, but our church doesn’t have a perfect past.
My guess is – you don’t either.
Maybe it’s your family that has a past that isn’t what you wished had happened. Maybe it’s just you. The bottom line is: We all have a past…but…
DO YOU THINK GOD IS BIGGER THAN YOUR PAST?
What’s sad is that so many people have put their PAST into their PRESENT.
When that happens – everything is about your past:
o You struggle with healthy relationships.
o You struggle with finding the job you really want.
o You struggle with how people perceive you.
o You struggle with the financial struggles it brought into your life.
OUR PAST CAN EITHER BE AN
ANCHOR OR AN OPPORTUNITY.
The decision is up to you…Here’s what I know…Jesus wants your past to be used for good. I know that to be a fact because He was willing to die so that your past would dominate your future. God is so much bigger than your past that He can forgive everything that has ever happened in your past. When you choose to define your life by obedience to God rather than obedience to yourself, you sign up to put your past in your past.
Here’s what God gives everyone who believes…
GOD GIVES US A NEW BEGINNING.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (NIV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Apply this directly to our church…
35 was the average attendance / 0 people became Christians