Summary: Our past is valuable but can limit us, especially if we have failures. The Word of God reveals 4 reasons you have a great destiny and 4 ways to restart God's plan for your life.
DON’T LET YOUR PAST DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE!
Eccl. 1:9-10; Isa. 43:19; Mk. 9:23
A. HUMOR: BIBLE ILLITERACY
1. As of 2011, Pollsters found that in the Millennial generation (who ranged in age from 18-29) a full third of them had no plans to ever read the Bible. Hopefully that will change.
2. Max had been a confirmed atheist ever since college, but as he approached his 60th birthday, spiritual issues became important to him again. He decided to go to church -- first time in nearly 40 years.
3. He enjoyed the service and listened attentively to the sermon, especially the announcement at the end when the Pastor announced that next week would discuss the great flood.
4. At the end of the service, Max went up to the Pastor and said, "Pastor, I really enjoyed the service, but I won’t be able to attend next week. But don’t think I don’t care -- put me down for a $100 donation for the flood victims!"
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.” Eccl. 1:9-10;
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isa. 43:19;
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’” Mk. 9:23
1. We’re going to see how we can let our past limit us, why our destiny is greater than we anticipate, and how to get your future back on God’s fast-track.
2. The title of tonight’s message is “Don’t Let Your Past Determine Your Future.”
I. THE PAST IS VALUABLE BUT LIMITING
A. WE CHERISH THE MEMORIES OF TIMES & PEOPLE LONG GONE
1. The apostle Paul once said (Phip. 3:14), "Forgetting those things which are behind…." I don't agree.
2. We must not forget our previous experiences. Someone has said, "Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are bound to repeat them." That’s very true.
3. Think of how many wonderful people have been an influence on your life! Should you forget about them? No!
B. PAST = FOUNDATION OF OUR EXPER. & KNOWLEDGE
1. Who and what we are, is the cumulative sum of our past life and experiences.
2. We've had great experiences with the Lord we are told to remember.
3. God told the Israelites to make memorials to commemorate the great deeds He had done.
C. OUR PAST: THE SPRINGBOARD, LAUNCHING PAD
1. History can be the spring-board for the future, the launching pad for future.
2. That was Paul’s intent in saying to forget the past. He knew the tendency of Christians would be to stop working for God because they felt like they’d already done enough for the Lord.
3. The reason to “forget the past” is so we’ll work today like we’ve never done anything before! We need to seek God the same way!
a. The teacher says to her class, "I want you all to write an essay on what you would do if you won the $5 million lottery."
b. After 30 minutes, Jim Bob hands in a blank piece of paper. "Jim Bob," says the teacher, "why haven’t you written anything?"
c. "Because if I had $5 million, Miss, that's exactly what I would do – nothing!" [Common attitude spiritually!]
D. MAYBE YOUR PAST HASN’T BEEN ALL SUCCESSES
1. Israel had messed up royally. For many years they had turned away from God and been idolaters and indulged in every sort of sin, yet God told them to stop dwelling on it!
2. Maybe that is where you are tonight! The good news is, God is giving you a fresh, new beginning. Get the past under the Blood and move on!
3. We need to understand that God is more interested in our future than He is in our past.
4. Someone has said, “You can’t alter your past, but you can put your past on the altar!”
5. So we shouldn’t let our past achievements limit what we perceive God can do for us in the future.
II. YOU HAVE A GREAT DESTINY BECAUSE…
A. YOU BELONG TO GOD
1. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1 Cor. 6:19-20.
2. God is jealous over what is His. He guards and fights for what is His own. Say; “I’m God’s Property!” God’s going to take His property with Him to Heaven before the Antichrist arises.