Sermons

Summary: Many Christians don’t set goals because they’re content with where they are, feel they can’t get any better, or feel their best days are behind them. It's God's will that we have dreams!

DON’T LET YOUR MEMORIES BECOME BIGGER THAN YOUR DREAMS

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. A woman walked into her bathroom at home. As she did, she saw her husband weighing himself on the bathroom scales, sucking in his stomach.

2. The woman thought to herself, "He thinks that he will weigh less by sucking in his stomach." So, the woman rather sarcastically said to her husband, "That’s not going to help."

3. Her husband said, "Sure it will. It’s the only way I can see the numbers."

B. BIG IDEA

1. The beginning of a new year is unusual in that, more than any other time of the year, most people will take a few minutes to evaluate their lives.

2. They ask themselves: “Have I reached my goals?” “Do I need to change some things?” “Can I do better?” “Are there some things I need to stop doing?”

3. But many Christians haven’t set any goals in a long time, because we’re content with where we are, we feel we can’t get any better, or we feel like our best days are behind us.

4. GOD IS NOT PLEASED WITH THIS ATTITUDE! God is saying to you today, “DON’T LET YOUR MEMORIES BECOME BIGGER THAN YOUR DREAMS!”

I. 1st GOD SAYS, “FORGET…THE PAST!” Isa. 43:18

A. WHY DO PEOPLE START LIVING IN THE PAST?

1. A REALLY GOOD PAST. Some of you have had a great life and above-average accomplishments. You may feel that there’s no way your future is going to equal your past, so you settle for reminiscing about your past.

2. A REALLY BAD PAST. Others of you suffered through tragic events that personally devastated you or publicly humiliated you; you may feel that a positive future isn’t possible for you.

3. YOU’RE OLDER. The fact that your life seems almost over or that you have serious physical limitations may make you assume that looking to the past is the only option for you.

But many people have accomplished great things in spite of old age and bad pasts!

B. EX. OF OLDER PEOPLE ACHIEVING GREAT THINGS

1. At 71, Katsusuke Yanagisawa, a retired Japanese schoolteacher, became the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest.

2. At 72, Margaret Ringenberg ?ew around the world.

3. At 75, cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the ?rst black woman, to reach the North Pole.

4. At 77, John Glenn became the oldest person to go into space.

5. At 82, William Ivy Baldwin tightrope walked across a 320 foot canyon in Colorado!

5. At 88, Michelangelo designed a massive cathedral.

6. At 91, Allan Stewart received a Law degree from the Univ. of New England.

7. At 92, Paul Spangler ?nished his 14th marathon.

8. At 93, P.G. Wodehouse worked on his 97th novel and was knighted.

9. At 100, Frank Schearer still water skied regularly.

C. BIBLICAL HEROES AT ADVANCED AGES

1. Moses led Israel until he was 120 years old.

2. John wrote the book of Revelation after he was 90 years.

3. Abraham offered Isaac when he was 110+ years old

4. Anna prophesied over baby Jesus when she was 104 years.

5. ALL THESE PEOPLE DIDN’T LET THEIR MEMORIES GET BIGGER THAN THEIR DREAMS! Others overcame bad pasts – like Rahab, David, Mary Magdalene, and Peter – they didn’t let their defects set them back.

II. DO YOU FOCUS ON YOUR PAST OR FUTURE?

A. MEMORIES SHAPE WHO WE ARE TODAY; DREAMS SHAPE WHO WE’LL BE TOMORROW

1. Never make the mistake of letting your memories be greater than your dreams. Memories represent your past; dreams represent your future. Our past shaped who we are today, but our dreams expand & shape us into what we can become.

2. Dreams are a gift because they impact your life as you try to achieve them. A memory won’t change your life today, but a dream will. Your dream is why you’re in the gym; your dream is why you set goals.

3. You could easily waste a decade of your life just

reminiscing on the past, but once you envision your dream and set goals to reach it, then you can begin to direct your future. Your future is determined by your dreams.

4. So enjoy reflecting and celebrating the things you’ve accomplished for Christ in the past, but then move on to dream and plan what you will do for Christ in the future!

B. PAUL’S VIEW IS BEST

1. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, 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” Phip. 3:12-14

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