Summary: As we move into a brand new year we often remember the previous year, but there are things that we would do well to forget.
It’s almost gone, not quite but pretty close. By this time tomorrow 2006 will be but a memory and we will be standing on the threshold of a brand new year. Now during the first week of a new year it’s not unusual to reminisce about the past and to dream about the future. Were there things that we would change about the past 365 days if we had a chance or are we happy with the last 52 weeks of our lives. 2006 for all intensive purposes is gone, everything we did and everything we strived for is now history. December 2006 is as unobtainable as December 1996 or 1986 or 1906.
James 4:14 How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. Well the smoke of 2006 is starting to clear. We are moving into a new year and 2007 promises to be a great year in the life of Cornerstone Wesleyan Church. And as we stand posed to step over the threshold into a year that holds so much promise maybe it would do well to reflect for a moment on 2006.
It has been a good year, a succesful year. This year we celebrated our first full year in our new church home. And it has been a great year. Last december was our first full month in the building and we aveaged 118 which was awesome, that was three times more then had been attending Cornerstone before the building, over the past three months our attendance has averaged 186 which has been a 50% incease over last year. And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the increase last year was because of the church building but the increase this year has been because of the church body. You are to thank.
As a church we participated in 40 Days of Purpose and for many it was their first experience in a small group. In the past twelve months we have had 5 baptism services with at total of 17 folks baptized. But numbers can’t measure all of the lives that have been changed, the hurts that have been healed and the families that have been impacted this past year.
But when everything is said and done 2006 is gone, it exists now only in our memories, and will be perpetuated forever in our record books. For all we have done, all we have accomplished, all we have struggled together for is but a mist that appeared for a little while and then vanished. If we were to stop now and go no further then 2006 would have been a wasted effort.
Part of the Scripture that was read this morning was Philippians 3:13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, This Scripture has two main premises, two distinct trains of thought. 1) Forgetting what is behind and 2) Straining toward what is ahead. Two distinct commands, made in opposite directions and yet affirming one another. Throughout the Bible we are treated to a Hebraic Literary device called parallelism and that simply means that something is stated twice in different ways. For example, Psalm 23 says “The Lord is my shepherd” “I shall not want” and Psalms 78:1 says “O my people, hear my teaching;” “listen to the words of my mouth.” and Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything,” “and a season for every activity under heaven:” I’m sure that King David would have been proud of Paul and his writing style.
There are several things as we look out over a brand new year that must be forgotten. Things that need to be disposed of. Not simply placed in a closet to be taken out and dusted off from time to time, fondled and examined, but gotten rid of completely. In Philippians 3:14 Paul draws a comparison between our life and a race. What is behind is fine, but it is behind and unless our effort remains consistent it has little bearing on the result of the race. A runner doesn’t place any stock in how many circuits he’s done, only the number that are left.
Friends it may be a cliche but “Today is the first day of the rest of your life” How do you want to spend today? Yesterday is gone, it cannot be altered, changed or relived. If you continue to live for yesterday you won’t only miss out on today, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll miss out on tomorrow as well. What do we need to forget?
1) We Need to Forget our Resentments As the New Year stretches out in front of us like an unmarked page, maybe we’d better take the time to clean our pens before we leave our mark. Resentments are dangerous toys for Christians to be playing with and there is no place for them within the grace that God has given us. My favourite American President of all time was Abraham Lincoln, and it was said of Lincoln “His heart was as great as the world but there was no room in it for the memory of a wrong.” If somebody did something to you last year, forget it. If somebody said something about you last year, forget it. I love the comment that says “Speak well of your enemies, after all you made them.”