Summary: Paul lays out some principles concerning our attitude that we can carry with us into the New Year.
PHIL. 3:12-16 “FORGETTING THE PAST AND GOING FORWARD IN 2006”
A) There is an old story about a happy little boy who went out into the field wearing a baseball
cap ... And in one hand he carried a baseball, and in the other his trusty bat!
* His face had a look of tremendous confidence ... Cocking his bat, he tossed the ball into the air,
saying, “I’m the greatest batter in the world!” * Then he swung and missed.
* “Strike one,” he said. * He picked up the ball, examined it, and then threw it into the air again.
* As he swung, he repeated, “I’m the greatest batter in the world.”
* Once again he missed ... “Strike two,” he said. * This time, he stopped to examine his bat to
make sure there wasn’t a hole in it.
* Then he picked up the ball, adjusted his cap, and tossed the ball into the air for the third time.
* He repeated again, “I’m the greatest batter in the world,” and swung with all his might, and
missed for the third straight time.
* Now most boys might be discouraged by that, but this boy said, “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher
in the world!”
B) Today is the first Sunday of 2006, and as we look back over the last 12 months, I’m not sure
whether most of us would consider ourselves pitchers or batters!
* One thing for sure, is that we have all struck out from time to time.
* So I guess it’s good to be able to start fresh. * Kids are going back in school .......
* Young people will be headed back to college.
* And most of us will soon recover from the holiday season and will be well into doing our jobs
and the activities of the new year real soon.
C) As we anticipate the next 12 months, some people might eagerly look forward to what each
day will bring!
* Others might be filled with dread, worried that this year will be worse than the last.
* Like the little boy with his baseball bat, I would suggest that our attitude will make all the
difference in the coming year.
* How we react to its event will largely determine whether it is a year of victory or a year of defeat.
D) The Apostle Paul was never one to let circumstances conquer him .......
* Rather, with the help of God, he was determined to win the victor’s crown.
* Paul’s personality, I believe, really comes through in these verses!
* And, with these thoughts, Paul lays out some principles concerning our attitude that we can carry
with us into the New Year! * The first of those principles is this .......
(1) FORGETTING YOUR PAST! * At the end of v.13, Paul said, “... forgetting .......”
A) Humans are very special beings, in that God has given us the ability to remember!
* However, your memories can be you friend or your enemy.
* Paul had a dreadful past and it could have easily haunted him for the rest of his life, if he allowed
it to! * He persecuted the church ... He used his authority to kill Christians.
* By his own admission he said, “I am the chief of sinners.”
B) He could have walked around all his life with this tremendous burden of guilt crippling him!
* And he would’ve never become the great Apostle and missionary for God that he went on to be.
* Many people dwell on their past failures, mistakes, and sins so much so, that they become
spiritually paralyzed, unable to live productively for God.
* Paul is telling us that we can turn our past sins and failures over to God and start moving
“forward to what lies ahead.”
C) Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall!
* We’ve failed many times, although we may not remember.
* We fell down the first time we tried to walk ... We probably almost drowned the first time we
tried to swim. * Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.
D) R. H. Macy failed seven times before his New York department store finally caught on!
* We can’t allow ourselves to become obsessed on our failures.
* We are all human ... We make mistakes ... We sin ... We fail ... But what is worse, is missing the
opportunities that God puts in front of us because we are afraid to fail.
E) In a Nike advertisement some years ago, a voice came over the television saying .......
* “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career ... I’ve lost almost 300 games.”