Summary: This is a New Year message focused on our decision to move beyond our past to press towards the goal within our future. It asks the reader to consider the impact of past failures on our present and future plans.

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I’m Pressing On

Scriptures: Philippians 3:8-14; 4:13

We have entered into a new year that represents a year of change for our lives. This year represents the first year of the rest of our lives. This statement will make more sense shortly. The title of my message this morning is “I’m Pressing On.”

Each New Year brings on the excitement of new possibilities of what lies ahead. Each New Year also causes us to reflect on the opportunities and or possibilities that were unfulfilled in the previous year. It is those missed and unfulfilled opportunities and possibilities that lead many to establish New Year resolutions at the beginning of a new year. We want to make changes so that in the upcoming year we will not make the same decisions that led to how we finished the previous year. For some people they refuse to make New Year’s resolutions because they always fail to complete them so their thinking is why try when they know they will fail. Everyone sitting under the sound of my voice has experienced some unfulfilled personal promises and missed opportunities at some point in your life. How we think about our “failure” with these unfulfilled personal promises or missed opportunities impact how we think about our future. For example, maybe you had planned to pray more only to discover that life kept you in the same habits from the previous year so this year your plan is to do “the best you can” without setting any specific goals. The impact of not hitting your goal last year stops you for setting a new goal and potentially failing this year. Maybe you had planned to lose weight last year only to find that you weigh a little bit more on December 31st than you did on January 1st 2016. So this year maybe your goal is not to gain any additional weight versus actually losing what you currently have. Again, the failure of the past impacts the goals of the future. If you have unfulfilled promises and missed opportunities from 2016 that you are thinking about in this New Year I want you to listen closely to this message for you are not alone.

There are many people walking around in the daylight but living under the cloud of something from their past. It follows them wherever they go and it is always there. No matter how bright the “Son” is in our life this cloud cast its shadow of our past failures and disappointments and seem to always take away our ability to enjoy our present. All of us know someone who is “living in the past” and are operating based on protecting their future based on the past failures. While I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist I do know this, we have all failed and have come short of our goals. We have all been hurt and felt the need to protect ourselves moving forward. We have all done stupid things that if we could take them back and wipe the slate clean we would. We all have pasts that continue to influence our present and potentially our future. Mistakes and failures are a part of life, but at some point we have to start looking ahead and stop looking behind. We have to focus on where we are going versus where we left. This focus will require that we put some things behind us so that we can walk freely into our future. Turn with me to Philippians 3: 8-14.

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