Summary: Your past cannot be your past until you let go of it.
Looking Back or Ahead
Good morning and thank you for choosing to worship with us today here at Central.
I trust and pray that you had a wonderful Christmas filled with the rich blessings of the Lord and you had a special day with family and friends.
We are so thrilled to have each one of you worshiping with us today and a special good morning to our guests.
It is our desire that you enjoy the warmth and fellowship of the people of God, that you have a life changing experience with God, and that you discover the plan He has for your life.
Let’s make our profession together, this is my bible, God’s holy word, it is a lamp …
2009 has been a great year, but it has brought its own challenges.
• To many 2009 has been a year of economic stress. We have enjoyed plenty for so long that we have forgotten what it is like to have to really stretch our paycheck.
• To others 2009 was a time when their marriages were tested, and some broken and now they are trying to pick up the pieces and live life and find fullness and happiness again.
• To others it has brought the loss of a husband, wife, mom, dad, child, or loved one dear to our hearts and we have had to readjust and put on a happy face again.
• While to others it has been a time of health issues that you never planned on facing, and you have raging fivers ahead of you that you have never crossed before.
• To others it ha been the best year you have ever experienced willed with God’s grace, favor and provision.
Whatever kind of year it was to you, it is over and it is not time to stop looking back and begin looking ahead.
Brothers, 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I have heard it said many times that today is a cashed check and yesterday is a cancelled check, but tomorrow is an unwritten check.
Matthew 6:34 NIV
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
If we are to move into the things that God holds for our destiny, they we must release the past.
The past is but an instrument to project into our destiny, or into the purpose that God has before us.
1. The Past must remain the past.
When Jesus was taken down from the cross, he was taken to the tomb of Joseph of Aramias (a borrowed tomb), where he was wrapped in a shroud (grave clothes) and laid to rest in the tomb.
On the first day of the week, Mary and two other ladies went to anoint his body …..
When Peter went into the tomb, all he found was the grave clothes where Jesus had laid.
When the Angel came, and Christ was physically raised from the dead, he did not take the grave clothes with him because he was not going to need them again.
They had served their purpose.
Your past has served its purpose.
• It has made you grow in the Lord.
• It has made your trust in Him become greater. (Learning to lean)
• It has caused you to realize who your are in Christ Jesus.
• It has caused you to realize that you can depend on Jesus.
• It may have led you to the place where you would not go, but you have discovered that God was there.
Yet now you must come to realize that that experience is over and it is time to leave your grave clothes behind.
You do not hang on to the things of the past to remind you of the past.
Jesus did not take his burial clothes with him to remember what he had done, he left them behind. WHY?
Because they marked the trail for those who have followed after him.
A study has been done on the grave clothes.
His facial features were on the cloth in the form of a double negative.
You might think, what is so important about that.
This was discovered in the late 1800’s.
The grave clothes have been preserved in a museum for hundreds of years before the study.
A double negative is made by very bright reverse lighting, used in photography, which has an effect similar to a lightning strike.
The era in which this was made was hundreds of years before photography.