Summary: Consequences and benefits of looking back and planning the future
LOOKING FORWARD, LOOKING BACK
We spend years looking and wondering. Looking at our past and hoping, longing for those ‘good old days’. Looking to our future and hoping for a good tomorrow. Often times though we get caught looking at the past and forget to look at the things that are most important. Or we look to the past and we wrongly try to model tomorrow into a sequel of what has already happened because we think that we have reached the pinnacle of our life. The pinnacle of the goodness of God. The Pinnacle of the spiritual things of our lives and we think “there is no way anything can get better than what it was”
Today I want to speak about “Looking Forward, Looking Back” for I believe that we can learn from doing this.
We are over ½ finished 2005. And 2006 is breathing down our necks. In 2006 we as a church will mark 70 years as an Assembly. Seventy years since Men and women of God dreamed a dream, saw a vision, heard from God about what could be in Marmora.
Their dream is our foundation. Their Vision is our bedrock and their obedience to the voice of God is our purpose.
In this award winning film called “The Mission,” Robert DeNiro plays a mercenary who has taken asylum in the local church after killing his brother in a fit of jealous rage. He eventually leaves the church and heads to a mission post located above the waterfalls in a South American jungle. Because of what he has done, and how bad he feels, he ties himself to a several-hundred pound net of items that represents his sinful life. He feels compelled to drag this sack of sin around with him as a way to do penance for what he has done.
Have you ever felt like that? I suspect that some of you are tethered to some transgressions this morning. Others of you are gasping under the guilt of things you did several years ago. What do you do when you realize that you’ve messed up? How do you stabilize your life when you experience more ups and downs than the stock market? Where do you go when you’ve failed? Where do you turn when you’ve hurt those closest to you? Do you grab some rope and hitch it up to your sin pile and start dragging? Or, is there something better?
Often times in life we get down because of things which we have done in our past. We let the sins of Yesterday drag us down instead of realizing that RIGHT NOW there is perfect forgiveness in the Blood of Jesus Christ.
DANIEL 9:9To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.
TOO MUCH EMPASIS ON THE PAST
1. Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.
2. Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the Lord, the fire was quenched.
3. So he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of the Lord had burned among them.
4. Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: "Who will give us meat to eat?
5. "We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;
6. "but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!’’
7. Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium.
8. The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil.
9. And when the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it.
10. Now Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the Lord was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased.
33. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague.
In these scriptures we see a group of people that looked to the past, but they looked beyond what God had done and looked directly into the ‘good old days’ They forget the bad stuff about the ‘good old days’ They forget the slavery, the poor working conditions, the prejudice, but instead they just remember the ‘good food’