Sermons

Summary: Your past is fundamental to who you are.

A. INTRODUCTION

1. God holds your “time” in His hands. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). “I am (He) . . . who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8).

2. It’s never too early to start.

a. Mozart at age 5 composed and performed before European royalty.

b. Mary Shelley at age 19 wrote Frankenstein.

c. Levi Strauss at age 20 began a business, Levi Strauss & Co. that eventually made Levi Jeans.

d. Peter the Great at age 17 began ruling Russia.

e. Ricky Skaggs at age 12 won a Grammy.

3. How old do you have to be to begin fulfilling your dreams?

4. Learn from your past, make today count and transform your future. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13, NKJV). “This one thing I do, forgetting those things that are past, and reaching forth unto those things that are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God” (Phi. 3:13-14).

B. THREE LAWS OF YESTERDAY: LEARN FROM THE PAST

1. The bye and fly law – “Forgetting those things that are behind” (Phil. 3:13, KJV). Determine to say “no” to past wounds and mistakes. Forgive: don’t let past problems define your life. Forget: if your favorite dog dies, don’t sit by his grave to mourn daily. Get up! Put your back to the grave and walk toward the sun. Get another dog; enjoy his fellowship. What is your dog? Don’t be a “history-lover,” be a “future-lover.” Don’t be shackled to your past, embrace the future.

2. The squeeze and seize law – get everything out of the good things of your past and make it work for your future. “No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom” (Luke 9:62).

3. The love and laugh law – your past is fundamental to who you are. You can’t undo the past, you can’t re-do the past. You can’t come back from where you have never been. Thank God for your strengths and weaknesses.

C. THREE LAWS OF TOMORROW: FEEL THE STRENGTH

1. The scan and plan law: you must make plans based on what you know about your past, and where you are today so you can accomplish your life’s purpose. Scarlett O’Hara’s defining moment: “I’ll never be hungry again.”

2. The learn and yearn law: based on what you have accomplished in the past and what you are learning now, dreams for the future you want.

3. Know what you can’t do.

a. You have got to have an arm to pitch 100 mph.

b. You have got to have musical talent to win a Grammy.

“For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). Plan for the greatest future you think you can achieve. Why not!

D. THREE LAWS OF TODAY: NOW IS A WORD OF ENERGY

1. The importance and imperative law: Today counts: it’s the most important day of your life. “Make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life” (2 Peter 1:5, NLT).

2. The change and re-arrange law: If you don’t plan to change, you won’t. “So dear friends, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called” (2 Peter 1:16).

Today you can re-arrange your priorities, stop procrastinating, stop wasting time; rather invest time and life for God.

Promise yourself you will stop going down a dead-end road. Stop settling for half-way done assignments.

Today you can change your goals and do something worthy and eternal.

3. The faith and focus law:

Today you must see your future through God’s eyes. “Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker was God” (Heb. 11:10).

You must forget about the limitations of the past and the problems of the present to focus on the potential of the future.

E. DON’T CHANGE YOUR LIFE PURPOSE BUT UPDATE YOUR LIFE’S PLAN

1. Your life-purpose: What God has called you to do. “Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it” (1Thess. 5:24).

2. Your life-plan: How you will get there and how big will you make it.

Stop waiting for that one day when your ship comes in. Make today the defining moment when you decide to live beyond the past, and you decide to soar beyond the present, because “today counts.”

When the disciples met Jesus, He said, “Follow Me” (Mark 1:17). That one day counted for all eternity because they left their boats. They believed in Jesus’ promise to them of a greater tomorrow, “I will make you fishers of men” (Mark. 1:17).

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

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