Philippians 3:1-15 (NIV)

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh– 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;  6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ  9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.   

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  13 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. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.   

Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.   

DEVOTION –

Elizabeth Rosian (Pennsylvania)

As I grow older, I find that past failures sometimes dominate my memories haunting me.  How do I get pass those moments when I mad poor career decisions that affected my future or when I speak without thinking and hurt other people?  

Thoughts like these are paralyzing.  They could have been for the apostle Paul, too.  He certainly had much to want to forget.  Thinking he was pleasing God, he murdered Christians.  When he was finally on the side of Jesus, he was rejected, beaten, and stoned for his testimony.  However, Paul’s God-inspired philosophy gave him renewed strength and drive for the mission that became his life:  “Forgetting those things which are behind…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (KJV).

That has become my motto now.  When negative memories attack, I remember this verse.  It is as if the Holy Spirit whispers to me, “Forget those things which are behind.”  Then I am free to become productive once more.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today I will let go of past mistakes and follow God’s leading.

PRAYER: God  of grace, cleanse our minds of past mistakes that could hinder our Christian walk and work.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE HOLDING ON TO PAST MISTAKES

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