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Dec. 5, 2020

December 5th, 20

December 5th, 20

Daily Radio Bible Podcast


 THE ONE THING

Today’s reading is Philippians 1 – 4.  We are reading from the New Living Translation.

Want to know one thing that I do that has made all the difference? You might be interested because you’ve listened to me on this podcast for awhile. For others,  you might not be that interested and it might not make a whole lot of difference to you, what I do. But if it were the Apostle Paul, posing the question about what he has done that has made all the difference, my hunch is that you would be very interested in that one thing. Paul tells us:

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.(Phil 3:13-14 NLT)

The one thing I do, Paul says, is I forget the past and stay focussed on what lies ahead. If you focus on the past you’re likely to see things in a discouraging light. Paul reminds us that we have to stay focussed on the right thing. We have to keep our focus forward and not on the past. We can’t project our past into our future. We have to keep our past in the past. It’s not that we are to deny it or pretend it didn’t happen. We need to learn from our past. But we have to keep it in the past.

Paul had the blood of Christians in his past. He had to find a way to deal with this. He learned that it wouldn’t be by reliving the past over and over again. He had to look forward. When we look ahead our past takes on a different light. We gain perspective on our past, that can actually be hopeful and not cause us to despair. We can look at the past and see what David saw in Psalm 23:6.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

We can look on our past and see that God somehow was at work. His goodness and mercy were with us. But we only see that by looking forward, not by living in the past. When we look forward we can see that:

God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.(Rm 8:28 NLT)

Paul learned this one thing and he wants to share it with us. Focus Forward. Those who focus forward, have hope.They are believing that God has a plan and that he has the power to accomplish that plan. They are believing what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

God was at work in your past, even before you knew it. As broken and messy as it was, he was there. And he still has work to do in your future. That perspective that you need will only be achieved by looking forward – forgetting what lies behind and looking forward to what lies ahead.

He has the answer to your past and your future. May you find His joy and strength in that one thing – looking forward.