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Forgive and Forget

One of the big takeaways from Sunday's message is that we should forget what God has forgiven. Paul put it this way in Philippians 3:13-14.   "Brothers and sisters, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  

Let's pick up some simple truths from these two verses.   First, we all have work to do in our relationship with Jesus.  If the Apostle Paul had work to do, can't we all agree that we have work to do?  Second, if we are going to grow in our obedience and holiness, it requires work.  Paul uses the word strain.  This is intentional, hard work.  In other passages, Paul uses the language of athletes training their bodies to bring them under Jesus' submission.  Working on your relationship with Jesus requires work!  It requires training.  Last, if we are going to strain toward what is ahead, we must forget what is behind.  We must forget the failings of our past and even the successes of our past so that we follow Jesus today.  If we are stuck in the past, we won't follow Jesus in the future so we forget what God has forgiven.

Some struggle with forgetting what God has forgiven.  They get caught up in their failure rather than a future following Jesus.   If that's you, be encouraged by these verses:    

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.  HEBREWS 8:12

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.  ISAIAH 43:25

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 JOHN 1:9

I could go on and on with the Scripture to prove that God forgives and forgets.  Will you let it sink in?   Will you let it take root in your heart so that nothing that has happened in your past will keep you from following Jesus into the future?