Sunday, November 27, 2005

great message today...

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." (Charles Schulz)
that's a quote an awesome friend shared with me really keeps things in perspective doesn't it?

Today in church, Pastor Stovall preached an amazing message. If only i could have had my closest friends next to me....

So many of us have a hard time moving forward because we can't let go of our past, me definitely included. I struggle with many things that as a result of my bad decisions. What God wasnts us to do is understand him first...know that no matter what you've done he's forgiven you! he doesn't love you for what you have done or not done...he loves you simply because his only son gave his life for the sins of the world. when God looks at us, he sees his son inside our hearts. When you hear God's call, people, its not a "i didn't know that you would have done THAT", but an upward call, and whatever season we are in, good or bad, we can learn from it. Because of what you have done, you may think that GOd will never take you in, in Romans 11:11 it says "Again I ask, did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather because of their transgression, salvation, has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious" use your broken road as a learning tool. God already knows what you will do in the future and had planned what you did in the realizing this only proves you can hear his call. Once we understand God and want to have a relationship with him, we can then learn to become comfortable with ourselves.
Ahhh, to be comfortable with yourself. Raise your hand if you are 100% comfortable with yourself? HA...this is probably the toughest thing for me. I am SO UNCOMFORTABLE with myself. Truthfully, its because I have a hard time focusing on the things i am good at, rather than the things i am not. its so easy to compare yourself to others and say, man i wish i could do that, she's never made a mistake, or how does she stay so fit? Inside we are dying to be someone else, but for who? Others? The world? Its easy to put on a front for them...they don't really ever have to know us. But God already knows us...there is no reason to put on a show for him, be real before GOd. Don't think that once you give your life over to God you will all of a sudden be comfortable with yourself...Paul even struggled at age 59 with being comfortable on who he SHOULD be....that's ok...we always want to strive to be better. But to keep carrying your past mistakes and allowing you to label yourself is wrong....the longer those mistakes stay inside of you, the quicker they are to turn into a toxic pool.
we have to focus all our energies on GOD....don't focus on who you were what what you did. Focusing on disappointments of the past don't get you anywhere, focus on God HERE AND NOW...remember that God we talked about before? he wants you at peace! The quicker you can forgive and forget (yourself or someone else) the quicker god will heal, restore, and reward you!
Once you are focused, look forward to the goodness of God in your FUTURE! YOu've heard it before (maybe your grandpa said it when he was justifying that being old isn't a big thing) "My best days are still ahead of me". If you dump off your past where you are now and keep walking, just think about how far you will be from those horrible memories later!? Like God told Samual, (16:1) stop mourning Samual and get up! Let it go, and only allow it to strengthen you! Once you feel that joy from Jesus, it can never be taken away from you by the world (Phil 4:4-8). You can recieve that joy that will heal your inward person by the word...
Finally, when you have decided all of these things and use them for the glory of god, you then can choose to FINISH STRONG! You do this by demonstrating GOD's WISDOM (from his word).
phil3:12-14 "I do not mean that i am already the way god wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but i continue to try and reach it and to make it mine, christ wants me to do that which is the reason i am his. Brothers and sisters i know that i have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing that i always do. Forgetting the past and straining towards what is ahead. I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which GOd called me through Christ to the life above"
this message really hit home for me today. i wonder when people really get to know me, if they can accept my past and love me for who i am today. my struggle is constantly trying to remember that their opinions are just opinions...can opinions be proven? no, that makes them FALSE. is the bible a bunch of opinions? no, its the light, the truth. God knows i'm seeking his kingdom and that's all that should matter. if they can't accept it, than really its their struggle....when i write these things, i hope others that read this can relate and it helps them... i hope the people that read this know its not coming from this awesome christian of 23 years....but i've been there, hurt, make mistakes, and have regrets. maybe just knowing that someone else out there feels like this may help?


Brittany said...

Forgetting the past and straining towards what is ahead... That is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. We don't have to look back and let the past be our identity today. We can look back, and remember how far down we were, and what God brought us out of. No, we don't want to remember the past in regret or shame. We do want to remember where he has brought us to this moment. I don't want to forget the past because then I might return to it. But I do want to forget my identity in the past. Today is a new day. My identity is in Jesus today.