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As we enter the new year, I am struck by two
verses which seem to form a great paradox in
Scripture. As I think about what God has in store
for us in 1995, I recall that God tells us in Psalm
105:5 to "remember His marvelous works which He hath done." Yet Philippians 3:13 tells me that I should be "forgetting those things which are behind." Which should I do, remember or forget? How can I use these two principles to receive Divine guidance for the new year?
I believe that both of the principles of forgetting and remembering are vital in the life of a growing Christian and in the life of a Christ honoring church. First of all, we must remember. We need to remember the marvellous works of God. Has not God been good to us in the past year? Have we not seen His power and grace work in our own lives, and in the lives of those around us? We need to remember the great God that we serve. We must continually think upon Calvary, and the unspeakable gift of salvation which was offered in the sacrifice of the only-begotten Son of God. We must see our God as the Omnipotent, Omniscient Creator and Sustainer that He is. As we remember last year's answers to prayer, our current prayer life will be encouraged. As we remember God's guidance in 1994, we can trust Him with 1995's decisions. As we remember His solutions to our problems, we can boldly step into the future knowing that God's ability has not diminished in any way. Thus, remembrance of the nature, character, and goodness of God is necessary if our church is going to prosper in the upcoming year.
But what about forgetting? That too plays an important part. As vital as it is that I remember God, it is necessary that I forget myself. There are two areas in which Christians harm their service to the Lord in refusing to forget. First of all, some Christians refuse to forget past failures. Rather than praising God for His forgiveness, they choose to dwell upon the sins that they have committed, or the problems which they have encountered. Paul says that he is not going to let those things keep him from pressing on. If sin has been a problem, deal with it, and press on. Has life not always been "fair"? Deal with
it, praise God for it, and press on. Don't let past discouragement hinder future developments. Secondly, some Christians spend far too much time resting on their accomplishments of long ago. Just because I served God yesterday does not mean I'm serving Him today, and that I do not need to serve Him tomorrow. Paul, one of the great Christians of the New Testament, said that he had not "apprehended. " If other words, he had not yet reached the goal. He states that since he has not yet arrived, he must keep pressing on. Yesterdays defeats cannot stop me. Yesterdays victories will not suffice me. I must press on.
In 1995, let's put into practice the principles of remembering and forgetting. Let's forget ourselves and our situations, and remember the God who loves us. This will help us to have a 1995 that is both profitable and pleasing unto our God.
Mark J Montgomery