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. Philippians 3:13
Paul was a church persecutor before an advocate for Christ. The beginning of the book of Acts tells us Paul was responsible for the deaths of many early Christians. After a radical encounter with Jesus, Paul begins preaching Christ and building the church. It may have been easy for him to feel shame. He may have wrestled with his past and wondered if God had forgiven him. But Paul says he forgets his past. He can forget it because he knows he is forgiven. Jesus’s death on the cross brings him forgiveness from the things he’d done.
We all have something to forget. There may be things that we have done that haunt us or we can’t get past. Maybe it’s something someone did to us instead. But we don’t have to let our past sabotage GOSPEL CHANGE because we are redefined by Christ. We may feel unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness. But the beauty of the Gospel is that Christ came whether we deserve it or not. This includes too when our past is clean or we are raised in a Christian home. GOSPEL CHANGE means God sees us “at the top of the ladder.” Whether we’ve been a Christian our whole life or have a dark past, Paul encourages us to live up to that. And this can only happen through the grace of Christ.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Paul talks about forgetting the past as an active choice. The Gospel changes everything. Through Jesus, we are righteous and made whole. Pray that God would allow GOSPEL CHANGE to impact how we view our past and its hold on our future. Pray that God would help you realize you are now defined not by what you’ve done in the past but by what Christ has done.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
March is FASTING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.