Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
 New Year’s Day is a time of reflection and a time for looking ahead. We tend to look back on the past year and revel in our triumphs and regret our errors. We look into the new year with optimism of a better life, even setting goals and resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, or just be a better person. New Year’s Day can certainly be a time of celebration, sorrow, or a mix of both.
 Paul wrote to the church in Philippi during his first imprisonment around 61 A.D., about 10 years after he planted the church there. In this section of Scripture, he is encouraging them to follow his example by doing two things: forgetting the past and looking ahead. The reason that Paul does so is explained in verse 14: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” He was adamant that the best was yet to come.
 For a believer, looking back can be disastrous in a couple of ways. First, we can tend to look back at the past sins in our lives, and endure in the sorrow of the bad things that we have done. But we must be reminded that in His lovingkindness, God has thrown our sin into the sea to be remembered no more, by either Him or us (Micah 7:19)! Second, looking back on the things that we have done for the cause of Christ can possibly cause us to become satisfied with our past accomplishments and achievements. I often wonder if this is part of the reason that Paul said that he was “pressing on toward the goal.”
 When we are in our cars, we use our rear view mirrors to glance at what is behind us for a split second. We should dwell on the road that is ahead of us. But as Christians, it can be all too easy to stare in the rear view mirror. For that reason, God hates the rear view mirrors on the road trip that we call life. Let us do like Paul, and keep our eyes on the road that is ahead of us.


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December 2015
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