A Non-Denominational, Bible-teaching Church

Sunday Service 9:30am   |   301 Clinton St. Hudson, IL

Hudson Christian Church Logo A Bible teaching church in Bloomington Normal

New Beginnings

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

-Php 3:12–14.

Since the creation of the sunrise, God has revealed himself to be the God of new beginnings. In the daily cycle of the sun, the weekly cycle of the Sabbath, the monthly cycle of the moon, and the annual cycle of the seasons, God announces to us, “that last chapter is closed. Here is a new one.” 

What would God have us do with the past? He tells us to remember his faithfulness. That is something worth carrying into today and tomorrow! God has been with us and led us in the past. He will surely continue to be faithful to us. 

He also tells us he has forgotten our sins, and through this precious teaching of Paul, he tells us to do the same. Forget what lies behind. Paul is speaking of a journey to a destination. Those things that have gone on in the past (and he is particularly referring to our imperfections) do not help us reach the goal. If we keep replaying past failures we will be weighed down by discouragement and shame. Holding on to past sins doesn’t keep us humble, it keeps us hurting! 

Surely this last year also had some disappointments for you. Things you wanted to work out differently. Don’t carry those disappointments into the new year either. Paul teaches us to consciously turn our attention to what lies ahead - and off circumstances entirely! Instead, as we round the corner, our whole focus is on the heart-work that Jesus is perfecting in us. The goal we are pursuing is closeness to Jesus. The plans we are making and the efforts we put towards them are for godliness in every aspect of our lives. 

We have set out on that journey before. We have made great gains… and have had many setbacks. However, the fact that we have come up short in the past does not cling to us in the least. Here we are today, ready to pursue Jesus with all our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength. 

Spend some time in prayer this week asking the Lord to draw all your attention towards serving him and enjoying him in this new year. Talk together as a family about what it will mean for you to pursue Jesus as a household in 2024. 

Forgetting what is behind may also mean cutting some ties to things that have slowed you down in the past. What are the things that keep you from serving God? What are the things that distract you? Are there stumbling blocks that you repeatedly have come up against? Forget them! Leave them behind. Don’t bring those things with you into the new year. Rather, cut them out of your lives entirely! There is nothing that we leave along the roadside in this heavenly journey that is worth looking back for. There is nothing you let go of for the sake of Jesus that will come back to you as regret. 

Revel in the New Year tonight. Thank God for his fresh beginnings and the permission to start over. To get back up and keep running. May the Lord bless you and lead you onward and upward in 2024!

In Christ,

Brandon Current