Stay in the past or move forward into the future

Do you want to “stay” in the past or “live” in the future? This time of year, as it draws to a close, we are granted a unique opportunity by these two choices. This past year, for me, has been valley and mountain top experiences. Like many of you, I have said goodbye so some wonderful friends as they passed from this life to the next. Also there have been moments of joy that brought tears of joy making my heart pound with anticipation. It would be easy to sit back and say to myself, “Let’s just stay in this place, no need to move forward.” If we stay and not move forward, we can’t grow. Listen to the Apostle Paul’s word: Philippians 3:13-14

13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Although Paul, like many of us, had reason to stay in the past he knew life was in the future. Sitting still is easy but moving on requires faith. Allowing our faith in the Lord to take us further than we ever thought possible. Allowing ourselves to be used to the glory of the Father, allowing ourselves to be examples to everyone by showing them the life Jesus wants us to have. Allowing others to see you straining to move forward in Christ is a great gift to give. Paul also said in I Cor. 11:1 to be imitators of me as I am of Christ. So, in my mind, if you can serve Christ then I can follow your example and do the same.

No one knows what events the future holds but isn’t it exciting to anticipate where the Lord will be leading us? Matthew 6:31-33 gives us the freedom to live in the future: So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Seeking the Kingdom means moving forward daily allowing God to lead you.

As this year draws to a close we all have memories to cherish but God has more in store for us all. Live with the anticipation of what doors will be opened, the new memories to be cherished and how rich your life will be by serving the Lord everyday. The choice is yours, please make the right choice. Your future is up to you.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)