Date: Friday, January 3
Scripture: Philippians 3:12-21
Verse: Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
The month of January was named for the Roman deity Janus, who among other things, was considered the god of beginnings, transitions, and doors. Entering a new year is something like going through a door. We have an opportunity to leave behind the year that has passed, and enter fully into the year ahead.
Today’s scripture lesson is part of a larger section of Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi where he is talking about his transition from his old life as a Pharisee to his new life in Jesus. Earlier in the chapter, he remembers all the things he used to allow define him – his tribe, the faith of his family, his education, his religious zeal, and so much more (see verses 2-11). But he has found that with Jesus he has a new story, new things to be proud of, a new life which defines him.
So when Paul says he is “forgetting what lies behind,” he doesn’t mean that literally – he has just finished describing what lies behind, so he remembers it. Rather, what he seems to mean is that his past will not determine his future. A new and better life lays ahead of him, ready to be explored. He knows he can go forward because he goes with Jesus.
The same is true for us. As the new year continues, we don’t have to let our past define our future. When we walk with Jesus, there are amazing things ahead for us.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for this new year, and the opportunity to move forward toward new life in you. Amen.
Action: Take note of the passageways you encounter today. Allow them to remind you of your move forward into the future with Jesus.
Respond: How will you be pressing on in the year ahead? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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