Open Heavens Daily Devotional For 18th April, 2018
Theme – FORGETTING THE PAST
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. Philippians 3:13
READ: Philippians 3:7-14
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
In several portion of Scriptures, the Holy Spirit admonishes us not to forget several things, especially things that relate to God’s commandments (Proverb 3:1, Hebrew 13:16). In fact, one of the mandates of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to bring to our remembrance all things the master has told us, so that we don’t forget them (John 14:26). However, in today’s Bible reading, the same Holy Spirit encourages us to forget the things that are behind us. Why does He want us to forget those things? The reason is that if we don’t forget some things of the past, they may prevent us from reaching forth to those things ahead of us, someone once said that ‘good’ is the enemy of better. When you hold tenaciously to the good, something better may elude you.
Furthermore, when you refuse to forget the days of your terrible past, you may never be able to live in the realm of the new beginning God has given to you. This is another danger of not forgetting the past. Many people still hold themselves hostage to their past life, long after they have been forgiven by God Almighty. They fail to recognize the term of the New Testament they are operating under. Here is part of what the Holy Spirit says about the new covenant in the Blood of Jesus:
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12
An elderly man was brought to us years ago he was terribly sick. We witnessed to him about Jesus Christ who forgives sins so that he may confess his sins and be forgiven. Surprisingly, he felt that the magnitude of his sins was too big for pardon. We assured him that this was not the case, and thanks be to God, the Holy Spirit eventually convinced him of what we were saying. His problem was tied to his refusal to forget his terrible past. When an old friend of mine came face to face with me after I had become born again and a pastor, she could not believe that God could use me to heal her ailing child. I assured her that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). She believed, and her sick child was healed. Today, many people find it difficult to forgive others because they refused to forget the past misdeeds done to them. This even more dangerous than refusing to forget your own past misdeeds (Mark 11:25-26). Beloved, keeping the record of your ugly past or that of others may rob you of the joy of forgiveness and the peace that emanates from forgetting the past.
Father, teach my heart to forgive and forget in Jesus’ Name.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Judges 7-8; 2Timothy 1.
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 15: NEARER MY GOD TO THEE.
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness comes over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
There let me see the sight, an open Heaven;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!