Learn from the past, pray for grace

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, January 21, 2016

The New Year is a great time to make some resolutions. Our goals should challenge us to make this a better year.

One passage in God’s Word that gives some guidelines for the upcoming year is in Philippians chapter 3. The Apostle Paul had set four goals for himself: that I may know Him (Christ personally), to have the power of His resurrection (His anointing), to have His fellowship in suffering and to be made in the likeness of Christ’s character.

One criteria for success with goals this year is in the next verse, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.”  We have to acknowledge that we are not perfect and there is a need in our lives. We also must want to change for the better.  Others may give you advice, steps and how tos, but commitment comes from your will to want to reach your goal.

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The next encouragement is to forget things we have left behind. One area to forget in 2016 is that of our past victories.  You may remember and enjoy them, but do not be satisfied with past accomplishments.

We cannot rely on last week’s meals for today’s nourishments.  So many talk of what God has done but are unable to talk of what He is now doing.

You can learn from your mistakes and weaknesses and pray for grace to cross your finish line. You may have tried and failed, but you must forget past defeats. Remember, if you keep looking backward while walking forward you will stumble and fall again this year.

One principle to help complete this New Year’s resolution is “reaching forth,” meaning to strain your muscles until your blood vessels seem to pop out. Another principle is to “press toward the mark,” meaning to stay on course to finish your goal, such as hunting, or to pursue hard until you catch your prey.

We must factor God into the equation in order to reach our goals.  In the next chapter we have His promises, “I can do all thing through Christ which strength me” and “… my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

In order to accomplish your goals there are some things only He can do, and there are some things we can do that He will not. 

Remember, work as if everything depends upon you, and pray as if everything depends upon God.

STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is SteveConwell@outlook.com.