Some of my all-time favorite Bible verses were in Oswald Chambers’ devotional today:
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:8-14, NIV, my emphasis added)
Those verses say so much. They speak of letting go of the past. I’ve had to let go of my failed past before. I’m still trying. Why does it seem harder this time? Why do I want to hold onto it? Is it because it is a badge of honor? How honorable is that?!? Bull crap.
Pride. Pure and simple. How wretched I am!
Once upon a time, Christ Jesus took hold of me. June or July of 1996. He did so because He had a plan for me. A plan that was hopeful… a future of hope.
Andy Andrews has a great book entitled The Noticer. A character named Jones, a wise old African-American man, says something near the end of the book that has real truth in it:
“Take a deep breath. When you breathed in, what did you realize? That you are alive! And if you are alive, what does that mean? That you are still here. And if you are still here, that means you’re still physically on this planet. And if you’re still physically on this planet, that means that you haven’t completed the work that God put you here for. And if you haven’t completed the work God put you here for, that means you haven’t fulfilled God’s purpose for your life yet. And if you haven’t fulfilled God’s purpose for your life yet, that means there’s still hope!”