20-8-2021
By Chow Ee-Tan

Forgetting What is Behind

“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”. – Philippians 3:13-14

Our Christian life is a journey, or rather, a marathon. The finish line would be when we reach our eternal home – heaven. This journey on earth is not easy – there are always ups and downs, with good times and tough times along the way. Being in our human flesh and weakness, sometimes we feel like giving up.

The only thing that can get us going and persevere is to fix our eyes on the goal, which is our eternal home when we will be in the presence of our God and creator. But it seems an arduous and long journey. Although Christians are called to be like Christ, in our flesh, we continue to make mistakes, and to sin. In fact, we will never obtain complete sanctification until we stand before God. But we are called to persevere.

The Apostle Paul knew it, and in writing to the Philippians, encouraged and challenged them to look forward and not backward.

Paul recalled his past when he was hostile to Christianity and persecuted the early Christians violently. He also played a part in the stoning of Stephen. He was the enemy of Christianity until His personal encounter with Christ. He could have let the guilt and shame of what he did cripple him and haunt him. But he didn’t. Instead, he said we should forget what is behind and strain towards what is ahead.

Yes, we all have our pasts and we all have sinned in one way or another. They can be painful and shameful, and from time to time such memories arise to haunt us. The Devil would use this against us and whispers to us that we are not worthy because we have fallen short so much. One thing we should not do is to wallow in our past sins. When we have repented sincerely and resolved to move on, we ought not to look back and be burdened with the weight of the past failures.

God has promised us in Scripture: “when we confess and repent of our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. (1 John 1:9) Therefore, we should not let yesterday’s failure to derail us from the goal for which God has called us, instead to diligently strive forward with our spiritual muscle to pursue and to persevere in the journey that God has intended for us.

We are living in a temporal world, only what is eternal matters and will last forever. So let us fix our eyes on the Cross and the eternal crown. We have the Holy Spirit’s help and God’s strength to spur us on, and even though we may still falter from time to time, we can carry on and not lose sight of that eternal destination.

Because as Christians, what we most long to hear one day is when Jesus welcomes us in heaven saying: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know I’m weak but You’re strong. You’re a merciful God who has forgiven all my sins – past, present and future. I pray that as I walk with You this journey on earth, You will give me the strength to carry on this marathon and never to give up. And whatever sins that I have committed in the past, I have laid them at Your feet. Let me forget what is behind but fix my eyes on what is ahead, so that I will win the prize when I meet You one day. In Jesus name, Amen.

每日灵粮
星期五,2021年8月20日
标题:忘记背后
作者:赵一丹
翻译:陈月妃

腓立比书3:13-14 “弟兄们、我不是以为自己已经得着了.我只有一件事、就是忘记背后努力面前的、向着标竿直跑、要得 神在基督耶稣里从上面召我来得的奖赏。”

我们的基督徒生活就像是一次旅程,或者更确切地说,是一场马拉松。终点线将是当我们到达我们永恒的家园——天堂。地球上的这段旅程并不容易 – 总是有起有落,一路上有美好的时光也有艰难的时候。在我们的肉身和弱点中,有时我们想放弃。

唯一能让我们前进并坚持下去的事情就是将目光锁定在目标上,那就是我们永恒的家,在那里我们与上帝和造物主同在。但这似乎是一段艰巨而漫长的旅程。虽然基督徒被呼召要像基督一样,但在我们的肉体中,我们继续犯错,继续犯罪。事实上,直到我们站在神面前以前,我们永远不会完全成圣。然而我们被呼召要坚持下去。

使徒保罗深知这一点,并在写给腓立比教会的书信中鼓励和挑战他们,向前看而不是向后看。

保罗回忆起他过去对基督教怀有敌意并猛烈迫害早期基督徒的经历。他还参与了用石头砸死司提反的事件。在他与基督相遇之前,他一直是基督教的敌人。他本可以让他所做的一切的罪行和羞耻感使他变得一蹶不振和困扰。但他没有。相反的,他说,我们应该忘记背后努力面前。

是的,我们都有自己的过去,我们都以各种方式犯过罪。它们可能是痛苦的和可耻的,这样的记忆时不时会出现来困扰着我们。魔鬼会用这个来对付我们,并低声告诉我们,我们不配,因为我们有许多的不足。我们不应该做的一件事就是沉溺于我们过去的罪中。当我们真诚地悔改并决心继续前进时,我们不应该回首过去,并背负过去失败的重担。

神在圣经中应许我们:“我们若认自己的罪、 神是信实的、是公义的、必要赦免我们的罪、洗净我们一切的不义。”。 (约翰一书1:9)因此,我们不应让昨天的失败使我们偏离神呼召我们的目标,而是要用我们的属灵力量努力前行,去追求并持守神为我们所定的旅程。

我们生活在一个短暂的世界里,只有永恒的东西才是最重要的,并且将永远长存。因此,让我们把目光集中在十字架和永恒的冠冕上。我们有圣灵的帮助和神的力量来激励我们前进,即使我们有时仍会步履蹒跚,但我们可以继续前进,不会忘记那永恒的目标。

因为作为基督徒,我们最渴望有一天听到耶稣在天堂欢迎我们说:“好、你这又良善又忠心的仆人!”(马太福音25:21)

祷告:天父,我知道我很软弱,但你是强大的。你是慈悲的上帝,你赦免了我所有的罪过——过去、现在和未来。我祈祷,当我与你一起走过地球上的这段旅程时,你会给我力量继续这场马拉松,永不放弃。无论我过去犯了什么罪,我都将它们放在你的脚下。让我忘记背后,而定睛在前面的事,这样当有一天我遇见你的时候,我会得到你所赐的奖赏。奉耶稣的名,阿门。