Excerpt from “The Spirit Filled Believer’s” Daily Devotional
“Craning the neck, scanning the horizon, and shading the eyes with the hand in order to see at a distance: these are all expressed by the phrase reaching forward. Paul is telling the Philippians to forget the past and start looking ahead. He knew what he was talking about. Since he had earlier persecuted the Church and consented to the stoning of Stephen, Paul had to learn to put such negative memories behind him and get on with life. Instead of allowing the past to become an unbearable burden and weight to him, Paul simply dropped it to the ground and used it as a stepping stone to the future.
Reaching forward is a good exercise for all of us. It stimulates hope. It puts us in a state of expectancy. It declares that what has been is only a prologue to what will be: Yesterday was good, today is better, tomorrow will be better still. Reaching forward anticipates miracles, revivals, outpourings of the Spirit of God, deliverance’s, and answered prayer. It looks to the future with intensity and great expectation, as Isaac looked and waited eagerly for the arrival of his new bride. (Gen. 24:63)
As Christians we have so much to look forward to:
- the salvation of our families
- the evangelization of the world
- the reviving of our churches, and
- most of all, that blessed hope, the return of Christ the Bridegroom for His Bride, the Church.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, and not harm you, plans to give you a hope, and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)
“What a future we have to look forward to!”
YES & AMEN!
A few years ago I found myself in a dark, seemingly hopeless chapter of life, with no logical reason to believe that God was going to come through with the miracle, I so desperately needed.
I clearly didn’t deserve it.
My circumstances were a direct result of my own disobedience and sin.
I was sure that God didn’t even want to hear from me, but I reached out anyway and said,
“Daddy, I’m so sorry…I’ve messed up really bad this time. Please forgive me, protect me, and guide me through the wreckage I’ve caused.”
Right then I opened a Bible for the first time in a very long time, and my eyes fell to this scripture verse….
“I know the plans I have for you…to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” in Jeremiah 29:11.
“where sin abounds, grace abounds more.” (Rom. 5:20)
My heart was TRULY repentant, and over the coming months, He DID COME THROUGH WITH THE MIRACLE I SO DESPERATELY NEEDED!
I still stand in awe of that, and it causes me to understand why prodigals like me are often so on fire for Jesus!
It’s because when you have made mistake after mistake, and no matter how hard you tried you just couldn’t get it right…you really KNOW how much you NEEDED the sacrifice that Jesus made.
Makes me think of ~Luke 7:40-48…
….and just like the woman in “Luke 7” I haven’t stopped kissing His feet since.