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Bible Ballistics: BBs #754  Remember To Forget???

 

I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘what a strange title’, and yes, it is a bit strange but there are some things that scripture reminds us that we ought to forget and press on regardless.  Let’s delve into a few and see what we can find out.

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.

15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect,

be thus minded:

and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,

God shall reveal even this

unto you.”  Philippians 3:12-15

Here we have a passage of encouragement from the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi—a letter of commendation with very little correction.  Yet, his instruction was a word of warning to walk faithfully before our God, and a watching world.  And we ought to take heed to his instruction and press on with our eyes wide open and our hearts and minds on guard, diligently remembering what to forget.

We begin our look at this passage with Paul’s declaration that he (in Blanche’s paraphrase) had “not arrived”, or in his words “not already attained” to all that God had for him to “be” and “do”.  We so often forget what we should remember; that ‘being’ comes before ‘doing’.  When we belong to Jesus we are to yield our hearts and minds to him, as Paul reminded them of in chapter 2.

Let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who,

being in the form of God,

thought it not robbery

to be equal with God:

7 But made himself

of no reputation,

and took upon him

the form of a servant,

and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.”   Philippians 2:5-8

When we pursue the mind of Christ—the heart and mind of servanthood, as well as living the crucified life—the willingness to be “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”!  Yet so much of the American Christian culture is focused on making Christianity a convenience rather than a sacrificed life!  But back to our consideration of “forgetting”.

Paul told the church at Philippi, as he is telling us today, that he has yielded his life to be what he called being “apprehended of Christ Jesus”, a total contrast of a culture that has and is trying to make Jesus/God a magic genie who is at our disposal for ease, comfort, and the supply of every worldly device that we might be enthralled with!  Instead, Paul goes on to give us the true key to walking with The Lord in power, peace, and productivity by HIS Spirit!  Ouch! But he goes on to remind us that we are not only “apprehended of” Jesus, but we are to continually purse the things of God by HIS power, grace and HIS Word!  Paul says something so powerful that we often miss it in the sheer simplicity of his words:

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

WOW!  ONE. THING. I. DO.

I press toward the mark—

As I forget those things which are behind me–

 As I reach forth for what is before me—

Knowing that I am pressing on—

For the prize-

Of the high calling

Of GOD

IN JESUS!

And my dear ones, JESUS. IS. THE. PRIZE.!!!  Paul also reminds us that if we are mature this is the mindset that should mark our lives before a lost and dying world!  He also says that if we are pursuing Jesus, The Prize, HE will lead us and correct us; and if we are without any correction from the Lord, then we better examine what or who we think saved us.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation

which speaketh unto you

as unto children,

My son,

despise not thou the chastening

of the Lord,

nor faint

when thou art rebuked of him:

6 For whom the Lord loveth

he chasteneth,

and scourgeth every son

whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening,

God dealeth with you as with sons;

for what son is he

whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement,

whereof all are partakers,

then are ye bastards,

and not sons.”  Hebrews 12:5-8

Jesus told us that there are things to remember, even things that we want to forget.  The problem is we often fall into the habit of walking in the past with fear of tomorrow, not what God has called us to.  With God’s forgiveness, and cleansing, we can forget the failures of the past and boldly remind the enemy that we are forgiven, when we repent, confess, and receive not only God’s forgiveness but His cleansing and healing. For God has “not given us the spirit of fear;, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind…“!

If we confess our sins,

he is faithful and just

to forgive us

our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned,

we make him a liar,

and his word is not in us.”  1 John 1:9-10

Our forgiven sin is not subject to the enemy’s use or reminders.  We can forget what God has forgotten, by reminding ourselves (and others) that we ARE forgiven!

He will turn again,

he will have compassion upon us;

he will subdue our iniquities;

and thou wilt cast all their sins

into the depths of the sea.”  Micah 7:19

How can God forget our sin, and see us as righteous?  Good question, but one that scripture answers clearly.

For he hath made him to be sin for us,

who knew no sin;

that we might be made the righteousness of God

in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:21

As Corrie Ten Boom often said, “God buries our sins in the depths of the sea and then puts up a sign that reads, “No Fishing.””  Jesus’ substitutionary, atoning sacrifice paid my sin debt and yours (He paid it for all who will believe in His death, burial, and resurrection for our sin, See John 3:16-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-5), therefore God sees those who are born again through the shed blood of Jesus—making us righteous before God, all because Jesus took my sin upon Himself and paid for it at Calvary!  Hence our sins are covered by the blood, forgiven, and forgotten before God—soooo, remember to forget what God has forgotten and forgiven.  Be sure to keep short accounts on sin and keep it under the blood.  And if others have sinned against us, we are to forgive liberally, and if we have wronged others, we are to seek forgiveness.  Then let it go, in the vernacular, “forget it”!

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar,

and there rememberest

that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar,

and go thy way;

first be reconciled to thy brother,

and then come and offer thy gift.”   Matthew 5:23-24

And when ye stand praying,

forgive,

if ye have ought

against any:

that your Father also which is in heaven

may forgive you

your trespasses.”  Mark 11:25

Let me just say, I know the old saying as well as anyone, “I can forgive but I can’t forget!”  But may we consider the words of Paul again—while maybe I can’t, God can!

 

I can do all things through Christ

which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

All because of what Jesus has done for me.

And hope

maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time Christ died

for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:5-8

And in closing, let me simply say, what can I refuse to forgive someone else of, that would equal what Jesus has forgiven me of!  Nothing!  And believe me, I have wrestled with forgiveness just like you, but I have learned that when I “give it to Jesus” and remember that HE HAS forgiven me for more than I can (or want to) remember, I must rest in HIS work in me, and the truth of scripture, forgiving, and forgetting (the offense not the reality of an action). (Meaning to receive God’s power to live in Jesus’ forgiveness when I can’t erase the thoughts!)!  And believe me, there are thoughts that keep coming back again and again, but if I can depend on God to supply my need, so can YOU!  Remember—you can forget, by remembering Philippians 2:5, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”  “Father forgive them“!

And one simple verse that brings reality to what I’m trying to share; God knows it’s not always up to you alone!  Others don’t always desire peace.

Recompense to no man

evil for evil.

Provide things honest

in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible,

as much as lieth in you,

 live peaceably with all men.   Romans 12:17-18

Remember, we win!

Amen and Amen!!!