God takes the broken pieces: Part 2 - Hope 103.2

God takes the broken pieces: Part 2

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsSunday 17 Mar 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes

Transcript:

The problem is – God has forgiven us – but we don’t forgive ourselves – we hold on to the past. Paul says “I have learned from the past and it makes me a better person in the present.” He didn’t sit around beating himself up The truth is – everybody has blown it at some point. We all have things in our past that we regret. There are skeletons in everyone’s closets. Let us learn from them and become better because of them. Nothing you do will change your past. The past is past – learn from it and let it go.

The second thing you have to deal with is:

B. Your successes

Learn from them too but don’t let them hold you back. It’s so easy to live in the past – because of the successes we have made. We start to think – “I’ve got it made! I have done so much that I have nothing to worry about.” But the “good old days” might not be enough to meet the needs of today. The problem with success is that it tends to make you complacent and fills you with pride. Then you stop growing and learning and when that happens – you are going to fail. Jesus said:

“Whoever starts to plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 (GW)

You can’t drive a car looking only looking in the rear view mirror. You can’t move forward when you are looking backward. You’ve got to look forward to move forward. Bad things may have happened to you – good things may have happened to you – but God has greater things in store for you. Keep moving forward.

3. Focus on the FUTURE

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If all you do is forget the past – you may just have amnesia. Just having amnesia – doesn’t make you successful. Successful people are goal oriented. They focus on the future. Paul said:

“I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind and I struggle for what is ahead. I run towards the goal,so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done”. Philippians 3:13-14

The Message Bible says it this way:

“Friends,don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this,but I’ve got my eye on the goal,where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I’m off and running,and I’m not turning back.” Philippians 3:13-14 (MSG)

Successful people strive for a goal – they are goal oriented. Paul is goal orientated – he has a single priority! He is looking “onward – to Jesus.”  Paul says that the successful Christian life is goal orientated and single focused. Our goal should be to please Jesus. The Bible says: “Don’t you realize that everyone who runs in a race runs to win,but only one runner gets the prize? Run like them,so that you can win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 (GW)

Living a successful Christian life takes effort. We need to have a clear goal in mind. In his second letter to the Corinthians Paul wrote: “Whether we live in the body or move out of it,our goal is to be pleasing to him (Jesus).” 2 Corinthians 5:9 (GW)

There is no more rewarding goal in life – than to please God. The question each one of us should ask is: “What am I living for?” What is your goal in life? What is most important to you? Focus on pleasing Christ.

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,who have been called according to His purpose.”        Rom. 8:28 (NIV)
 
When the scriptures say that God will make “all things work together for good for all that love God,” it means all. Our experiences in life are both good and bad. In fact,we need to be sure we understand this. It also includes mistakes we have made in life that are just plain stupid.  God can use our mistakes and poor judgment and make something good out of it. God does sometimes bring judgment upon us for a constant lack of concern about worshipping God. God wants to get your attention so God allows bad things to come into our life. The remarkable thing though is God wants the bad to bring something good. I am not denying the reality of death and disease,all I am saying is even in those cases,God wants good to come out of it. In this passage,it does give us a qualifier and that is to those who love God.
 
Let me give you an example,in Genesis Joseph’s brothers sold him to a caravan going to Egypt as a slave. That’s bad. There is nothing good about it,but God desiring to do good for those who love him allows this bad event to help the survival of Israel. Joseph says,you meant it for bad,but God meant it for good.
 
God was able to use his bad experience – sold into slavery and then later tossed into jail,to be a compassionate person,full of wisdom,and used by God.