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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20171231 FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND

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Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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Pastor Ray Scott

 

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FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND
SERMON STARTER
          The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 BC. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.  With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.
          The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new.
          The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts.
          In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's Day to December 25, the birth of Jesus. Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation. In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year was returned to January 1.
          Although the date for New Year's Day is not the same in every culture, it is always a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year. My sermon this morning is based upon Philippians 3:13 that urges us to make a momentary look backward and a long look forward.

Pastor Phil     <><<
Image result for roman coin of god janus (2 faces)
New Year's Eve. - December 31, 2017
Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland

FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND
Philippians 3:12-16 (NIV)
"Sorrow, regret, guilt and shame keep us looking backwards. God is calling His children to a forward look in order to unencumbered as we run the race set before us."                                                                            Pastor Phil  <><<

13 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,

Greek: ἐπιλανθάνομαι - Root word, Lanthanos -
          "To be hidden from memory"
          In today's understanding of memory. . .
          "To be hidden from conscious memory"
          My Interpretation?
          "My anger / adrenal rush is gone from what happened"

Forgetting What is Behind. . .
I. FORGET PAST VICTORIES
          A. Forget Accolades
                    High School / Bible School / Grand School Graduations
          B. Forget Trophies
                    Athletic Events / Competitive Awards
          C. Forget Life-Changing events:
                    Marriage in 1962 / Birth of children, grand children / Ordination                     in 1976 / Founding of Sheepfold in 1991
          D. Forget Successes
               Eg. First weeks at Hartford were like heaven. Culmination of a                             seven year journey toward transition and a new life. Recurrent                      dream: I'm moving back
          E. Forget Epic Journeys
               Life Changing Road Trips /

Forgetting What is Behind. . .
II. FORGET PAST DISAPPOINTMENTS
          A. Forget Divorces
               Cheating / Substance Abuse / Unfulfilled Expectations
          B. Relational Failures
               Rejection by Loved Ones / Close Friends
          C. Sorrows caused by Unanticipated Death
               Miscarriage / Infant Death / Death of a Child
               Addicts' Overdoses
          D. Un-or-Under Employment

 

FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND, cont. p.2

Forgetting What is Behind. . .
III. FORGET PAST SINS - Hebrews 12:1
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

          A. Greek Olympiads trained for footraces with weights on their feet
                Ran shoeless and nude
                To run into your future you must be unencumbered
          B. Forget the times you promised yourself and God and failed
                    1. Give Up Binding yourself with sin-based Guilt
                    2. Give up the Shame that goes with willful, deliberate sin
          C. Cristy Lane, One Day At A Time
               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzU5jdbKOUk
                        Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus
                        And tomorrow may never be mine.
                        Lord help me today, show me the way
                        One day at a time.

Forgetting What is Behind. . .
IV. FORGET PAST ACCIDENTS
          A. Forget Decisions I have made and the consequences from them
          Eg.  WHAT IF. . .
                 1. Joni Eareckson Toda "What if she hadn't gone swimming that                     day of her Diving Accident in 1967?"
                 2. Christopher Reeves "What if he hadn't gone horseback riding                     that fateful day in 1995?
                 3. Pastor Phil "What if I had not become a chronic pain sufferer                       in 1969 and decided the only way out was death or suicide?"
                    (There was a more excellent way: giving myself 100% into the                        Hands of Jesus Christ.)
                 4. Pastor Phil "What if I had decided NOT to buy office supplies                       in April of 1990, and been rear-ended by a reckless driver?
                    (The accident settlement money I received for pain and                                  discomfort became the seed-money that started Sheepfold                            Ministries)

Forgetting What is Behind. .
V. FORGET PAST FAILURES
          A. Fear of Failure is one of Four Primal Adult Fears
          B. Forget Disappointments and Heartaches
                    Academic Failure / Fired or Laid off from Job
                    Business Failures

                    Letting yourself or God down
          C. Remember Abraham Lincoln's Failures?

FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND, cont. p.3

                    1. In 1832 he lost his job and was defeated for state legislature                               position
                    2. In 1833, a year later, he failed in business
                    3. In 1835 his sweetheart died
                    4. A year later, 1836, he had a nervous breakdown
                    5. In 1843 he was defeated for nomination for Congress
                    6. In 1849 he was rejected for land officer
                    7. In 1854 he was defeated for U.S. Senate
                    8. In 1856 he was defeated for nomination for Vice President
                    9. And in 1858 he was again defeated for U.S. Senate
                    10. Two years later he became President of the United States

Forgetting What is Behind. .
VI. STRAIN TOWARD WHAT IS AHEAD - v. 13b
13 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,

          A. Don't look Back
 “On August 7, 1954, during the British Empire Games in Vancouver, Canada, the greatest mile-run matchup ever took place. It was touted as the “miracle mile” because Roger Bannister and John Landy were the only two sub-four-minute milers in the world. Both runners were in peak condition.
Roger Bannister, strategized that he would relax during the third lap and save everything for his finishing drive. But as they began that third lap, John Landy poured it on, stretching his lead. Immediately Bannister adjusted his strategy,…. The lead was quickly cut in half, and at the bell for the final lap they were even. Both flying around the track. Then came the famous moment. Landy could not hear Bannister’s footfall and looked back and lost by 5 yards.”
          B. Straining Forward to What Lies Ahead IN 2018
                    1. Press on to Righteousness
                    2. Press on toward Heaven
                    3. Press on toward Jesus
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FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND
Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 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.

13 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,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

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FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION
          Forgetting what lies behind, straining forward even if it only means putting one heavy foot in front of the other, it is still progress. It is still forward momentum.
Here is a last athletic illustration.
“In 1981 Bill Broadhurst entered the Pepsi Challenge 10,000 meter (6.2 miles) race in Omaha. Surgery ten years earlier for an aneurysm in the brain had left him paralyzed on his left side. But on that July morning, he stood with 1,200 other men and women at the starting line. The gun sounded, and the crowd surged ahead. Bill threw his stiff left leg forward and pivoted on it –  plop-plop-plop – around the track. Some of the runners completed the race in about thirty minutes, but two hours and twenty-nine minutes later Bill reached the finish line. A man approached from a small group of remaining bystanders. Though exhausted, Bill recognized him from pictures in the newspaper. It was Bill Rodgers, the famous marathon runner, who then draped his newly won medal around Bill’s neck. Bill Broadhurst’s finish was as glorious as that of the world’s greatest.”
          With Christ living in us and Christ before us as our goal, it is quite within the reach of every one of us to put one heavy foot in front of the other until we reach the finish line. In this New Year let’s do one thing. Forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead.
Image result for exhausted runners at the finish line ribbon

 

Image result for the clock hands moving to midnight
Image result for FORGETTING WHAT IS BEHIND

Revelation 3:7 (NKJV)
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":

 

Auld Lang Syne
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPnhaGWBnys
Susan Boyle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rCZduGdax8

 

 

HISTORY

          The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 BC. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.  With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.
          The New Year has not always begun on January 1, and it doesn't begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. January 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.
          The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts.
          In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's Day to December 25, the birth of Jesus. Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation. In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year was returned to January 1.
          The Julian and Gregorian calendars are solar calendars. Some cultures have lunar calendars, however. A year in a lunar calendar is less than 365 days because the months are based on the phases of the moon. The Chinese use a lunar calendar. Their new year begins at the time of the first full moon (over the Far East) after the sun enters Aquarius- sometime between January 19 and February 21.
          Although the date for New Year's Day is not the same in every culture, it is always a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year.