Yesterday Or Tomorrow?Series: Gravity. James Dewhurst February 16, 2020
Yesterday or Tomorrow?
Today, we are excited to be kicking off a two week, “Pump You Up” series, called – Gravity! We see the effects of gravity daily. In our natural world things constantly find themselves on the ground, because there is a gravitational pull to the center of the earth. Our lives are no different! Every day that we wake up, there is a gravitational pull, either to the failures of our past, or the opportunities of the future. To the fears in our minds or the faith in our hearts. To the desires of our flesh, or to the fruits of the spirit. While there will always be a pull, we have the power to overcome it!
21 No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble. (ESV)
There will always be a gravitational pull towards something in our lives. One of the strongest pupils is to our “yesterday”. For some of us, yesterday was great, successful, fun and wonderful. “The good old days”, is how many of us refer to it. To others, yesterday was awful. It was full of pain, disappointment, regret or rejection. “The season we do not speak of”, is how we refer to it. To the spiritual people in the room, yesterday was the utopia of your spiritual experiences, characterized by goosebumps, encounters, and breakthroughs. For you, yesterday is a time “when God used to move.”
While these experiences may be true, our flaw is that many of us have arrived at the conclusion that God can’t undo or outdo tomorrow what happened yesterday!
18 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 20 The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, (ESV)
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (ESV)
Yesterday is only your final chapter if you refuse to allow God to keep writing your story!
2 Corinthians 3:18
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (ESV)
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
> Your past may be awesome, but if you want a future, you have to forget it!
> Your past may be troublesome, but if you want a future, you have to forget it!
Well, how do I forget things that I can still remember? At the time Paul wrote this, he had been saved and forgiven by Jesus for all of his past mistakes. But Paul let us in on something he had to personally learn to do with his past.
The Greek used in Philippians 3 for “forgetting”, means to drop, renounce or disregard. Paul may have been forgiven, but he still had to let go of it himself.
God can forgive it, but we have to release it!
Some of us are sabotaging our future because we can’t forget our past!
Our level of success in the future is determined by our level of release from the past!
Tony Evans – “Some people need to have a Memorial Day for yesterday!”
Linden B. Johnson, our 36th President, said: “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
Someone else said – “Your past doesn’t disqualify you, it’s prepared you!”
12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (ESV)
After the Israelites left 400 years of slavery in Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and traveled about 70 miles, they reached a region called the Desert of Sin. And exactly thirty days from the day they were delivered out of Egypt, the Bible tells us something happened:
1 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (ESV)
-There’s a lot of people God’s been trying to bless in this room, but you can’t get over some beef in your past!
It’s over. Move on. Let it go. Go and take your land!
-Instead of throwing a 30-day freedom party, the Israelites started re-living their past!
-People tend to glamorize past seasons amid present troubles!
An entire generation of Israelites never pursued the promised land because they couldn’t move past a pot of meat!
Yesterday is all too often the enemy of tomorrow!
36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’ ” (ESV)
The old one isn’t better!
Take off your rose-colored glasses and put on your new wineskin!
1 Corinthians 5:6-7
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (ESV)
You need to throw a funeral for your past, and a baby shower for your future!
Too many people carry tombstones and trophies from yesterday into their tomorrow!
Why? When we personalize our past, it is hard to put it away!
Some people see failure as a stepping stone, while others see it as an indictment!
> People who are overcome by their past, almost always personalize their experiences!
> People who overcome their past, usually see their experiences as part of the process!
Your past is a lesson, not a life sentence!
No matter how dirty your past is, in Jesus, your future is still spotless!
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (ESV)
1 Peter 1:3-4
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (ESV)
Sadly, psychologists tell us that some people feel so unworthy of success and blessing, that they will subconsciously begin self-sabotaging behaviors, to get out of it!
The Sacrament of Penance, which is one of the 7 sacraments of the Catholic Church, was added as a practice in the church somewhere around the 11th century. Now before anyone gets upset, I want to point out that I was baptized in the Catholic Church as a young boy, and our entire family had its original roots in Catholicism. The Sacrament of Penance has three steps, which are Confession, Contrition, and Penance. Catholicism teaches that a person must first confess all of their grave sins to a Catholic Priest. The confessor must then show contrition, or remorse for the sins committed, and if so, then the priest will assign a Penance that must be performed by the sinner, to be absolved of their sins. A common example of an assigned penance might be to say 10 Hail Mary’s and then go do a public good deed, to make up for your misdeeds.
There’s only one thing wrong with the Sacrament of Penance – It’s not biblical!
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)
6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. (ESV)
21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (ESV)
If Christ died to forgive us of our sins, and we still have to do something to receive it, then what was the point of the cross?
Jesus didn’t pay some, Jesus paid it all!
> Penance assigns a temporary punishment to earn forgiveness from a human priest!
> Repentance reverses our punishment and grants forgiveness from the high priest!
There are too many Christians still punishing themselves for what Jesus already paid!
If Penance is unbiblical, then how did it get into the church? Because it’s so natural!
When we fall short in life, it is natural to want to do something to make it right!
What makes forgiveness so incredible, is the fact that you don’t deserve it!
While the Catholic Church kind of understands confession and repentance, they have completely botched up forgiveness. Although the Old Testament priest used to make atonement for sinners, when Jesus, the great high priest came, he paid the ultimate penance with his life, and made atonement forever.
Jesus + nothing = forgiveness!
10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (ESV)
There are 3 things we must do to embrace the tomorrow God promised us:
(Leave your yesterday! It will destroy you, whether it’s good or bad!)
(Stop sabotaging the future, by refusing to accept God’s Grace!)
(The ultimate step of faith is to pursue God’s undeserved blessings!)
Tony Evans – “Our faith is measured by our feet, not our feelings!”
Pray for people to leave yesterday and embrace tomorrow!
Need Prayer? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org