The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Stuck in Yesterday

She may have missed the point of New Year’s Resolutions. With an eagerness to make some changes in the area of financial habits, the lady called her credit card company and said, "I’d like to pay off my Master Card. Do you take Visa?"

Old habits die hard. Many of them are conditioned from childhood. Have you ever noticed how often you find yourself uttering the same words you once criticized your parents for saying? You look in the mirror and see that same look your mother or father used to give you that made you cringe in anger. But there it is. You have become your parents.

Some of those old habits were developed in your early years of adulthood when you were going through hard times or when you were following your own ways. Sadly, the old habits, the old ways of doing things can become almost sacred to your life. You excuse them by saying, “That’s just who I am!”

The old hymn, “Just As I Am,” has often given us comfort to know that God accepts us in our current condition, You know, “tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt;” “fightings and fears within without;” “poor, wretched blind;” “oh, Lamb of God I come.”

What we often forget is that the song ultimately tells us that God takes me just as I am, but the purpose is to change me into something completely different. He wants to give us “sight, riches, healing of the mind” or “welcome, pardon, cleanse relieve” or “to rid my soul of one dark blot.”
God’s desire is to become an agent of change and transformation in our lives. In the hymn, “Just as I am” the idea is that as bad off as we are, God will take us just as we are, but we are yielding our lives to him as we “come.”

Isaiah 43:18-19 says it well, ““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

God wants us to not only leave the old things that once gave us comfort, but to “forget” them. He wants us to open to and ready to embrace the new thing he wants to build in us. He wants to make us new; to blaze a trail in the wilderness where there once was no road and to turn the dried up desert of our lives into flowing thriving streams of refreshing water.

You may think, “I’ve gotta’ be me! I’ve gotta’ be me! The me that I see makes me what I am.” That may be true for the moment, but God says, “I want to do a “new thing” in you. The entire message of Christ’s coming was, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” A brand new kingdom! A brand new world! A brand new life! And a brand new you and me! Surrender your old dried up, limited wasteland of a life to him, forget the past, and embrace the “new thing” he passionately desires to do in you and you will become a “you” that you never thought possible. You will become the dynamic child of the living God he wants you to be.

This Sunday we will continue our series of messages, Mission Possible with a message concerning the 4th part of the FCC mission statement Shape God’s Church into the Body of Christ based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 & Ephesians 4:11-16. Come and celebrate the joy of taking this journey together.
Celebrating Newness in Christ,

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