Faithlife Sermons

Leave your Past

Leave Your Past   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Who are we in Christ and what does it mean for our past and our future


Your Past Does NOT Disqualify You

1 Corinthians 7:20-24

The New King James Version Chapter 7

20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.

Your past or even your present circumstances are no excuse or disqualification to serve God. The Bible has an ample list of fallen people who had pretty sketchy pasts but were redeemed. They had faith in and a repentant heart for God; and God in His gracious sovereignty used them for His purpose and will. As He will you when you truly give your life to Him. Because saying “I gave my life to Christ” is one thing but saying “I am picking up my cross daily for Jesus” is another entirely.
When God calls you, obey the will of God no matter what your life has amounted to thus far. We all fall short, but do not limit what God can do with you for His ambition and His glory. Even if you have had a life of vicious circles of repetitive failures trying to do things in your own strength. The thief on the cross was a believer and follower of Jesus for only a few hours of his life before he died, and Jesus told him,

“Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” – Luke 23:43. The Lord erased his past because of his faith in Jesus that secured his future.

Story: “Back in 2000, 23-year-old Cornelius Anderson III, nicknamed Mike, was arrested for robbing a Burger King at gunpoint. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison, released on bail, and told to await orders on when to show up to serve his time. The orders never came. Due to a clerical error, Anderson never went to prison. But instead of using his freedom to commit more crimes, Anderson started his own construction business, became a youth football coach, and volunteered at his local church. He also got married, had three children, and became a well-liked member of his community. Thirteen years later, the state discovered their error and put Anderson behind bars for nearly one year. As the case received international coverage, an online petition for his release gained more than 35,000 signatures. After a court hearing that lasted a mere 10 minutes, the judge conceded that Anderson was a changed man and granted him credit for the years he should have been in prison. A teary-eyed Anderson walked out of the courthouse with his wife and daughter, telling reporters that he was ‘grateful to God.’”

No matter how hard we strive to do things without Him, Jesus is always right behind us, waiting with open arms. Your past is nothing but; it is past. It is gone.

God Will Take the Bad in the Past and use it for Future Good

Why? To glorify Him and to use us to help others in our present and our future. That is why intimacy and abidance in God’s will is so essential in our Christian walk with Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

The New King James Version Chapter 3

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

What are you holding onto and harboring in your life? If someone has hurt you in the past, God will ease that agony once you truly forgive that person for what they have done. Well, you might say, “I cannot forgive them, or I will never forgive them”. Why not? Jesus forgave all of us who put Him to death for our sins against Almighty God.
You cannot change the former days and nothing in the past now matters. What you are doing for the cause of Christ is what matters now. Ephesians 4:22: “(You are) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires…”
It is said that “The past is a point of reference and not a destination.” Very true but so many want to live there. As the movie in the song “Frozen” says, “Let it go, let it go.” You want to help someone struggling? Witness to them what God did with your past and is now doing for your future.
Jesus told us to come to Him as “little children”. A man once had a dream that he was climbing this beautiful white and gold staircase which ended at the Throne of God. The higher up the staircase the man climbed, the higher each step got. When he reached the top, he was no longer an adult but a child who climbed into the lap of God the Father.


How do we do this if we are clinging to unforgiveness or sins of the past that we refuse to let go of? We cannot. We cannot truly love unless we give these things over to God.

1 John 2:1-2

The New King James Version Chapter 2

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

“The Christian life is like a fish swimming upstream, going against the currents of the world, the flesh and the devil. Your struggle to honor Christ in all these things is the evidence that you are going in the right direction.” (Colin Smith)

Can you drive your car forward if you are looking in reverse? Or vice-versa. The best thing for you to do is to rip off the rear-view mirror of your life and look at the road before you. God forgave you, forgive yourself. Forgive it and let go. Forgive it and move on. Why drag it along on the road of life with you? You can never take a step forward to what God has called you for if you refuse to stay put in your past. The past is already what it says – it is PAST! You can never go back no matter how hard you try.
Our past brings scars. We all have scars. Whether visible, invisible or both. We should thank Jesus for those scars. Why? Because by His wounds our past wounds have been healed and the scars show the healing grace of His love. Clay cannot be fashioned until it is a lumped mess on the Potter’s table.
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