Releasing Yesterday, Embracing Today

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Wonderful Christmas & New Year!
Thanks for all who came and helped take down Christmas decorations!
Big Give Offering
Make plans to be here February 9th for Vision Sunday.
Grab your Bibles and turn with me to Proverbs 4:25-27
2019 has passed and 2020 has arrived!
Last Decade:
2010 - First iPad was made
2011 - Planking took over social media
2012 - Gangnam style became a huge phenomenon
2012 - End of the Aztec Calendar (End of the World)
2013 - What does the fox say became a huge hit.
2014 - Ice Bucket Challenge
2015 - Black & Blue or White & Gold dress argument
2016 - Pokemon Go phenomenon
2017 - Fidget Spinners
2018 - Smart Homes
2019 - At Home DNA Tests
Some of you may be glad 2019 is over:
Trials, Pain, Loss, Failures, Regrets, Tears
Other’s may be sad 2019 is over:
Success, Good memories, Joy, Laughter, Growth
No matter what your yesterday was like… It is yesterday.
We don’t live in yesterday… We live in today.
No matter how successful or unsuccessful this past year was, in order for 2020 to be a better year, you have to release yesterday and embrace today.
If you are taking notes, thats today’s sermon title:
Releasing Yesterday, Embracing Today.
I truly believe your best days are ahead of you!
Will you stand with me as we look at today’s text in Proverbs 4:25-27
Proverbs 4:25–27 NIV
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs is considered a book of wisdom. There are many great lessons that we can learn and apply in our life that would greatly benefit and bless us.
Here in Proverbs 4:25-27 we see... wise instruction on how to release yesterday and embrace today.
Verse 25 gives us our first instruction.

1. Let your eyes look straight ahead.

Set your eyes FIXED on what is AHEAD of you!

Don’t look back at what has been… Look towards what is before you.
Another verse we find to help us understand this is found in Isaiah.
Isaiah 43:18 NIV
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
2019 is over, 2018 is over, 2010 is over… Do not dwell on the past…
Instead… look at the next verse.
Isaiah 43:19 NIV
19 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.

Some of us are struggling to fix our eyes straight ahead because we do not perceive the new thing that God is doing!

You may feel like yesterday has left you in the wilderness or a wasteland… But God is doing a new thing!
Your job is to perceive what He is doing. And you can only do that by looking forward!
Let’s look at the next instruction we were given in our opening text in Proverbs 4.

2. Give Careful thought to the paths for your feet.

What does the path before you look like?
What steps are before you and what options do you have to choose from?

It’s impossible to put the needed focus and attention on each step when you are looking back.

In other words…

Don’t focus on where your feet were yesterday, focus on what steps you are taking to move forward today.

If you don’t know what next steps to take…
You can face today and tomorrow with confidence because Christ is with you!
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Just keep your eyes fixed straight ahead on what God is doing!
Giving careful thought to each step you take.
There is still one more instruction we were given in our opening text in Proverbs 4.

3. Do not turn to the right or the left

As you continue to look forward and give careful thought to your steps… It is also important to stay the course and not look to the left or the right.

It’s when things start to gain momentum and is going well that we begin to relax and start letting our eyes wander just a little.

It’s in these moments that we need to be just as focused on what’s ahead as we were when we first started.

Great Example of Releasing Yesterday and Embracing today: Paul / Saul
Wrote most of the New Testament.
Has greatly influence the Church of today.
Past: Persecuted and authorized the death and imprisonment of Christians!
Then God intervened in his life.
People struggled to forgive or forget Saul’s mistakes.
Christians didn’t trust him.
Paul had to look forward to what God was doing in his life.
He had to put careful thought in each step he took.
Led by the Holy Spirit.
And He had to keep looking ahead not looking to the right or the left.
Look at how he worded it in Philippians 3
Philippians 3:12–14 NIV
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, 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.

Paul had to forget who he was as Saul… In order to move into all that God had for Paul!

And he chose to press on toward the goal… What was the goal? To reach as many for Christ as he could.
Let me challenge you with something today...

God wants to do great things in your life in 2020.

But its up to you...
Let go of yesterday and embrace what God is doing today!
Even if last year was an incredible year of growth for you… God wants to do even greater things for you!
Please stand with me.

For 2020 - Focus on what God has for you today!

Too often we live in the past where the enemy brings up our failures and mistakes.
What is it that God has for you today?
It doesn’t matter what your life has looked like… Today God wants to do a new thing in you. Just like He did with Paul.
Choose to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
repent and fix your eyes forward on Christ!
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