A new year is a natural time for us to reevaluate our life physically, financially, and hopefully spiritually also. 

Pastor Ed Kvaale
Special Contributor

Paul says in Philippians 3:12-15 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  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, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”.   

Of course, we cannot literally forget everything good or bad in our lives that hold us back from serving Jesus.  However, we can seek Jesus and surrender to His grace and forgiveness and trust that His transformation will change us.  What is interesting though as you look through the book of Philippians is that Paul is not only wanting to “forget” the bad and the sinful aspects of his old life; Paul is also wanting to forget his past successes of his old life.  Those “successes” within a religious worldview which rejected the truth of Jesus would appear to many as a picture of what we want in life: prestige, influence, and power.  Yet, the truth is that anything which holds us back from loving and serving Jesus is “rubbish” or garbage.  It is worthless.  No amount of money, prestige, or power can save us.  Only Jesus’ grace and forgiveness can save us.  This new year I would encourage all of us to reevaluate where we are spiritually and ask the Holy Spirit to show us if we are hanging onto any “garbage” (hurts, pain, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc.) or anything that seems “valuable” that is not as valuable as we think because it is actually an idol preventing us from loving and following Jesus and receiving His grace and forgiveness.  Jesus said in Mark 8:34-37 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul”?  Let us ask Jesus for the strength to follow Him selflessly this new year and “forget” and leave behind what we need to leave behind from 2018.