[Willow Creek Association] 1999-06-09 - Living in the Past

Originally Published 1996-06-26

Mark 6:2-4 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. ``Where did this man get these things?" they asked. ``What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, ``Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." (NIV)

Is your past preventing you from being a fully devoted Christ follower? Are you a Christian without honor? Isn't it easier to be "Christlike" around people who do not know your past? Lets look at the above passage.

Jesus is in His hometown teaching in the synagogue. The townspeople that He grew up with were listening and were amazed. Look at the bitter words they lash out: "Isn't this the mere carpenter, the one who works with his hands, isn't this the illegitimate son of Mary? Isn't this the guy with the very ordinary brothers and sisters?" Do people do this to you today? Do you let them?

The evil one wants us to live in our past. He wants to remind us of all the excess baggage we are carrying around. God on the other hand wants us to repent and ask forgiveness for our past, and then God forgets and looks forward. God wants us to place our excess baggage at the foot of the cross and leave it there, never to go back and claim the sins of our past. Leave them at the cross.

Jesus never returned to his hometown after this encounter. Jesus traveled throughout the land teaching and performing miracles. He never looked back. You do the same. Don't keep looking back at your past sins; keep looking toward the Cross -- the cross of forgiveness, the cross of redemption and salvation.

Dear Father, forgive me for the past sins in my life. Father, I place my sins at the foot of the cross. Father help me to look forward, to share in the hope of Jesus Christ. Father, help me to overcome the bait of Satan, the bait that tells me I am not worthy to be Yours. Thank You so much for not only forgiving my sins, but for forgetting them as well. Most of all, thank You for Your Son Jesus, Who died for me, Who gives me new life. I pray in His name. Amen.