Forgetting The Past

Thursday, January 3, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Beneath The Shadow Of The Cross"1 (Lyrics)

Philippians 3:13b-14 – I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (NLT)

Hector is someone with whom we can all identify, for forgetting the past is a choice that we, too, will face.

Hector kept thinking about the pastor's message that morning, entitled "Forgetting the past".

Angrily, he thought, "Surely, God does not expect me to forget the falling out that my son Mark and I had! The boy was rude, and the boy was wrong! If anyone needs to make amends so we can begin forgetting the past, it's him!"

Mark was the only child that Hector and his wife Helen had. A few months after Mark turned 21, his mother was called home to be with the Lord. Neither Hector nor Mark knew how to express or deal with their sorrow, and one evening, a heated, senseless argument broke out between the two.

The details of the argument Hector no longer remembered. All he knew was that he missed his son terribly, and deeply regretted having kicked him out of the house.

Hector thought back to the night when Mark had telephoned him to say that he was now living out of state, working in construction, and wanted his dad to have his address and phone number. Before hanging up, Mark had blurted out, "Dad, I love you."

Hector had hung up the phone the same way that he had answered it: stubborn and bullheaded!

For some reason, the pastor's message that day, "Forgetting the past", was bringing everything to the surface. God's Word penetrated deeply into Hector's cold, calloused heart, and he found himself weeping.

Grief-stricken over his sinful, selfish attitude, Hector fell to his knees. As he surrendered to God, he prayed for forgiveness.

He felt like a new man! The heavy burdens that he had been carrying for years had been lifted off him. More than anything, he wanted to make things right with Mark.

Just then, Hector remembered something else that the pastor had read in his morning message. It was the rest of verse 13 in Philippians chapter 3: "Forgetting the past … and looking forward to what lies ahead."

    A ray of hope filled Hector's room
    Dispelling doubt, fear, and gloom
    Hector realized it was not too late
    Through the power of God
    He could change this fate!

    As Hector dialed his telephone
    He felt a strength
    He didn't know that he had
    When Mark answered his phone
    He heard a voice say
    "Hello son … this is your Dad."

Hector and Mark's relationship was restored because they were willing to forget the past. Though their minds would never be completely void of what had happened, they chose to lay to rest the obstacles to their relationship.

Our particular circumstances and relationships may vary when it comes to forgetting the past, but the results of doing so provide us the opportunity to set ourselves free, change lives, restore relationships, build bridges, soften hearts, and shine a light so bright for Jesus that darkness has to flee!

Prayer: Lord, we pray that forgetting the past and restoring relationships would be our heart's desire. We thank You that we already have all the strength that we need, through Christ, to be able to do this. We thank You also that by choosing to obey Your Word in this matter, it then frees us up to look forward to what lies ahead. Amen.

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About the author:

Cheryl Mariano (Cheremiah) <>
Chandler, Arizona, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A very good message. Thanks for sharing.

    Love the story, Cheremiah. Happy new year.

    Thanks, Cheryl. This is such an important message.

    Thanks for sharing this devotional and poem with us. Blessings.

    Thank you, Cheryl. Have a nice day, it is cold and snowy here!!

    Thanks for these encouraging words of forgetting the past as we enter into a new year full of opportunities to be obedient to God in our lives. Blessings.

    Awesome devotional. By holding on to non-forgiveness, we hurt ourselves.
    May we all learn not to judge others so quickly and learn to walk in their shoes first.

    Wow amazing my friend!!!! This devotional should be just made public for sure. How many of us have or even still hold on to the past. It is a great weight loss when we just let go and let God!! God bless you!

    Dear Cheremiah,
    Thank you for your thoughtful writings. A great way to start the New year with a reminder to let go of past resentments and asking for forgiveness and a closer bond with Jesus.
    May this New Year be filled with all the Lord’s blessings for you.

    This is a complicated topic. It is important to learn from the past. If we don’t we have to suffer again to learn the lessons we ignored before. Suppressing hurts does not heal them. We can pray for healing of memories in ways that brings them to the surface, enable apologies and loving deeds that will resolve resentments and even PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

    Dear Cheremiah,
    Did this devotion touch my soul today. I am dealing with my ailing mom, siblings, and other relatives. Your devotion placed front and center a granddaughter that I’ve forgiven but fear to have back in my home because of her rude and abusive behavior. Isn’t it just like our precious Savior, during inherently stressful times, to pinpoint another bit of pruning he wants to do to shape us. Your wonderful devotion has called me to pray for restoration. Thank you.

    Hi Cheryl,
    Good devotional. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your writing and your poems.
    Thank you for writing.

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