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Well, God bless you. Thank you so much for tuning in today. We love you and we know that God has good things in store for you. And we come with good news telling them earlier how God rewards people that seek after him. And I know that you you wouldn't even be tuned in today. So thanks for stopping by. And I hope you if you're ever in our area, you'll come be a part of one of our services. We'll make you feel right at home.
But glad to have you with us today. And I'd like to start each week with something kind of funny. So somebody told me this one is this man. He was a Southern Baptist man by the name of Bill. He loved to sneak away to the horse tracks and bed. And one day after losing almost all of his money, he noticed this priest stepped out onto the tracks and blessed this horse. And he watched very curiously. And sure enough, that horse won first place, the next race.
The priest blessed another horse and again, he won. And so Bill ran back to the ATM machine, got all his money out. The next time, the priest not only touched the horse's forehead, but he touched his eyes, his ears and all of his herbs. And Bill was so confident he met all of his money on that horse. But in the middle of that race, that horse fell down dead. He could not believe it. He rushed over to that priest.
He said, what in the world happened? The priest said, this is the problem with you Protestants. You don't know the difference between a blessing and the last rites.
All right. Hold your Bibles up saying like, I'm ready. This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do today. I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. We've been talking about how God is a God of restoration.
He wants to restore everything that's been stolen and we all go through disappointments. We all have unfair things that happen. And too often we just hold on to that hurt and pain and we end up going around negative and sour. And it may be something simple, like you didn't get a promotion you were hoping for or maybe somebody offended you at work last week or your spouse didn't treat you right. Sometimes it's our own fault. We lost our temper and we were short with our children or we didn't exercise enough.
Last week we ate too much. It's easy to go around feeling bad about ourselves, guilty and condemned, focused on our mistakes. And I know a lot of people that are living in regrets. And I wish I had finished school. I wish I had chosen a different career. I wish I had been a better parent. Too often we live life looking in that rearview mirror. We have to understand we cannot do anything about what's gone, but we can do something about right now.
And I want to challenge you today to not let your past poisoned your future. You may have made some poor choices in life or maybe somebody did you wrong and your dreams didn't work out. But you need to know God still has a great plan in store for your life. And when we get up in the morning, one of the first things we should do is shake all the disappointments of yesterday, shake off discouragement, shake off how somebody treated you, shake off guilt, shake off self-pity, friends.
You got to shake off the past. Our attitude should be this is a new day. I may have made mistakes yesterday. My plans may have fallen through. People may have disappointed me. But you know what? What's done is done. I'm letting all that go. And I'm will start this day afresh and a new see every morning. You need to just wipe the slate totally clean. You need to say I am forgiving the people that hurt me.
I'm forgiving my spouse. He was insensitive, but I'm not going to let it ruin this day. I'm forgiving my boss for being rude to me last week. I'm forgiving that person for cutting me off in traffic that's over and done, not going to think about it anymore. And when you make mistakes, learn to receive God's mercy for yourself. Maybe last week you said some things you shouldn't have. Maybe you spent too much money. Maybe you blew your diet.
Well, don't go around today guilty and condemned the scripture says and lamentations that God's mercies are fresh and new every single morning. When you wake up and you're tempted to focus on all your fault and mistakes of yesterday, you need to just shake all that, all you need to say. Father, I'm sorry for the way I acted yesterday, but I receive your mercy today. I receive your forgiveness. Say, don't start the day off. Guilty and condemned started off in faith and expectancy.
And when you go through disappointments, when you suffer some setbacks, don't get up in the morning all discouraged. Well, I should have known my plans weren't going to work out. Nothing good ever happens to me. Now you've got to learn to shake off that self-pity. And if your plans didn't work out, it's not because God doesn't love you, it's not because God's trying to punish you most of the time is because God has something better in store for you.
The scripture tells us that God will take the unfair things. He'll take the disappointments and he'll turn them around and use them to our advantage. But if that's going to happen, you've got to do your part and let go of yesterday. And that's what the apostle Paul is saying here in Philippians three 13, forgetting what lies behind our press, forward to the good things that are in store. And after all, what's done is done. If somebody offended you last week, you cannot undo that.
You can either get angry and bitter and try to pay him back or you can just forgive them and move on with your life. Or maybe you didn't qualify for that new home that you really wanted. Well, don't get discouraged. Know that God has promised that all things are going to work together for your good friends. What I'm saying today is you don't have to be a prisoner of your past, whether it happened 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago.
Why don't you make a decision that you're going to let it go and move on? Your past does not have to poison your future. And I'm asking you not to waste another minute being depressed, defeated, angry, bitter in self-pity. No, let all that go. Our time here on this earth is so very short. Before you know it, we're all going to be gone. And what a shame to allow something that's happened in the past to destroy this day, to destroy our future.
And that's exactly what we do. Sometimes something can happen early in the morning and we let it ruin our whole day. You get caught in traffic, you get delayed. You can't find your car keys. Well, you can either let that frustrate you and sour the rest of your day, or you can do what the scripture says and let the past be the past. Just let it go and move on and enjoy that day anyway. For instance, maybe somebody offends you at ten o'clock in the morning and now it's ten thirty.
Well, our attitude should be I'm moving on. I'm not holding on to that offense. That's over and gone. Maybe at noon you found that you didn't get that big account you've been working on. Now it's two o'clock. Your attitude should be no big deal. I'm not going to let that ruin the rest of my week. Yes, I'm disappointed. Yes, I would have loved to have it, but I'm I'll hold my head up high knowing that God is still in control and he's got good things in store for me.
So you got to learn to shake off those disappointments, shake off that discouragement, shake off your mistakes and failures. Don't live your life guilty and condemned. I can tell you this. The enemy will do his very best to try to get your day started off all negative. Inshallah, he will remind you of every mistake you made last week. He'll give you a complete inventory of every time you had a bad attitude, every time you were undisciplined, every time you blew it.
His whole goal is to get us to go through the day with a heaviness, feeling bad, carrying around all this baggage. Fail me and ask you to read my Bible more yesterday or I wanted to clean the house, but I was lazy and I just watched TV all day. I don't know what's wrong with me. Why am I so undisciplined now? Don't you dare start your day off like that. You get up in the morning and say, Father, I thank you that this is going to be a great day and I'm going to do what I need to do.
We just declare it. Father, I thank you that I have discipline, I have self-control, that I am focused. And God, I may not have done what I should have yesterday, but I'm letting go with that. And I'm will do better today. So you don't live your life guilty and condemned yesterday. You may have blown your diet, but let it go. That day is over. Get up and do better today. If you go through this day guilty and you start making excuses, you know as well as I do, you'll go out and eat fourteen gallons of ice cream today.
Let it go. Last week you may have been short with some of your employees. Let it go and do better this week. Last month you may have spent too much money. You weren't very wise in your finances. Well, let that go and do better. This month, the scripture tells us in Ephesians four twenty three that every day, not every month, not once a week, no. Every day we need to put on a fresh new attitude being constantly renewed in the spirit of our minds.
That means every morning we need to forgive the people that have hurt us. Every morning we need to receive God's mercy for our own mistakes. And every morning we need to let go of the disappointments of yesterday. And I know some of you have had a lot of negative things happen in your life. And it's very easy to stay focused on the pains of the past and all the people that hurt you and all the times things didn't work out. But please don't fall into that trap.
One of the main ways we let go of the past is simply don't think about it and don't talk about it. When those negative memories come up in your mind, do not believe them.
One of the best things you can do is learn to change the channel, just like you do with that television remote control. You see something you don't want to watch, you flip on by what you can do the same thing in your mind. You can mentally change the channel. And when those painful memories come up, don't stop there on. That's over and done. This is a new day. You got to keep your mind going in the right direction.
Keep your mind focused on good things in an attitude of faith. I know sometimes when I'm watching TV at home, I'll come across a medical program where they're doing some kind of operation and they've got the person all opened up. You can see the skin pull back and the blood and the organs. What do you know? It doesn't take me more than a half a second to flip on my. That stuff is not for me, I don't even have to think twice, and really that's the same way it should be when it comes to the negative things of our past.
The enemy would love for you to continually relive every disappointment and every painful thing that's happened to you. But don't make that mistake. And some people, when all that junk comes up on the picture screen of their mind, instead of flipping back quickly like they should, they pull up a chair and get a bag of popcorn, like they will watch a good movie and for a half an hour, they'll just replay it and relive it over and over again.
You know as well as I do all that, does it get you more upset, more depressed, more full of self-pity? Don't go there. Learn to change the channel. If you make the mistake of dwelling on that junk I've found before long, you'll be talking about it. You'll be telling your friends, can you believe what happened to me? Life is so unfair. The more you talk about it, the more you think about it, the more stirred up it's going to stay.
It's just like a wound that's trying to heal like a scab. Every time you talk about it, you're picking it wound. It's never going to get better. Quit rehearsing it, quit reliving it, learn to change the channel. If you're going to go forward, you've got to quit looking backwards. I know a couple of years after my father died, I was over at my parents house one night all alone. And I hadn't been there by myself in quite some time.
And as I was walking through the family room, I immediately begin to think about the night that my father died. I don't know why it just came up in my thinking and I could see my father lying there on the floor that he had a heart attack and died right there in the family room. I could see the paramedics working on him frantically. I could see his face. And I begin to feel those same emotions, sorrow, sadness, despair.
This went on for maybe 15, 20, 30 seconds. And I finally caught myself. I thought, what am I do and where is my mind going now? I had to make a decision that I was not going to relive that night. I knew it was not going to do me any good. And so instead I started on purpose thinking about all the good memories I had in that room. I mean, that's where my father and I used to watch Wheel of Fortune together.
He used to think he could beat me, but he never could. That's where Daddy used to play with my children. Sometimes I'd come over to see my father and he'd be sitting there in his favorite chair. He'd smile and say, Don't tell me all you know, it'll just take a second.
He thought he was real funny. I thought if he could only see me now and take me more than a second, but I had to, on purpose, not allow my mind to go back to those painful memories. It was a decision I had to make. You got to do the same thing. Quit reliving all the negative things that have happened to you. I heard somebody say we have two main files in our memory system. One is a file of all the good things that have happened to us, all of our victories, all of our accomplishments, all of the things that have brought us joy and happiness.
That's file number one. The second file is filled with all of the negative things of our past, all of our hearts and pains, all of our failures and disappointments, anything that's caused us sorrow and sadness. And throughout life, we can choose which file we're going to go back to. And some people, unfortunately, they're constantly going back to file number to thinking about all the times they were hard, all the times they were mistreated, all the times their plans didn't work out.
I mean, they just wear out foul. Number two, they are so preoccupied with the pains of the past, they never get around to looking in foul. Number one, they never even think about the good things God has done in their life and friends. I'm challenging you today. If you're going to live in victory, you've got to throw away the key to found no team, no go back there anymore. If you go back for anything, go back to foul number one and remember the great things God has done in your life.
The scripture tells us we've got to think on things that are of a good report, things that build us up and not tear us down. And this is where so many people are missing it today. This is why so many people are not happy. It's just like they're constantly dragging around all this baggage from the past. They got this big old suitcase out. Somebody's offended them. They put that bitterness and resentment in there. They pack it away.
And they didn't get that promotion we talked about. So they got that self pity packed in their grown up. They were mistreated. They had some unfair things happen, man. They got a whole suitcase for all that junk, lugging it around with them. Ten years ago, a loved one died. They sure don't understand that. They got that packed away. And everywhere they go, they are so weighted down carrying all this baggage, self-pity, bitterness, resentment.
And if that's not bad enough, every once in a while, they'll stop and open up a bag, take something out and look at it real good. We live all the negative. Some of you even today, you do not realize how weighted down you are. You've been carrying around year after year after year. Somebody hurt you. Somebody disappeared. Want to do your plans didn't work out? Listen, God wants you to be free, you got to let go with that job.
He said you don't understand what I've been through. It was so unfair. They hurt me so badly. Now, I don't doubt any of that. I realize life is not always fair, but don't let that continue to poison you by holding on to it. If you will give it to God and quit thinking about it and quit reliving it, God will make your wrongs right. God is a God of justice. He'll pay you back. But as long as you're holding onto it, it's just going to make matters worse, is going to keep you bitter and negative.
When you give it to God, though, he'll make sure that you not only get what you deserve, he'll pay you back with much, much more. I know a couple of years ago we were trying to buy some property to build a new church sanctuary on it. And we searched and searched for probably six months time. And we finally found this one hundred acre tract of land. And we loved it. We thought it was perfect. It was over by the other location, not too far off the freeway.
And so we signed a non-binding letter of intent to buy that property. And for the next several months, we did all kinds of studies and we did the soil samples. We had our architects lay out where the buildings would go and how the parking lots would flow. And we spent thousands and thousands of dollars doing all this research to really make sure the property would work for us when it finally came down to closing. And I'll never forget, it was early on a Thursday morning and we showed up about 15 minutes before our appointment and this secretary walked out and she said, I hate to tell you guys this, but we sold that property last night to another buyer.
I mean, we could not believe it here. We'd spent all this time and effort and energy. We were so disappointed. I was tempted to go home and have a pity party as tempted to say, God, that is not fair. God, why didn't you do something? How come you didn't stop them? God, your God. But no, I had to do just what I'm telling you today. I just said, God, it is not fair and I don't understand it, but I'm not going to hold on to it.
I'm just going to give it to you. And I'm to trust that you're going to make it up to us. And for the next several weeks, when I got up in the morning, I had to change the channel.
Those negative, discouraging thoughts kept coming to my mind and had to have to say, no, I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to dwell on that, and I'm not going to go around telling everybody what happened. I just stayed in an attitude of faith. Month after month went by, we didn't see any new doors open up. But see, that was a time of testing. When you don't get your way, you're being mistreated or somebody did something unfair to you.
God is closely watching you to see how you're going to respond. Are you going to hold on to it and get negative and bitter and go around complaining all the time? Or are you just going to let it go and keep a smile on your face anyway and stay in that attitude of faith, trust in God to make it up to you? We just turned it over to God. And it was about six months after that that we got a call that this place was becoming available.
And we knew right then and there that God had supernaturally closed those doors so he could do something even far greater than we had even imagined.
And sometimes what may look like a great disappointment in your own life is really only God keeping you from making a mistake. You've got to learn to trust him. God always has your best interests at heart. And when your plans don't work out and you don't get your way, don't sit around all depressed and sour. You got to learn to shake off that discouragement and keep moving forward with your life. Too many people today, they will not let go of the baggage.
I know this lady that went through a failed marriage. She was married to a very well-to-do man and for some reason he left her and married somebody else and she could just not seem to get over this.
She was so bitter about it. And I told her what I'm telling you today, that you got to let that go, keep a good attitude and trust God to make it up to a year after year. We pray time and time again at the old sanctuary that God would bring somebody new into her life. And sure enough, one day that door opened up and she met this man, a fine man, a godly man, very successful as well.
But do you know she made the mistake of carrying all that old baggage into this new relationship? She was constantly talking about how badly she had been hurt and all she had gone through and how just totally drained she was. And this man told me privately later that she was so focused on her past and so caught up in what she had been through. He couldn't handle it any more. He just moved on. And that's exactly what happens when we hold on to the hearts and pains of the past.
It's going poisonous wherever we go. And you may think other people are the problem and that's why you can't have healthy relationships. But I would encourage you to examine your own heart and make sure that you're not the problem.
We cannot expect to have good relationships if we're dragging all this baggage around with us. Some of you today, you need to draw that line in the sand and say, you know what, I've had enough. I'm going to get rid of all my baggage. I'm will stop focusing on my disappointments and who hurt me and what didn't work out. And I'm going to start dwelling on the bright future God has in store for me and will start moving forward with my life.
And when you do that, God can give you a new beginning. That's when things can begin to change. And I understand that when we go through disappointments and unfair things happen, it's normal to feel a little down and discouraged. Of course, if you lose a loved one, it's natural to grieve and mourn over that. But I would encourage you today to not let a season of mourning turn into a lifetime of mourning. It's interesting. In the Old Testament, when somebody died, they had a certain amount of time they could mourn.
A lot of times it was 30 days. And after that they didn't have a choice. They had to get up and get going. And I'm not saying today that we should have no feelings toward the past and we just need to be made out of steel and let everything bounce off of us. But I am saying we cannot walk around in self-pity. And if something is over and done in your life, you got to be big enough to just accept it and move on.
If you have a loved one that was sick and you prayed and prayed, but they didn't get healed, they didn't get well, they died anyway. Well, God is still in control. Don't get better. Be grateful for the time that you had here with that person like I did with my dad. Focus on your good memories and then keep moving forward with your life.
And I don't know if there's any certain amount of time set today, but if you're one year past a disappointment or a year passed a setback and you're still talking about it and thinking about it and grieving over it for him, that's way too long. You got to get up and get going. Quit mourning over something that you cannot change. Quit carrying around all that baggage. God wants to give you a new beginning. Will you say, Joe, here's my problem.
I just don't understand why this has happened to me. But here's one of the best phrases you could ever hear. Don't ever put a question mark where God has put a period. There are a lot of things in our lives that we're never going to understand.
We deal with people that have lost loved ones in an accident, so unfair, people that have been laid off of a job after 20 years, people that have been raised in such a pitiful environment, we're never going to understand all that. But what I'm saying today is what's done is done. We cannot do anything about the past, but we can do something about right now. And you need to dig your heels in and make the most of this moment.
You may have lost a lot, but you've got to make the most with what you've got left over. Don't let the past poison your future. You may remember the story in the news a couple of years ago about a young mountain climber. He was in a remote section of Utah all by himself. And as he was hiking through the canyon, all of a sudden this 800 pound boulder shifted in his arm, became trapped, and he tried for five days everything he possibly could to free himself had a little pocket knife.
An hour after hour, he chipped away and chipped away, but to no avail. When that didn't work, he tried to use his climbing gear to somehow shift the rock. But again, he could not budget. And after three days, his food and water supply ran out. And by this time, his arm was already dead. It had had no blood flowing through it. And he told how it was hard and cold and stiff. He had no feeling in it and it looked like he was going to die with that dead arm.
Didn't look like there was any way out. But on the fifth day, he made a decision to do the unthinkable. He knew that if he was going to survive, he was going to have to cut that arm off so he could go and find help and get rescued. And believe it or not, he put a tourniquet on up here and somehow, some way he amputated his own arm. He then walked two miles before somebody saw him and rescued him.
Miraculously, he was saved. And in a sense, we all come to places like that in life, not physically, of course, but where something is over and done. There's nothing we can do about it. We may not understand it. It may not have been fair, but that does not change the fact that it is no longer alive. And we can either hold on to it and allow it to drag us down and defeat us with it.
Or like that young man. As difficult as it may seem, we can choose to break away from it and move forward with our life so we too can receive our new beginning. And I would challenge you today. If something is dead in your life, don't die with it. If something is over and done, don't hold on to it. Let it go. Give it to God. Just say, God, these people hurt me. It wasn't fair.
But I'm not going to go around reliving it, thinking about it, talking about it, and we'll cut it off and move on. Or maybe a dream has died. Your plans didn't work out, but don't die with it. If you'll keep moving forward, God will give you another dream for your future starts today. And no matter what you've been through, no matter how unfair it was, God has great things in store for you. And my prayer is that you'll go out of here free from the past, free from guilt, free from bitterness, free from self pity.
Why don't you get rid of all that baggage? As I said, whether it happened ten years ago or ten minutes ago, make a decision that you're going to let it go and move on with your life and get in a habit of doing this on a daily basis every morning. Forgive the people that have hurt you every morning and receive God's mercy for your mistakes. And every morning, let go of the disappointments of yesterday. If you will do that, I can promise you this.
God will give you a daily new beginning and you will live your life refreshed and restored and you will experience the good things that God has in store for you. Hey, man, how many of you receive it today?
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