DUST OFF 2017
The apostle Paul understood the principle of Dusting off Moving Forward & moving on when he said…
Phil 3:12-14 NLT – “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
•Paul had no other choice because his past wasn’t the best…
•”Don’t allow the thing or person that gave you the most pain in 2017 to stop you from moving forward in 2018. The enemy would love for you to get permanently stuck in the pit of your greatest hurt, rejection, offense, betrayal, disappointment or failure.” Christine Cain
My goal this morning is to help you enter the New Year free of any residue that would hinder you from having your best year.
Q=Anybody want to have a greater year in 2018???
Tonight millions of party-goers will usher in 2018 singing that old traditional song, “Auld Lang Syne.” The text is from the Scots Presbyterian poet, Robert Burns, who lived between 1759 and 1796.
This is not a happy poem. It is touched with sorrow, sadness, and even grief. Listen to the opening question – should auld, that is old acquaintances be forgot and never brought to mind? Should we forget the people we’ve met? Should anything or anyone be forgotten? How much should be forgotten and how much should be remembered? “Should auld acquaintance be forgot,/ And auld lang syne?” That is, should we forget about old times, old friends, memories of the past? That’s what auld lang syne means – old times, old friends, memories of the past, “for (the sake of) old times”. Should we say good-bye to the past on New Year’s and never bring it to mind?
These are deep, philosophical questions that most of us don’t take the time to consider throughout the year as much as we should, let alone at twelve o’clock on New Year’s Eve. And yet, that’s what we sing.
The reason why I’ve gone on about this famous poem is to highlight the all-embracing character of it. Burns is not calling us to remember only the good times, but all the times, “the good and the bad.” But to also look towards the future with faith & excitement.
CS Lewis said, “Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
In Matt 10 Jesus was sending his disciples out on a mission to take good news to households, communities, cities…There was a lot of excitement….might have been a bit giddy. But Jesus knew that within the context of all interaction….is the possibility for a negative experience….and he wants to make sure that when this happens it doesn’t hinder them from continuing forward into all that he has for them. So….he prepares them and then he says something I find really interesting….and with great significance to us in our own lives today….
Matt 10:14 NIV, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.”
•Jesus was gathering his disciples and preparing them to weather the storm of disappointment, possible plans & ideas that may not work, people that wouldn’t buy in, high effort, lots of work, and little fruit. He was letting them know that they may not see the results that they wanted to see. Somethings don’t turn out as planned, plenty of prayers that goes unanswered, and efforts that don’t yield the harvest that we hoped for.
Dusting off what was behind them was merely a part of getting ready for the greater things ahead of them.
Jesus was basically saying to them it may not go well in one city, but don’t let that city discourage you. The last city is not the next city!
You can’t go where you’re meant to go, carrying the things of your past! Get ready for where God wants to take you! Take off the old mind set!
Pig Pen – From the Peanuts Cartoons. Where ever he goes there is dust.
•”Pig-Pen” is known for his perpetually filthy overalls and the cloud of dirt and dust that follows him wherever he goes. When he takes a deep breath (to sing, for example), the dust rises briefly around him. He sometimes refers to the cloud that surrounds him with pride as the dust of ancient civilizations. He cannot seem to rid himself of the dust for more than the briefest of periods—indeed, in spite of his best efforts, it appears that he cannot stay clean. He is referred to in an early strip as the only person who can get dirty while walking in a snowstorm. Once, after bathing and dressing in clean clothes, “Pig-Pen” stepped outside his house, and instantaneously became dirty and disheveled, whereupon he declared to Charlie Brown, “You know what I am? I’m a dust magnet!”
•We are all like Pig Pen – he wears and holds on to it instead of washing it.
There is only one way to get ready for what’s ahead of you…DUST OFF what’s on you that came from behind you!
1) IN THE CONTEXT OF ALL HUMAN INTERACTION IS THE POSSIBILITY OF A NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE
It’s easy to put unrealistic expectations on other people.
EX: Some people have the attitude of “I’ll be a friend to you as long as you don’t hurt me or as long as you don’t make a mistake….I’ll be a friend as long as you treat me just right.
But that’s unfair and places too much pressure on the other person.
EX: this is the approach some people take towards church….and other people at church.
The reality is that anywhere people mingle long enough…there’s a 100% chance that someone is going to say something they shouldn’t say….or did not mean the way it sounded….humans do that…we say and do stupid things! Scripture teaches that love makes allowances for peoples weaknesses….love remains committed to people when they make mistakes…In other words you have to overlook some things…not expect people to be perfect. (your wife, husband, kids)
Show mercy and grace to the people you’re in relationship with!!
Prov. 12:16- Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.
Prov. 19:11- A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
Don’t let anything that people do or say cause you to change your course….or take you away from God’s house…where he has planted you.
2) NOT EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU IS SUPPOSE TO GO FORWARD WITH YOU
(Isaiah 43:18 NIV) “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
Some stuff is supposed to stay behind….In Matt 10 I think Jesus was probably giving them a literal instruction…”Dust off” ”shake it off” It’s reasonable to believe that Jesus wanted them to literally stop outside the city where they experienced rejection and “dust off”…NOT just for the purpose of removing the sand and dirt…BUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF GETTING THE RESIDUE OF REJECTION and THE DUST OF DISAPPOINTMENT OFF OF THEM!
*As we celebrate the passing of one year and the beginning of a new year I want you to consider what might God be telling you to shake off the end of this year?
Think about it…..
• Years from now some of you will look at happy
moments that happened this past year…and it will
bring a smile to your face
• But not every photo deserves to be saved….some were bad
shots…bad angles…taken at the wrong moments…should not be saved or hung on the wall…should not stay in your phone or on your computer=need to be deleted!
- The same is true with some of your experiences. Some incidents, some comments, some conversations….don’t belong in your memory!!….
We get in trouble when we linger too long in places we should leave mentally and emotionally
You are not going to Move Forward with that dust on you! With that look on your face, with that heaviness on your shoulders, with that offense in your heart! Dust off!! Shake it off!!
3)”DUSTING OFF” WHAT’S BEHIND YOU IS PART OF GETTING READY FOR WHATS AHEAD OF YOU.
Jesus was saying “It may not go well in one City…But don’t let what happens in that city discourage you…..the last City is not the next City!”
- There’s people in this room….who have been too focused on what hasn’t happened.….God is wanting you to know yesterday is not tomorrow! Your future is not determined by your past!
- Nothing good is going to come out of more analysis or naval gazing.
- What God has for you begins the minute you shake off the dust of disappointment….the dust of discouragement….the dust of despair…AND MAKE A DECISION TO MOVE ON!!
•You are not going to Move Forward with that dust on you! With that look on your face, with that heaviness on your shoulders, with that offense in your heart! Dust off!
The Dust of 2017 isn’t compatible with your Destiny in 2018
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
It’s about facing forward. It’s about being ready for what God has ready for you!
Genesis 26:12-13 KJV – Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
God spoke to Moses to tell the people to move forward…
Exodus 14:15 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”
In this passage, God had already given Israel deliverance from the Egyptians. And now they are headed toward the promise land after leaving Egypt.
Suddenly, they come to the Red Sea. The enemy is behind. They can’t go left or right. They can’t go back.THERE WAS ONLY ONE DIRECTION FOR THEM TO GO…FORWARD!
And when they did, God did something He had never done before, and Israel escaped on dry land. The unexpected happened when they MOVED ON and shook the DUST OFF!
The New Year is not about changing the dates but direction; it’s not about changing the calendar but commitment; it’s not about changing the actions but attitude. May each and every day of yours be renewed with lots of happiness, peace, prosperity, wisdom, and joy!