“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14 

To start off our time together, I want to ask you a question: Have you ever done wrong? If you haven’t, then you just lied. We have all done wrong. Scripture says “not one is righteous…only Christ” (Romans 3:10). When you did wrong, were there any consequences for your doing? Probably so.

Sometimes, I feel like we, as humans, make excuses to do what we want…and let’s be honest, what we want is never the right thing. In my short 24 years of living thus far, I have come to find out that past hurt causes future pain. We justify what we want to do with what has happened in the past. 

Listen….I am preaching to myself here also! I’m just going to be honest for a few moments. My human mindset still thinks that I can blame how I am on my parents divorce when I was 13 years old. I sometimes also think I can blame my mistakes of me being young and “still learning.” But to me, those are just excuses trying to make me who I’m not suppose to be. I blame my circumstances for my mistakes instead of owning up to what I’ve done.

I think about how Paul said, “I forget about what’s behind and move forward.” We cannot allow the enemy tell us…or even ourselves tell ourselves (because sometimes we are our worst enemy) that we cannot get past where we are…we can’t go where God wants us…or we will turn out just like so and so, just because we have a past that we can’t get past. We have to learn to deal with our past, people! Listen, you are going to get hurt in this world, but you have got to learn to deal with it, because the next generation depends on you to show them HOW to worship and live in troubled times!

God wants you to have life and to live it abundantly! Yes, you have an excuse to do what you want, but you don’t have the right to! We are on a path of life and the enemy will throw things in your way to try and throw you off course, but what will make you stronger is how you deal with what is thrown your way. Jesus had no excuse. Jesus was given a Cross and decided to crucify Himself for the people’s sin. Oh, you complain about a thorn? Well, Jesus had a crown of thorns. He knows what you are doing through today, reader!

What about you? No more excuses! No more lying to yourself! It’s time to man/woman up and pick up your cross, because there are lives that depend on YOU! Don’t let your past or present circumstances define who God wants you to be today, tomorrow, and the next day.

In the words of my father-in-law, “Make lemonade out of your lemons.” It’s your choice today.