It struck me as I read Numbers 3–God instructed the children of Israel to drive out all (emphasis mine) the inhabitants of the land that Israel would not be facing the problems she is today.  Instead, she chose to make covenants or alliances with some of the inhabitants.  God said that those alliances would be  “as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land in which you live (vs 55).”  Their disobedience created problems that span the centuries even to today.

If we had been obedient in our own past we would not be facing the problems we do today.  But God’s promise is to deliver us from our sins of the past through the blood of Jesus Christ.  We get a fresh start!

So quit wallowing in the sins and failures of your past.  Spell those things O-V-E-R.
Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13b, 14)

When we first came to Arkansas, we found the people in the church to which we’d been called were struggling with their past failures, and I preached the same basic message from Philippians 3:13, 14 for over a year.  Even to this day it seems to be my life message both here and in Peru.  I believe I’ll be preaching–and living–these verses for the rest of my life.

Thank you, Jesus, for taking my sins to the cross, and delivering me from my past.  In you my past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure.  In you I’m a part of the fellowship of the redeemed!

About Pastor Jim Dixon

Jim Dixon is a husband, father, grandfather, pastor, missionary and with his wife, Marsha, an author. Jim and Marsha are founders of God's Blueprint for Marriage, a ministry based on the experiences they had during reconciliation and restoration of their tumultuous marriage that would have ended in divorce, had it not been for God's intervention. Their marriage workshop called, not surprisingly, "God's Blueprint for Marriage" shares details of their failing marriage and, more importantly, the lessons they learned during the restoration process. Their book, "God's Blueprint for Marriage", is available through their web site, Jim is Missions and Small Groups Pastor at their church, Word of Life Fellowship. He and Marsha have a strong ministry presence in Peru, where he is a leader in the Evangelical Church of Christ of Peru, a Peruvian denomination. And Marsha is founder of Mujeres de Valor (Women of Worth), a ministry helping women in Peru find their place in service to God. They also work with Victory Bible College-Peru and Victory Fellowship of Ministries, organizations dedicated to training and supporting pastors and church leaders in that nation. Their two sons, Michael and Jeffrey, are also in ministry, Jeffrey full time as Youth Pastor of their church. Additionally they have a number of "adopted" sons and daughters, many of whom are in ministry as well. Jim is a professional storm chaser. You can hear him during severe weather in NW Arkansas on 40/29.
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