Sitting on my desk is an old broken brass doorknob. It came off of a door to our church. The knob is faded, dented, tarnished, and worn out. So, why do I have it? Why did I keep it? What purpose does it serve taking up space on an already overcrowded desktop? It actually serves as a reminder in three different ways.
            First, it reminds of “what has been before.” Too much in today’s culture, we are quick to throw away everything broken. It’ so much easier to just replace an item rather than repair it. Thankfully, that’s not the attitude God doesn’t just toss each of us away. He sees a history and a value in each of us. While we see something as useless, God sees something as useful. My history has made me who I am so that I can be useful to God.
            This leads to the second reason, I have kept the broken knob on my desk. It’s a picture of “what lies ahead.” At some point, all things do wear out. They become so useless, they must be replaced with something new. In the future, this body will become useless being Christ Jesus, I will have a new body for all of eternity. In the meantime, I must settle with being made new in Christ by His washing me off and using me in my current state for today’s purpose. One day, though, something better is coming.
            The final reason I keep this broken piece of equipment is to remind me of how “we are all broken in some way.” We have all been beaten up, used, up, worn out, abused, dented and dinged, and feel useless at some point. This to me is the greatest reminder. It brings to mind that God, in His infinite wisdom, takes all of my brokenness, looks past it all in order to see what lies underneath. He sees me for what I once was, what I will become, and even sees past my brokenness. He sees me as valuable to Him. He sees past all of your past, future, and brokenness too.
            The next time you find something that’s broken, banged up, used up, dented and dinged, stop for just a moment and remember just how much value Jesus sees in you. He didn’t toss you away. Instead, He gave you or is willing to give you a future despite just “how beyond repair you are.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.


Finishing Well

 As most of us progress through this day, we give little thought or reflection to the days ahead and the days past. Not that we should dwell nor need to dwell too heavily upon either, as that can be a danger within itself. Should we not, though, at least give some thought to our end? What might our remaining days look like? Should we coast into our end? Should we view our last days with great trepidation? Should we instead, run headlong with a great anticipation of what lies ahead? 
            In order to look ahead, I believe it is imperative to also look behind. One must know where they came from so that they might know where they are going. It becomes critical for us to recognize our past is the vehicle which brought us to this place. For some, the past is reckless, dangerous, sad, hurtful, and scary. For others, it is a wondrous journey full of spectacular memories. Whatever the case, as you reflect on your past, it is part of you, and it is critical in helping you finish well. 
            Rather than letting your past define your future, why not choose a different direction? Why not choose to finish well in Jesus Christ? No matter whether you have never experienced Jesus Christ in your own life, or you have known Him for most of your life, He is the key to finishing well. His Word, the Bible, tells us that Christ makes all things new, even our past, allowing us to finish well in Him (Rev. 21:5a). How does this work exactly, you might ask? 
            When we let go of our past, or even our present conditions and instead allow Christ to work, we begin to move in a new direction. It is a direction we cannot go on our own. By being made new in Christ, all of the old can be put away, clearing the way to a bright and glorious future (2 Cor. 5:17). A few ways I have found to live this way:

  1. Look past the day-to-day and instead gain a larger Kingdom perspective.
  2. Take any necessary steps to understand the direction Jesus wants and needs you to go.
  3. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in keeping you on the correct path. 

As the apostle Paul reminded his young student, Timothy, it is important that we not only finish the race but that we finish well. 
2 Timothy 4:6–8 (NKJV)
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 


Noe Your Faith-a blog by Pastor Dale Noe

The Past…the Biggest Barrier to the Future

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, 
which is why we call it the present.  
Bill Keane
The past is gone. It is great to reminisce about our glory days. To take a whimsical look back and remember with a certain whiff of nostalgia. In reality, those days of yesteryear may not have been as quite as glorious as we remember. It seems as if our human nature requires us to look back at the past with a sense of longing. Sadly, many of us would like to stay in the memories of the past rather than living in the present and grasping onto the future. 
Thinking about why we act in such a manner, I realized four reasons many people will hold onto their past so tightly. 
These are just a few of the reasons we might look back whimsically at our past. However, what of we begin to realize that God has delivered us from that past for a more glorious future. God delivered us from our past, so that we might depend on Him in the present. Just as the Israelites cried out, wanting to go back to bondage and oppression, we do the same thing. Instead, our cry should be for God to deliver us into the wondrous future He has planned for us. In order to make that move of faith, we must let go of our past and let it live where it needs to be, behind us. 

Numbers 14:1–4(NKJV)
1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lordbrought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”