Monday, December 01, 2008

Why Move?

Why Move?

In early October I made the announcement that my family and I would be moving to Ft. Wayne, Indiana towards the end of December to accept the call to pastor Ft. Wayne Primitive Baptist Church. While many people have been encouraging, some have asked valid questions about my decision. Is there a problem in Crestview? Why leave one church to move to another? How will you make ends meet? Why move so far away? These are all good questions that I hope to answer below.

First and foremost I must be receptive and obedient to God’s leadership in my ministry. In Galatians 5:16, Paul instructs us to walk in the Spirit of God. While I fall short of this standard in all aspects of life I feel that God is leading me to move to Northeastern Indiana. Earlier this year I began to feel that my work might be coming to an end in Florida. The Lord has greatly blessed Palm Chapel in the ten years that we have been a part of the church. I feel that he is continuing to bless the word to be preached in power and the church to grow. While in the beginning I did not know what the Lord had in store for me, it became abundantly clear as I visited the church in Indiana. I have always believed that a minister should remain in his present field of labor until God opens up another field. I did this until he made it clear where I was to go.

In the interim time between the lord ‘stirring me up’ and deciding to move to Ft. Wayne I tried to continue my ministerial duties at Palm Chapel. I asked for some of the brethren of the church to pray for me during this uncertain period in my life. They diligently honored my request and were awesome throughout the whole situation. I visited other churches at this time while I waited on the Lord. Trust me, this was not easy. At one point I thought God was leading in one direction, but it turned out to be what I wanted and not God’s will. I am thankful that this was made clear before I made an erroneous move. I have been greatly touched by the love and understanding of God’s people during this time. Walking by faith is extremely difficult, but it gives God opportunity to shine in our lives (2 Corinthians 5:7)!

There was no major problem in Crestview that led me to leave. All churches have their individual difficulties. This is true of anything that involves sinful man. The brothers and sisters of Palm Chapel have been good to my family and I over the last ten years. They have freely given of their prayers, time, and resources to make sure that I was able to preach the gospel. I will hold a special place in my heart for the members of Palm Chapel and will not cease to make mention of them in my prayers. I will miss them all! I am moving because God has moved me. All of my other decisions/actions are secondary to this fact. My prayer for the church in Crestview is that God would bless them with a pastor better than their former. They will be a blessing to any man that is privileged to serve them.

As far as making ends meet financially, we are trusting God in this area as well. I have frequently said that where God leads he feeds. Now I get to put that into practice. I appreciate the concerns about the financial well-being of my family and I. We need to remember that God is able take care of us regardless of the current economic climate in our nation. He is aware of the state of our government, economy and world!

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more [will he clothe] you, O ye of little faith (Luke 12:27-28)?

Tough times are nothing more than opportunities for God to manifest his great power. I am confident that he bless us with what we need to make ends meet. Remember, he owns everything!

Some have questioned the practicality of moving so far away. Again, where God leads we should go. Remember Abraham?

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God (Hebrews 11:8-10).

I can unhesitatingly say that I was comfortable in my situation at Crestview. That is not a good thing! I believe that God has successfully uprooted me out of my comfort zone with this change. Thankfully, I am excited about this move and very happy. My family is also enthusiastic about this move. God have given all of us great peace throughout this whole process.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

There is great opportunity to preach the gospel in Ft. Wayne. The church is comprised of people that have a zeal to serve God. I have been touched by Ft. Wayne Church’s desire to have a minister to preach regularly amongst them. They have been extremely generous of their prayers, time and resources. It has been humbling to say the least. The harvest is plenteous in Indiana! It is my prayer that God will bless me with many days to share the truth of salvation by the grace of God. I hope that this provides some answers to why we’re moving. Maybe my experience will also serve as an encouragement to you. If the Lord has burdened you to make a change in your life, MOVE.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Prayer Request for Church and My Family

Dear Friends -

After wonderful services at Palm Chapel last week I informed the church of my decision to accept a call extended from Ft. Wayne Primitive Baptist Church (Indiana) to serve as their pastor. I will continue to serve as pastor at Palm Chapel until the end of December and will try to assist the church in the initial phase of searching for a new pastor.

The Lord has blessed us greatly at Palm Chapel and I am thankful that we are leaving under good circumstances. They have been a great group of people to preach to for the last 9 plus years. The church has done very well in providing both material support and the encouragement needed to labor in the kingdom of God. I only wish I could have served them better. I pray that their next pastor will be a step up from their former!

My family is excited about the upcoming move. Please pray that God will be glorified in all of our decisions. My heart's desire is for Him to be magnified, and that His people will be better equipped in their service to the Lord. I believe that God has many elect in the Ft. Wayne/Northeastern Indiana area. Lord willing, we can share our precious doctrine with more of them.

If you have a moment, please pray for us. This will be a big change for a life-long Florida boy!

In Christian Love,

Brother Michael Green, Jr.

Colossians 3:15-17

More postings to come……

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Article - How Are We Justified by Works

How Are We Justified by Works?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. – James 2:21-24

The Bible speaks of Abraham being justified by his works. How can this be true when the Bible teaches that we are eternally saved by the grace of God? Could it be that the Bible speaks of other justifications besides eternal? It is my intent to explore the uses of the word justified in the New Testament and discover exactly how it is that there we are justified by our works.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines justification as the remission of sin and absolution from guilt and punishment, or an act of free grace by which God pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous, on account of the atonement of Christ. This is indeed the case in Jesus Christ laying down his life on the cross for the sins of his people. The Apostle Paul writes of this in Romans 5:9. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” We are saved from eternal damnation because of Jesus’ precious blood. It is just as if I’d never sinned because of his work of salvation. Thus we observe one important aspect of justification from the Bible.

We also experience justification in our own consciences. In Romans 5:1 Paul writes, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I believe this to be referencing justification in our own minds. Christians have a peace which passes all understanding when they are able to comprehend the work that Jesus accomplished on the cross. In the verses that follow Paul writes of rejoicing in hope, having patience and experience. This is a confidence in the Lord that resonates in the conscience of those who embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ. When we believe that Christ is who he says he is we enjoy a peace that compares to nothing in this world.

Finally, we observe that the Bible teaches justification in the sight of other people. This is how Abraham was justified by his works. In our opening verses James takes us back to the time when God instructed Abraham to offer his son Isaac upon the altar (Genesis 22). Although God’s request did not make sense to Abraham, he was faithful to obey all that God had commanded him to do on that occasion. Hebrews 11 provides some insight into what Abraham was thinking on this occasion. In verse 19 we read that Abraham’s faith was so strong that he knew that even if he sacrificed his son, God was able to raise him again. Abraham’s obedience was a tremendous example of showing faith by works. It was an example to those that knew Abraham thousands of years ago and it continues to be heralded as a pattern of faithfulness today. Abraham is justified in the sight of others because he showed his faith by his works. It is my prayer that we would follow his pattern and show the love and truth of Jesus Christ through our unwavering obedience in the word of God. When we do this, we are living testaments of a living faith and God is glorified!

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.

Article - The Simplicity of the Gospel

The Simplicity of the Gospel

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. –Ecclesiastes 12:13

It never ceases to amaze me the great lengths that men will go to muddy the waters of God’s word. A couple of years ago, many people were in a panic about the book, The Da Vinci Code. Were there additional accounts of the life of Jesus? Was Jesus really God? Was he married to Mary Magdalene? These questions were easily refuted from scripture and found to be totally false. To make a long story short, this story was proven to be a complete work of fiction. Yet many were influenced by this erroneous writing.

Today, many are stirred up about a book that Oprah is promoting called, The Power of Now. While I have not yet read the book, I have heard some of the hype about this so-called guide to happiness. The author promotes his book as a guide to spiritual enlightenment. It appears to teach a pathway of enlightenment by releasing oneself from their mind. Oprah has praised this book as an essential of spiritual teaching. I will reserve any commentary until I have read the book, but want to point it out as yet another example of many attempts to complicate the simplicity that is provided to God’s people through his word.

It will do us well to heed the teaching of one of the wisest men to ever live on the Earth. By the inspiration of God, Solomon writes that the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep his commandments. Any deviation from this pattern will only bring confusion and lead us astray from our service to God. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes of his involvement in numerous worldly pursuits. He states that all of this was vanity and vexation of spirit (2:11). This can also be said of the wisdom of men. It is vanity! The Apostle Peter writes that, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty (2 Peter 1:16).” From scripture we can easily conclude that happiness does not come through some journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. These are merely fables. It comes from obeying the word of God.

As Christians we must understand that the ideas and philosophies of men will always be flawed. Why is this so? It is because all men have a flawed, sinful nature. Paul writes that all men have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Carnal writings may contain some truth, but they are usually followed with a lot of error. The true pathway to happiness and contentment in this world is a life of obedience to Jesus Christ. There is no higher truth out there. God has given us his word. Peter writes that, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:3-4).” Any philosophies and writings that deviate from the clear teachings of the bible will do nothing but confuse the little lambs of God. He has given us all things that pertain to life and Godliness.

When we follow the simple teachings of scripture, we will have a joy and peace that passes all understanding. In his dialogue with Thomas, Jesus says that, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the father, but by me (John 14:6). It is my prayer that God would bless us to see the simplicity of his truth.

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Article - A Worthy Walk

A Worthy Walk

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, -Ephesians 4:1

How are we to properly serve the Lord? Is it merely attending church every once in a while or is there more to it? Does the Lord only require a verbal commitment to him or does he command us to actively serve him? These are questions that the Apostle Paul answers in his epistles. In our above verse it is clear that we are to be engaged in a worthy walk as Christians.

Paul likens our Christian service to a job. The word vocation literally means an occupation or profession. When God’s children are born again by the Holy Spirit, they are pressed into his service. Their vocation is to serve God! Paul thought of himself as the Lord’s prisoner. In other places he calls himself a servant of the Lord. He took his Heavenly calling seriously! He prayed that the Colossian church would, “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God (1:10).” Is this your prayer and desire?

Our primary job in this life is to be about the Father’s business. However, we oftentimes put vain worldly things before the service of God. Does your secular career define who you are? Are you known for your dedication to recreational endeavors? Do your things own you instead of you owning them? All of these things mean nothing in the grand scheme of life. We need to adhere to Jesus’ teaching a seek first the kingdom of God in all things and he will take care of everything else we need.(Matthew 6:33). The things of this world are temporary. Walking worthy of the Lord is far more lasting.

In Ephesians 5:8, Paul instructs us to walk as children of light. Did we get to this state based on our own merit? No indeed! He states that we were sometimes darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. We can walk in light because, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). The good news for those that are the light of the Lord is that they have the ability to know the things of God. Those of us who have been exposed to Biblical teaching are able to obey God’s commandments and serve him acceptably. Later in chapter 5, Paul writes, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise (v.15).” One who walks circumspectly is spiritually aware of his/her surroundings. All of their decisions in life are tempered with scriptural teaching. When we are walking circumspectly as Christians, we are fulfilling our God-given vocation.

Those of us engaged in secular professions are usually given an annual performance review or observation. Sometimes our compensation is tied to meeting certain standards on these reviews. If you were given an annual review on your service to the Lord, how would you fare? How would you perform in the area s of bible study and prayer? What about meekness and humility. Would you meet the biblical expectations in the area of evangelism? We must realize that we all fall short of God’s standard. However, we must also recognize that our service to God is a lifelong profession that we are to be engaged. May the Lord bless us to better serve him in the days ahead!

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.

Article - Who Will Be in Heaven?

Who Will Be in Heaven?

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: -Matthew 25:34

Have you ever wondered who about who will be in Heaven. Some believe that it will be populated by a select few while others suppose that everyone will be there. Will Heaven be populated by professing Christians only? What about those who never heard the gospel or Jesus’ name spoken? Is the native living in a hut deep within the jungles of South America out of luck because the missionary has not reached him? There is also the issue of the countless millions throughout human history who have died without hearing the gospel and the unborn that never see the light of day in this world. Do any of these have any hope of being in Heaven? If so, how will they get there?

The answer is simple. All whom Jesus died for are or will someday enjoy Heaven’s immortal glory, no more or no less. If anyone is to make it into Heaven it is by the glorious grace of God. The biblical term for this group of people is the elect (Romans 9:11, Titus 1:1, 2 John 1:1). The elect of God are those who were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). In Matthew 25, Jesus calls the elect his sheep. Upon his return to the earth, he will place his sheep on his right hand and shout the words, “Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Before the world was created the destiny of God’s elect was settled. They were chosen to inhabit Heaven after death. Jesus Christ was the redeemer for all of the elect family of God. He paid our sin debt on the cross of Calvary.

Those that will inhabit Heaven are not limited to a select few. The Bible says that if we are in Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:39). How is Abraham’s seed described in Genesis? First, they are likened to the stars of the heaven (the sky) and the sands of the seashore (Genesis 22:17). This divine proclamation assures us that there will be a large number of people in Heaven. God then tells Abraham that in his seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed (v.18). If you can count the stars in the sky or the grains of sand upon the beach, then you will be able to number the elect in Heaven! Needless to say, there will be a great host of people from all nations in Heaven.

In Revelation 17:9, John gives us a view into Heaven. He writes of a great multitude that no man could number standing before the throne of God. They represent every nation, kindred, people and tongue. It is a comfort to know that the Lord will reach and save everyone of his elect. Though the missionary may never reach the whole world, God knows them that are his. We don’t sorrow for those who may have died not hearing about Jesus. Jesus knows them that are his. In John 10:27 Jesus says that, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Jesus knows them that are his and he will not lose one. “All that the father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37).” This promise applies to the most pious Christian. It is also true for the lowly nomad in the desert that feels his sinfulness. It is real for the native running through the jungle that looks to the sky and recognizes that there is one greater than himself. God can even reach the unborn babe in his mother’s womb. Though he may never see the light of day in this world, God knows his situation. The Lord knows them that are his! All that Jesus died for will someday be with him in Heaven forevermore. He shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Article - A Worldwide Epidemic

A Worldwide Epidemic

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: -Romans 5:12

It appears that we are in the midst of a cold and flu season. There is sickness all around us. Pews have been empty and desks unoccupied because of people battling the bug. Usually, these illnesses last but a few days. With some medication and rest colds and flu’s run their course and we are back to business as usual. However, there is a fatal illness that all of humanity is suffering from. The worldwide epidemic is sin. It is a disease that we are unable to recover from apart from the grace of God!

The Apostle Paul writes of this epidemic in his letter to the Roman church. The Jewish converts thought that they had some advantage over the Gentiles. They were the people whom God dwelt with during Old Testament times. Indeed they had they oracles of God, but they were as guilty as their Gentile counterparts. In fact, they were without excuse because God did dwell with them. Paul would write in Romans 3:12 that, “There is none that doeth good, no not one.”

We are all suffering the effects of sin. This is because of the first man Adam transgressing God’s law. He was our federal representative. When Adam disobeyed God’s commandment, sin passed upon all of his posterity (us). Therefore, in God’s view there is no man that is good. This truth destroys any notion that we have any ability whatsoever to save ourselves. We are totally dependent upon almighty God for eternal salvation! Paul describes the sickness of sin as terminal. Death is the result of sin, both spiritual and physical. While no one looks forward to the suffering involved with a natural death, the spiritual consequences of sin are far graver. Spiritual death involves a separation from God, namely an eternity in hell.

All of us have suffered the consequences of sin. We are all rendered spiritually dead because of our disobedience. This is where we would be apart from the mercies of our Great Physician, Jesus Christ. We have no ability to save ourselves from the dreaded disease of sin. However, we can take comfort in the words of the Apostle Paul that, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” In Jeremiah 8:22 the question was asked, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” These mournful words were uttered during a dark time in the nation of Israel. I sometimes wonder if we are heading down the same path as those that Jeremiah spoke to concerning the things of God. I am thankful that Christ indeed came into the world to save sinners such as myself!

It is a great blessing to know that there is a remedy for the sin epidemic. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and came into the world to save His people for their sins (Matthew 1:21). All of the elect family of God will enjoy Heaven’s glory because of our redeemer. In Matthew 9:12, Jesus states, “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” If you have been blessed to realize that you are suffering from the disease of sin, and you see your need of a savior, you are blessed indeed! Christ short-circuited the sin cycle and suffered the consequences of our sin that we may live with him in Heaven forevermore. Though we may suffer sickness and afflictions in this present world, we can rejoice in knowing that sin and death was conquered by our Redeemer.

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Article - The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. –Romans 14:17

Many people have intermingled serving God with the things of the world. One of the most popular teachings amongst religious circles today is the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel. This is the idea that God wants us to enjoy perfect health, amass great wealth and enjoy material prosperity. According to proponents of this theology, these rewards can be reaped when Christians faithfully obey and serve the Lord.

In the above verse, Paul draws a contrast between the things of the world and the service of God. There were those in the church at Rome that were disputing days of the week and whether or not it was acceptable to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Some thought that it was inappropriate to worship God on any other day besides the Sabbath. Others thought that they could worship God any time. There was one group that thought it okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols while another group thought it sinful to eat this meat. Paul writes that these arguments are fruitless. He teaches that these worldly things do not make up God’s kingdom, but righteousness, peace and joy are the results. This principle rings true today.

We cannot equate financial gain, material wealth and a life free from sickness with the kingdom of God. The fact of the matter is that our Christian walk is fraught with tribulations. In John 16:33 Jesus says that, “In this world ye shall have tribulation.” Just a brief examination of the life of Christ supports this fact of life. Jesus was born in the poorest of conditions. He had nowhere to lay his head. During his public ministry he was constantly troubled by the religious elite of his day. Then, he was crucified for the sins of his people. His life was full of turmoil. While we will never be called upon to suffer as our Savior, we should expect tribulation in our lives. Jesus also said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you (John 15:18).” Our days upon this earth will be troublesome.

It is a blessing to know that Jesus also taught that he has overcome the world (John 16:33b). Enduring pleasure will never come from the things of this world. Meat and drink only brings a temporary fulfillment. Sustained righteousness, peace and joy come from the Holy Ghost! This is true in our families. Some think that the key to a happy home is a lot of money in the bank, a luxury car and a grand residence. There are numerous broken marriages and families that disprove this theory. One cannot turn on the television without hearing of another occurrence of family and personal problems amongst the rich and famous of America. The old adage that money cannot buy happiness rings true.

The Bible also teaches that the church is not identified by worldliness but by an adherence to the things of God. In an effort to fill the pews, many religious institutions have adopted worldly practices. Scriptural worship has been adjusted to reflect the changing culture. The doctrinal truth of the Bible has been scuttled for the flesh pleasing ‘meat’ and ‘drink’ of the world. The problem with this is that God is not glorified in this action. He is unchangeable. When a church starts down the path of imitating the world, it must constantly reinvent itself to remain attractive to the ever-changing culture. If this continues a church will fail to have any identity with the things of God. If we are going to truly enjoy the blessings of the Spirit of God, then we must seek first the kingdom of God.

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.

Article - Letting Go

Letting Go

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13-14

As I was driving through Crestview the other day I could not help but notice about ten houses that are continuing to display their Christmas lights. Not only were they still hanging, they were lit! I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. I guess that some people just don’t want to let go of Christmas. The end of January is rapidly upon us. It is time to move on and look toward future things.

It is our nature to hold on to the things when we should be letting go. Sometimes these things might be pleasant memories while others could be traumatic experiences. Whatever the case, the Bible teaches us that we are to be moving forward as Christians. The Apostle Paul emphasized this lesson to the Philippian church. One of the themes of Philippians is rejoicing in the Lord. Paul teaches us that if we are to bask in the joy of the Lord, then we must forget the things that are behind us and press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. He enjoyed the highest of highs in his Christian service but also experienced the lowest of lows in his life. Regardless of the experience, Paul understood the need to go forward. The old adage that a rolling stone gathers no moss definitely applies to our service in the Lord. This is true in our work life, family life and definitely in our religious life. We need to constantly be moving in God’s service.

Sometimes we dwell on past glories. We all have been associated with those who are living in the past. Maybe it is the high school football star that insists on wearing the letterman jacket years later and constantly relish in the accomplishments of bygone days. Those that constantly dwell in the past are usually not very productive in future endeavors. This is true with people and with churches. This principle is echoed in Proverbs 29:18 where Solomon writes, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” I have known groups of people that are trying to maintain churches by reminiscing about the past blessings of God. They constantly recall the good old days or refer to pastors/members who are long gone. They display no vision for today, much less the future. This is a church that is not pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God. Let us beware of falling into the trap of living off yesterday’s blessings. While memories can be precious, we need to focus on today and the future. Paul reminds the Corinthian church that today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:9). We need to serve him in the ‘here and now.’

We also have the propensity to ruminate on negative things that happen in our lives. I have noticed working in the education field that you remember the ‘bad’ students more than the well-behaved ones. This is also true in our marriages. If a husband/wife makes a mistake the spouse will often bring up gaffes that occurred years ago. Some will allow a negative experience in life define who they are. This ought not be the case! Today is a great day to let go of the experiences that have negatively impacted your life. If one has wronged you, follow the example of scripture. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).” If we fail to let go of past grief, we are at risk to be destroyed by it. Many of us have been deeply hurt by others. Things have been done to us that we don’t deserve. But in the light of what Jesus Christ did for his people on the cross, we can forgive those that have done us wrong. In Hebrews 12:14-15 Paul writes, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” If we are to have joy in the Lord, then we must let go of the past.

All of our pasts are checkered with triumphs and tragedy. Wherever you find yourself in life, remember that today is a new day. It is not too late to commit or recommit yourself to the service of God. It is time to take down the Christmas lights and live for the Lord today. Let us press forward in our Christian service. Our service to God is like a race. We know how it ends, so let us let go of the past and move forward.

Michael Green, Jr. is pastor of Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church ( in Crestview, FL. Palm Chapel meets every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 6:00pm. Pastor Green can be contacted at (850) 689-3383 or by email at Pastor Green warmly invites you to come and worship at Palm Chapel Primitive Baptist Church.