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LENT 4.5

Always Forward

'Always Forward" is a phrase that has a positive message referring to not looking back. There are many both Old and New Testament stories and examples of "Immer Fort," the German slogan meaning "Always Forward." in an article about moving forward starting with the events covered in I Samuel 14:16 where we are told of Jonathan and his young armor-bearers who were willing to take on the Philistine soldiers alone revealing to us that the Israelites and Philistines were constantly at war. Jonathan lets everyone know by his actions that he was not looking back at the past struggles, he was moving forward to claim God's promise of victory over the Philistines. Even when the odds are stacked against us, with God on our side, we, like Jonathan, can rise up in confidence, trusting that God will work out all things by being willing to help us move forward. As we know, God is working out a bigger story for mankind; it is His story and He is allowing us to be part of that story. By being on His team we will win in the end. But we don't have to wait until the end to join His story and see Him move in mighty ways. He is inviting us into His story right now. God will do what He is going to do no matter if we are involved or not, but He graciously invites us to join Him.

In the New Testament, we have multiple examples of early followers of Christ moving forward, not looking back - maybe having to move away from Jerusalem or other cities of persecution, but moving forward, encouraged by the apostles and the teachings of Jesus. Paul in Philippians 3:13 says, "forgetting what lies behind and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of

God in Jesus Christ."

An historically more recent example of "Always Forward" would be Great Britain during World War II when their government posted banners intended to raise moral and encourage its citizens in the event of a German invasion. These banners read, "Keep Calm and Carry On," an "Always Forward" message.

By focusing on the Biblical examples of following God's teachings, we can step into history, "Always Forward" until we see Jesus return.

Daily Reading: Praise God

Philippians 3:12-14

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