January 1st

There is but one thing to firmly do, and that is to forget what is behind and reach forward to what is new.  It’s a new year, which offers the opportunity to use time as a marker in the sand, a line of demarcation, to pursue what God has called you to with greater passion and purpose. Yester-year from the newness of this day doesn’t matter anymore.  In fact, every single thing that has happened last year was appointed by the God of the Universe to prepare you for what it is you have been praying for.

I know it may not be easy to move forward with time as your yester-year may house circumstances that still attempt to define your today. Things that, no matter the change of time, continue to repeat themselves in your present time. I know personally how vicious a past can be on someone’s present and how hard it can be to not allow the hands of time point to faults and failures that you have accumulated over time.

Yet through the perfect vision of hindsight and the demarcation of this exact time every single New Year, I am reminded of how faithful God is, even when we cannot see beyond a circumstance. You see, as 2009 swiftly turned into 2010, January 1st for me began a countdown that would bring me to a day that circumstantially would do its best to keep me from forgetting what was behind and reaching forward to what was new. It would be on January 7th, 2010, my sentencing day, that I would be judged rightly to prison for 5 and ½ years. And every single day in that environment was a present reminder of a past failure.

Yet by the grace of God and the timeless truth from His Word, I was able to see time from a brand new filter. Of course I would look back and see regret and loss, but as I kept looking at my past through God’s Word, I eventually ran into the healing of the cross. The cross of Christ was God’s way of using time as a marker in the sand, an eternal line of demarcation. God nailed His hands to a cross to offer us free and forever forgiveness. Thus, no matter what the hands of a clock say about you--from any past, present, or future mistake or mess-up--it is truly God’s heart for you to leave your guilt and shame at the cross and reach forward with grace toward the crown.

And that’s what I am determined to do with greater passion this year--recognizing myself and evangelizing to others, how God is faithful all the time. I say with all assurance of faith that my entire past has been a perfect time-line that God is using to teach me to keep reaching for the finish line.

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 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, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).


"Matt Maher was an AWESOME speaker today. Such a powerful message delivered with eloquence, grace, honesty and real emotion. I will be forever moved by his message today. Please let him know I believe he will make a huge difference in this world in a very powerful way so I hope he gets to talk at every high school out there."
Lorraine Concord, California
"I'd rather stand alone with Jesus than sit in a crowd without Him."
- Matthew Maher