Deadly Baggage – January 23, 2017

She was only 21 years old – but she was well on her way to becoming a superstar. Although I didn’t listen to her music, the pop singer Aaliyah was enjoying huge success with her music, and she was beginning to emerge as an actress with a great future. But all that ended in one awful moment in the Bahamas when the plane carrying her and her crew crashed shortly after takeoff. What made the crash even more tragic was the fact that apparently it was avoidable – at least on the preliminary findings of the investigators. The plane had been loaded with something like twice its maximum baggage capacity. And investigators believe that it was all that weight that made the plane go down.

Too much baggage can cause a plane to crash. Well, it can make a person crash, too. When you’re carrying around a lot of emotional and spiritual baggage, it can really weigh you down – and make it very hard for you to fly or to reach your destination. And these days a lot of us are carrying around a lot of baggage. That could be what’s holding you back –maybe even making you crash.

That’s one reason that God tells us in Hebrews 12:1, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” The truth is that you may actually be hanging onto baggage that hinders you from running; that keeps tripping you up.

Baggage is like a grudge you’re holding-feelings you just keep harboring-resentment you’ve allowed to grow instead of letting it go. You’ve let the “sun go down on your anger”, like the Bible says, too many times, and the weight of your bitterness is just darkening everything in you and around you. A chip on your shoulder starts out just weighing a little, but it ends up weighing a lot. The release that comes from forgiving, of making a new beginning with that person is really the only way you can keep from crashing.

It could be that you’re dwelling on the pain of your past, which means you’re choosing to carry yesterday’s pain into this new today. The clear command of God from Isaiah 43:18-19 on of my favorite verses in the Bible says this: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Maybe you’re actually blocking God’s new thing by dwelling on the old thing – by not facing that pain, getting whatever help you need to deal with it, and releasing it once and for all. Hasn’t it defined you long enough? Haven’t you carried that hurt from your past into too many todays and now into tomorrows? It’s time to face and then conquer the pain of the past.

Paul calls us to live like this: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…” (Philippians 3:13-14). It’s time to take an honest look at how much baggage you’ve been carrying around – all of which Jesus said He would carry for you. His invitation in Matthew 11:28 is this: “Come to Me all of you who are weary and heavily burdened.” Do you qualify? He said, “And I will give you rest.” Why don’t you take Him up on that promise?

That baggage has made you negative, stressed, angry, and way too sensitive long enough. It’s weighing you down and it’s keeping you from flying. You don’t need to be overloaded like this. Unload that baggage before it makes you crash.

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ,”

Pastor Terry

Family Worship Center

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