Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Carol and I just returned from a flight after taking part in a joyful and snowy Colorado mountain wedding. Max Lucado once wrote that people on a plane and people on a church pew have a lot in common. All are on a journey. Most are well-behaved and presentable. Some doze, and others gaze out the window. For many, a good flight and a good worship service are about the same. "Nice," we like to say. "It was a nice flight - It was a nice worship service."

A few, however, are not content with nice. They long for something more. Like the little boy who asks as he comes in the door, "Will they really let me meet the pilot?" His question reaches the cockpit, causing the pilot to say, "Well, come on in!"

With a nod from his mom, the youngster enters the cockpit and its world of controls and gauges and emerges minutes later with eyes wide open. "Wow! I'm so glad to be on this plane!" he exclaims. No one else's face shows that kind of wonder, that kind of enthusiasm. Travelers are mostly content to be on the plane, content to be off to their destination, content to be out of the airport, content to sit and stare and read or say little.

Yes, it’s true - people on a plane and people on a pew have a lot in common. The next time you enter a church service, take a look at the faces. They’re content to be there, content to sit and look straight ahead, to talk a little and then to leave when the service is over. "Seek and you will find," Jesus promised (Matthew 7:7).

And since a nice worship service is what we seek, a nice service is usually what we find. A few, however, seek more. A few come with the childlike enthusiasm of the boy. And those few leave as he did, wide-eyed with the wonder of having stood in the presence of the Pilot Himself.

Are you glad to be on the plane?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Corrie ten Boom, Dutch evangelist who survived the horrors of Nazi Germany once wrote, "Yesterday is a cancelled check, today is cash, and tomorrow is a promissory note to them that accept the victory of Jesus."

One of the big troubles Christians have is understanding forgiveness and redemption. Forgiveness is erasing past sins; redemption is repayment of the debt of our sin. Mankind is often able to accept forgiveness but not always able to accept redemption.

A man once approached Corrie ten Boom and said he believed he could be forgiven but not redeemed. "The consequences of my sin cannot be erased," he said. He told of how he had fathered a child in his youth and how the living child and the memory of his sin would remain with him forever, thus never allowing him to be redeemed.

Corrie then gave him an interesting explanation: "Jesus does not patch things up in our lives, but He does renew us." If this man would ask Jesus to go back with him to that dark spot in his life, He will change its darkness into light. That was His purpose in coming to us. He delivers us from all sin. Isaiah said instead of a curse, there will be a blessing for all who trust in God for redemption.

She went on asking, "Do you understand that? Of course you don't!" These concepts may be confusing, but they are true. We will only understand God's redemption fully when we are in heaven and have new minds. But for now we can understand these things only by faith. Whoever accepts Jesus as the victor over the past, present and future, will see the dark spots in your life changed into blessings.

The devil wants us to dwell on the dark side, and to doubt God can really change and redeem us. The devil may be more powerful than we are, but remember: Jesus is more powerful than the devil. If we belong to Jesus, we are on the winning side in this great and very real struggle in the world. (Thank you, Corrie, for this insight.)

Do you understand this? Of course you don't! But one day, God willing, you will...

Monday, February 11, 2008


After World War One, Robert Watson-Watt invented a process called Radio Detection and Ranging, which in 1941 was coined in the word "Radar." Radar emits electromagnetic waves that are reflected off a target and transmitted back to a receiver, accurately showing location, size and even speed of the target. Radar sees where humans cannot. 

Most all of us have travelled by airplane sometime in life, but do we realize that all planes today are guided by radar? It gives a pilot the ability to fly no matter what the conditions may be, day or night, in clear weather, fog or storm. In the densest of clouds that would keep a pilot from seeing a thing in front of him, the radar screen shows what is ahead and all around. Radar penetrates the clouds and fog and shows the pilot what is out there.

Faith in Jesus Christ is the radar that sees through the clouds of life. If we see only with our eyes, we will miss the reality of God. The reality of the victory of Christ on the cross can be seen only by faith. Faith in Jesus perceives what is actual and real. Human senses perceive only that which is limited to time and space, but faith in Christ sees God in all that happens in life. Faith's radar sees through to the storms of trouble and heartache so that we can see Jesus in the midst of it all, guiding us through.

Human hearts are amazingly alike. If you could talk honestly with people in America, England, Israel or China, you would hear the same needs and longings. If people would only trust in Jesus Christ as the One who guides them in the Word of God, they would be wiser than all the wisdom of mankind. If we would see with the eyes of faith, we would know God loves us in Jesus, and wants us with Him in heaven.

Human wisdom is a poor guide when it comes to God. It's tainted with pride and vanity. We need to see the world through the eyes of the child who trusts God for all good things. 

The next time you fly, know that the pilot is being guided by radar. And the next time you face a day, let yourself be guided by the radar of God's love for you in Jesus Christ.

In the name of Jesus, the best Pilot in life.