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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

Jan. 6, 2010 - Time to Follow?

By Jerry Scott
 
In the spring of 1971, I started learning how to be a pilot. The first flights were exciting in spite of the fact that we never left the vicinity of the airport. The instructor taught me the basics of aerodynamics, the various control operations of the airplane, and the feel of flying.

Shortly after my 16th birthday, in July of that year, we did the usual stuff — the preflight, the review of my instructor’s plan for me that day — and then off we went for a short flight in the “pattern.” That means we took off, flew a short distance, made a climbing 90 degrees left turn, then another. Leveling out at about 1,000 feet above the ground, we flew parallel to the runway, past the end of it, then started a descending 90 degree left turn, and another, going into a short final and a landing.

George, my instructor, asked me to taxi to the office. Then he got out of the airplane, leaned back into the cockpit and said, “Jerry, go ahead and take her ’round the pattern a couple of times!” Then he turned, closed the door, and left behind a young man who was possessed of equal parts terror and excitement. It was time to fly. If I would not do this, then I could abandon my dream of being a pilot.

I distinctly remember the sweat on my forehead as I taxied to the end of the runway. My feet literally vibrated on the rudder pedals because I was trembling! For a moment I wondered if I was ready to commit myself to the sky alone in that tiny Cessna 150. With a push of the throttle, the plane started to pick up speed. Then with a bit of pressure on the yoke, I was free of the earth, and I could say I was a rookie pilot!

Jesus said, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34,35, NKJV).

There is a moment of decision when the Lord asks each one of us, “Are you ready to become My disciple?” Just as I did not become a pilot by hanging around the airport, or even by sitting in airplanes, we do not become Christian disciples by going to church or joining a ministry or learning Bible verses. Though those things are valuable parts of the process, there must be a moment of irrevocable decision to relinquish one’s life to the lordship of Jesus with complete trust! I had to commit myself to the task of learning to fly and then actually do it!

I am convinced that many people who experience “Christianity” as unfulfilling or boring feel that way because they are not, in fact, disciples of Jesus Christ. They are dabblers, inquirers, hangers-on, but not followers who have taken up the cross of self-denial and adopted the will of God as their singular passion. Disciples know they are (by the very definition of the word) followers, not leaders of the parade. They embrace the fact that they have few rights and many obligations. They serve the purpose of Another. So why would anyone want to be a disciple? Because Jesus Christ promises this to those who follow Him closely: life, not death!

You might be thinking, “But, Jerry, I am alive!” And so you are, which is a good thing. However, the life we live on this earth is an ephemeral thing, quickly passing. It feels like just yesterday I was that eager 16-year-old who thought men over 40 were really old. Now I am 54 and realize that in a blink, if I am blessed, I will be 75. I will be living on borrowed time!

Truth is, in natural terms, no one is really living. We are dying, a day at a time. Morbid? No, just the cold reality of biology. But, I am not just a natural man with an inevitable appointment with the grave. I am a disciple of Christ, therefore I am already eternally alive. What I do today is invested in heaven. I am living the truth of the Word that declares, “Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NLT).

Are you a real disciple? Surrender it all, friend. Give yourself away and then discover the adventure of living by the Spirit in this present world, while enjoying the promise of eternal life in the world to come. You will never regret it.

— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Washington (N.J.) Assembly of God.

 

 

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