Monday, December 28, 2009

Everything's nicer in first class ...

It's hard to go back to coach.

When I lived in Hawaii, I flew between the islands so often I was Platinum level on both Aloha and Hawaiian airlines. That meant I almost always got a free upgrade to first class.

Flying first class, even for the short 40 minute flight from Honolulu to the Big Island, was an enjoyable experience. You boarded the plane first and you got to sit in larger, more comfortable seats with leg and arm room. During the flight you were catered to by the flight attendants. I was able to get more work done in the extra room, which made my flight more productive.

I remember once, when I wasn't able to get my free bump to first class, spending the flight back from Kona to Honolulu mostly pinned against the airplane window by a rather large Somoan man who was on his way to visit family in Honolulu.

I missed my seat in first class.

When hard work moves you forward in life, you don't want to go backward.

Yet when it comes to our spiritual lives, it's hard to even get people to move forward. But when you come to know Jesus Christ, things change in a big way. Look at how Peter describes it in 1 Peter 2:9, "But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light."

We come to God to be free from the sin that enslaves us and robs us of life. God changes us. He even adopts us. You become, as Peter put it, "God's very own possession." It's a relationship and reality very different from the brokenness of sin. It would be crazy to go backward.

But ... you got it ... so many choose to go backward. To keep one foot dangling in the old life. To routinely dabble in sin.

We are just days away from a new year. Another year, and another decade, are passing. If God grants you another year of life, what are you going to do with it? Move forward as a child of God who has been "called out of the darkness" and live fully in "His wonderful light," or are you going back to "coach," the misery of allowing sin to be a routine part of your life?

You have some important plans and choices to make for the New Year. This is a great opportunity to move forward into that "marvelous light" and strive to be everything God has enabled you to be so that "you can show others the goodness of God." How will you do that in the coming year?


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