Monday, April 10, 2006
When I say this man is a veteran test pilot, I mean he's easily old enough to be comfortably retired. Instead, he's still blasting through the skies at these mind-boggling speeds, testing some of America's most advanced aircraft. He told his amazing life story recently on a national television program. It's a story of a lifelong adventure in the skies and a long spiritual search here on earth that ended - well, with the pilot of the universe piloting his life. As he concluded his story, he told about an incident where he was sent up in a state-of-the-art aircraft to help a pilot in distress.
The fog was thick; the weather was dangerous for flying, and a rookie pilot was lost in that fog and unable to get through the weather in a plane that wasn't equipped for it. Well, Mr. Test Pilot flew close to that imperiled aircraft until he was actually positioned at its left wing. And then he radioed the desperate pilot and he simply said, "Look to your left." Then he said, "Now stick with me. Turn when I turn." Then in a plane so advanced that the veteran said that it can make a game out of bad weather, he led his frightened fellow-pilot to that glorious point where they broke through the fog and they saw the bright lights of that landing strip below. When they landed safely, the rookie got out of his plane, ran to his rescuer, and hugged him as if he had saved his life. He probably had.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Someone to Lead You Home."
A pilot lost, in a potentially fatal predicament. His only hope was someone who was equipped with everything needed to bring him safely home. We all need someone like that. Because we are all, in the word the Bible uses to describe our spiritual condition, "lost." If we're honest, we know that we really don't know how life's supposed to work, no matter how cool and together we look on the outside. When it comes to knowing why we're here, which way to go, and most importantly, how to land safely after we die, well, we're all lost. Our only hope is someone who's equipped with everything needed to lead us safely home; someone who will come beside us and take us the rest of the way through this life and into the life to come.
His name is Jesus. He came here for all of us lost pilots. He said so in His personal mission statement, recorded in Luke 19:10, our word for today from the Word of God. Jesus said of Himself, "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Notice, He didn't come to start a religion called Christianity or just to give us a nice morality to live by. He came to rescue us from a spiritual predicament that will be eternally fatal unless we let Him lead us home. We're lost because we hijacked our life from Him. We took over the pilot's seat that God was supposed to occupy. That hijacking is called sin.
In the Bible's words, we are "sheep who have gone astray," and lost sheep just don't find their way home. Their only hope is if the Shepherd comes looking for the one who's lost. And Jesus did. He, in His words, came to "lay down My life for the sheep" ( John 10:15). The only person who is equipped to lead you out of the guilt and the death penalty for your sin is the one who took all that guilt and all that dying on Himself. That's what Jesus did when He died on the cross. And then, He walked out of His grave under His own power! He's alive right now, and He's pulled up next to you today.
The tug you feel in your heart - that's Jesus seeking you so He can save you. He's your only hope, but you have to admit that. You have to tell Him that and start following where He leads you. Today you could begin your personal relationship with Him. I'd love to help you do that if you'll just visit our website. It's called yoursforlife.net, and there I've put a brief explanation of how you could be sure you belong to Him. Or, if you'd like the booklet, Yours For Life, just call us at 877-741-1200.
You don't have to fly in the fog one more day. You don't have to be lost anymore. You don't have to crash at the end. Jesus has come close to you today, and He's saying, "Look to Me. I'll get you safely home." Follow Him.