I Peter 1-3 (NLT) 

Discover His heart:  He rewards our belief in Him with the salvation of our soul

The thought of man flying through the air was a dream and imagination in the minds of many great thinkers a century ago.  Imagine one’s feet leaving the ground and soaring above the earth to destinations unknown.  The thought propelled man to draft and build models of what would one day become the airplane.  They believed.  They had never seen it, but they believed in it.

When I fly to somewhere in the world today, I don’t have to imagine the airplane.  It’s my reality.  Visionaries like Leonardo DaVinci and the Wright Brothers would be thrilled to see the realization of their dreams.  When men today speak of everyday families reaching into the galaxy through space travel, I wonder if this will one day be realized.  Help! 

@ I Peter 1
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.  The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.  This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you.  They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.  They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.” (8-12)  Peter had a wonderful message for all those who believe in the risen Lord through the eyes of faith.  Even though we have not seen Him, we have received salvation!

We have received something that the Old Testament prophets only dreamed about as they prophesied about Jesus.  Well, Moses and Elijah had that little sneak peek on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 7:3); and then most believe that all the Old Testament saints met Him when He preached to them while in the tomb. (I Peter 3:19)  For the prophets, that must have been a glorious meeting – the airplane really does fly!

For 2,000 years, followers of Jesus have been waiting for the ultimate flight when the trumpet sounds, “It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.” (I Corinthians 15:52)  Just as the early prophets believed in the promise of Christ, let’s be steadfast in our belief of the promise of eternal life in Heaven.  Let’s live each day with our ears tuned to the trumpet, our eyes looking for His glorious appearing and our hearts ready to break the sound barrier on our flight of a lifetime.  He’s coming soon.  I believe!

Moving Forward: I don’t know how long God will wait until He sends His Son to receive us, but what I do know is that I’m ready for the flight and doing my best to bring many others with me! 

Tomorrow @ Deuteronomy 10-12

Judges 1-6 (NLT) 

Discover His heart: He uses both our strengths and our weaknesses to accomplish His purpose

What do Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and Phyllis Benigas have in common?  No, I am not announcing my run for the White House. Included in this group as well are Winston Churchill, Benjamin Netanyahu, Aristotle, Michelangelo, Leonardo DaVinci, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Sir Paul McCartney, Mozart and Beethoven.  The answer:  All in this unique collection of individuals are left-handed. I’m just sayin’.

When my left-hand dominance became noticeable to my neighbor, a retired school teacher, she cautioned my mother to change this immediately by forcing me to use my right hand.  She claimed I would grow up to be mentally retarded. I’ve done my best to prove her wrong.

However, growing up a lefty in a right-handed world is a challenge from birth. Scissors, spiral notebooks, watches, cameras, fishing reels – just a fraction of a long list – are all designed for right-handed individuals who make up 90% of the world’s population.  Perhaps the drive to overcome and prevail over these daily challenges in life helped this impressive group of individuals, humbly removing myself, to accomplish much in life.  Regardless, they allowed the traits and characteristics God had given them to affect their world. 

@ Judges 3
“Once again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil… But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin. The Israelites sent Ehud to deliver their tribute money to King Eglon of Moab.  So Ehud made a double-edged dagger that was about a foot long, and he strapped it to his right thigh, keeping it hidden under his clothing.” (12,15-16)  Ehud, the left-handed assassin!

The king’s bodyguard would not expect a weapon on Ehud’s right side because customarily a right-handed person would cross the body and draw from the left side.  Ehud was allowed to enter the king’s room, catch him in what we might call a disadvantaged position and kill him.  Most ironic is that Ehud was from the tribe of Benjamin which means son of my right hand.  Sometimes scripture just makes me smile.  Ehud went on to kill 10,000 Moab enemies and rule over 80 years of peace and faithfulness in Israel.

We may not be knife-plunging, sword-drawing warriors, but we can be inspired by Ehud’s story.  The very characteristic, trait or deficiency in our lives that hinders us the most is often our most effective tool in God’s hand when we surrender it to Him.  Moses’ speech impediment, Paul’s thorn in the flesh and Peter’s impetuous nature advanced the Kingdom of God beyond their wildest imaginations because they learned to yield their insufficiencies to the Lord.  God made us just the way we are to achieve His purposes for us, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28) 

Moving Forward:  I surrender to Him today my inadequacies, my lack and anything that causes a struggle in my life.  Who knows how He will use them for His purposes!

Tomorrow @ Psalm 15-17