For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28
“It’s not the color of the balloon, but what’s inside the balloon that makes it go up.” That’s the answer the circus balloon salesman gave to a young boy who wanted a colored balloon that would fly higher than any of the others.
It’s not the color, but what’s inside.
Kent Couch, of Bend, Oregon, knows that statement is true. According to ABC News, Kent tried to fly from Oregon to Idaho in a lawn chair. No, it wasn't just a lawn chair. Kent had some snacks, a parachute, a global positioning system, and 105 helium filled balloons. He didn’t make it to Idaho, but before he came down in a farmer’s field, Kent did manage to cover 193 miles in nine hours.
Yes, it really happened. There is a video of him flying across the mountains. And yes, Kent was spotted by an airline pilot who reported passing a guy in a lawn chair. And yes, Kent paid a fine of $1,500 for violating air-traffic rules.
Even so, Kent knows that it’s not the color of the balloons; it’s what’s inside that makes you go up.
That’s what Saint Paul was talking about when he wrote to the church in Galatia. He wanted them, and us, to know that if we’re going to go up, if we’re going to be forgiven, if we’re going to be saved, it’s not because we do it ourselves. It’s what’s inside that makes us go up.
Today, there are all kinds of self-help books on the market. Today, many people think of themselves as being self-made men or women. Maybe, but when the day comes when we stand before the judgment seat of God, none of the things we have done is going to count. We aren’t going to be saved because we were rich, successful, or come from a blue-blooded family. Salvation is going to be awarded solely on the basis of whether we had Spirit-given faith in Jesus Christ. We will receive our heavenly home if, and only if, our sins were washed away in the Savior’s blood.
It’s what’s inside that makes us go up. So if you have that faith, and if you have been cleansed, this would be a good time to rejoice. Inside, you’ve got that thing which is necessary, and someday, you’re going up.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I realize that I cannot save myself. Today I am sorry for my sins and am gladdened by the forgiveness that comes through You. May I tell others what I know to be true: it’s not the color of the balloon, but what’s inside that makes it go up. In Your Name, Amen.