(Jesus said) "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13
In life a person can make mistakes he will never live down.
Included on my uncomfortably long list of never-forgotten errors is the time I congratulated a lady on the fact she was expecting. Then I asked her when the baby was due. Long story short: there was no due date because she wasn't expecting. Then there was the time ... but, enough about me. I'm sure you have such moments of your own.
High on the list of never-live-downs now belong to the pilot of a cargo-carrying jumbo jet who landed at a small Kansas airport instead of his intended destination: McConnell Air Force base in Wichita. After the landing the pilot and two air-traffic controllers tried to figure out which airport was currently hosting the jumbo jet. In the course of the conversation the pilot gave his coordinates, but in doing so he mixed up east and west. He apologized by saying, "I couldn't read my handwriting."
Now I'm pleased nobody was hurt and the jumbo jet eventually did reach its proper destination. Still, I imagine that pilot will never again be able to enter a room filled with airmen without seeing smiles breaking out and someone asking him, "Hey, pal! Where you goin' today?"
Yes, the story is an amusing one.
Amusing does not describe the situation of millions of souls in this world who, with a terrible pilot in control of their lives, are headed for a very bad landing. If things don't change, on Judgment Day these folks will find that their pilots, sin and Satan, have deliberately taken them to the undesirable destination we call eternal damnation.
And they will never, not through all eternity, ever be able to live it down.
Now the worst part of these sad stories is this: all the tragedies were totally unnecessary. More than 2,000 years ago God's sinless Son came into this world to do everything necessary to make sure our final landing would be in heaven.
So that God might once again take control of our lives, it was necessary for Jesus to carry our sins, resist every temptation, and die the death our transgressions had earned. It was a sacrifice that was unparalleled in commitment and unequaled in completion. Jesus' third-day resurrection from the dead shows He finished the work of redemption, which had been entrusted to Him.
Now all who believe on Him and trust in Him are forgiven and saved.
In other words, because of Jesus, we are going to land in the right place.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that by the Holy Spirit's power You are in control of my final destination. Today I pray for the many millions who are headed for a disastrous landing, a landing they will regret for eternity. Please touch their hearts, bring them to repentance, and take them safely to heaven. This I ask in the Name of Jesus, my Savior. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries