Don't Overlook the Basics
John Denver was a famous folk singer and recorded approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed himself. You may recall hearing the news of how he was flying his small airplane and it crashed killing him in 1997. As you can imagine with all such tragedies there was a great deal of investigation as to what happened to cause Denver’s plane to fall from the sky. What they discovered was that his plane was more like an experimental aircraft. It had two fuel tanks and because of the nature of how it was constructed the valve to change the fuel tanks was located directly behind the pilot. The system required someone to physically turn the valve from one tank to the other.
The investigators determined the first tank ran out of gas, but they discovered that if he had been successful in changing the tanks it would not have made any difference because the second tank was also empty. John Denver had committed one of the most frequent errors in flying. He had forgotten to check his tanks to see if they were full and it cost him dearly. The letter of Second Peter reminds us of the importance of not overlooking the basics of Christianity. To overlook the basics of growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18) could cost us dearly as well and make a difference where we spend eternity.
Focus on God
I will never forget the day I finally decided to go to the optometrist. There were some things that happened over time that led me to turn myself in at the doctor. My wife, for example, was always warning me about possible dangers in the roadway when she was riding with me in the car. Before I turned myself in at the optometrist I thought she might be seeing things. However, I went to the optometrist and he put these little plastic lenses in front of me, and all I could say was “wow!” I was the one who started seeing things I had been missing. What a difference it makes to be able to see.
We spend quite a bit of time and money trying to improve our physical sight, but we often have trouble gaining a clear perspective on eternal things. We get caught up in our job responsibilities and countless other things that capture our attention. Gradually, our uncorrected spiritual vision may cause us to lose sight of the most important element of life, our relationship with God through Christ. Oh, we don't forget God, but our vision of Him in our daily lives becomes blurry. We can sometimes become so focused on things, which demand our time and energy that we neglect the One who loves us more than anybody else ever will, or ever could. Let us forever stay focused on God.
We Shall Never Surrender
Prime Minister Winston Churchill stood behind the podium of the House of Commons in on June 4, 1940 and sounded a reality. He said: “Wars are not won by evacuations.” Here is the historical setting of those words. During World War II the fate of France was uncertain and England was under threat of a Nazi Germany onslaught. The English were able to get their troops safely out of France. The news reports celebrated as if they had won the war. Churchill was quick to point out their celebration was premature. He reminded them: Wars are not won by evacuations.
Churchill concluded his speech by calling upon his Englishmen to take their stand against their enemy. The final words of the speech are most famous: “We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, and we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender!” I pray Christians would have that kind of resolve to take stand against the devil and his schemes (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Think on Such Things in 2018
God has blessed us to see the beginning of a New Year. As we move forward in our walk of faith let us recall the valuable words the apostle shared with the Christians in Philippi. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
1. The Bible will still have answers.
2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth.
3. The Holy Spirit will still work.
4. God will still honor the praises of His people.
5. There will still be true worship and singing of praise to God.
6. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
7. There will still be room at the Cross.
8. Jesus will still love you.
9. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.
10. Love will still be the greatest commandment.
Remember that; "the Word of the Lord endures forever" (1 Peter 1:25).