Takeoff and Landing December 29, 2021


Air travel has become more than a luxury for our mobile society. It has, for many, become a necessity to business and commerce. Like the Roman roads of Paul’s day it also provides a means for the gospel preacher to get to many places in a short period of time. Flying is not as glamorous as some imagine and the requirements have become increasingly stringent. But it is a blessing for those who have to move frequently from place to place.

This year I have been on more than 140 flights. I am truly grateful for the safety God has graciously given us both in the air and on the road. Some time ago I was talking with a pilot about the safety and challenges of flying. I told him how I always breathe a prayer as we take off and as we land because I know those are the most critical times. His response has stayed with me.

“Landings are harder than take offs.”

What an accurate description of all of life! We tend to start with vigor and vision, but how easy it is to lose our way. Family. Ministry. Goals. Education. Devotions. Witness. Yes, it is much easier to take off than to land. Many who begin well do not finish well.

This is one of the great truths about Christ. He is a Finisher. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2). As we near the end of another year and approach the start of a new one, ask God to help you with the landing and the take off. Perhaps you have had some turbulence or veered off course on this last leg of the trip. Remember that is just one flight and the journey continues.

Did you know that how you end one day helps to determine how you begin the next? The Jewish people understood this and began their new day at 6 pm every evening. They followed the pattern given to us in the creation account: “the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5). If you want to make tomorrow count then start today!

We are drawing to the evening of the old year and approaching the morning of the new year. Dawn is coming. A fresh start is on the horizon. If you want to be ready then ask the Lord to help you finish this year right with Him.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

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  1. Jane Magsino Garcia on December 30, 2021 at 6:58 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful message.

    • scottpauley on December 30, 2021 at 10:32 PM

      God bless you!

  2. Nehemiah F Dixon on December 31, 2021 at 7:35 AM

    Thank God for you pastor Pauley. God has gifted you with the ability to teach his word and I feel truly blessed listening to you. I am listening/studying your podcast, why Jesus came, What a blessing! I have read the story of the birth of Christ since I was a child. I am 71 years old now, and I have never learned so much about why Christ Came. Yes, I am a born-again child of God, but I have never been able to see the whole picture, the baby in the manger, the cross and the tomb. What a blessing! Not much is said about the cross in my church. There isn’t a picture of the cross in the entire building. This is an independent Baptist Church. I am confident now by your teaching, that I can talk to someone about that cute baby born in a manger, to the bloody cross and the tomb. Praise God!

    • scottpauley on January 3, 2022 at 12:47 PM

      Truly appreciate your encouragement and prayers! God bless you.

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