First Class Living - Girlfriends in God - Apr. 22, 2013

April 22, 2013
First Class Living
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

“Jesus said, ‘My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.’” (John 10:10 NLT)

Friend to Friend

I will never forget the first time I flew first class. Dan and I were on our way to North Carolina for a few days of much needed vacation. We were both exhausted, having just returned from a wonderful but grueling mission trip to Peru. I couldn’t wait to get on that plane, grab a pillow and blanket, and sleep my way to North Carolina. 

When I spotted an abnormally long line of people and realized it was the check-in line for our gate, my attitude took a nosedive. I was tired. I was hungry. We had missed both breakfast and lunch in order to make our flight, and that tiny little pouch of honey-roasted peanuts waiting for me on board the plane was just not going to cut it! Oh, and did I mention how much I hate to wait – for anyone or anything? Patience is definitely not one of my strongest qualities.

Suddenly, a man dressed in a pilot’s uniform stepped up to the ticket counter. “He looks familiar,” I thought to myself, but since Dan was the pastor of a large church in town, we often ran into people who attended one of the five weekend services. My husband is great at remembering names and faces, but me – not so much. The fact that the pilot looked familiar did not register as pertinent information – until he waved in our direction and said, “Please step forward.”

Wait! Was he talking to us?

“Pastor Dan and Mary, will you please step up to the counter?” the pilot repeated. Dan immediately recognized him as John Littleton, a new believer who was attending the church.

“I knew you were a pilot, John, but I didn’t realize that you worked for this airline,” Dan said. Things were definitely looking up. Maybe I could score two pouches of peanuts.   

“Where are you headed?” my new best friend asked. When we told him, John promptly moved us from coach to first class and escorted us past all of the other waiting - and now glaring - passengers. I was a little uncomfortable “cutting” in line, but any hesitation on my part quickly faded as John showed us to our seats, and firmly instructed the stewardess to take good care of his “pastors.” I love that man!

I soon discovered that I was a real person in first class, assigned to a spacious and extremely comfortable leather recliner where I actually had room to move and breathe without assaulting the person next to me. My meal was not wrapped in paper, and they actually trusted me with real eating utensils. I was presented with cloth napkins, hot food, good movies, current magazines and a stewardess who seemed totally committed to my comfort.

I immediately decided that I was born to fly first class! The only problem with that decision is that I simply cannot afford to purchase a first class airline ticket. Someone will have to buy it for me.

You and I were created to live a full and abundant life – a first class kind of life. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”  

The good news is that Jesus has already paid the price, not only for our “ticket” to heaven, but He also gave us with a life of purpose and power here on earth. We cannot begin to understand all that God’s “fullness” holds, but I do know that what He wants for me far exceeds anything I could possibly imagine. And I can imagine a lot.

God is calling you to follow Him. He is asking for 100% commitment and, in return, He will fill your life, now and eternally, with the fullness that only comes through knowing and serving the Master. Don’t settle for anything less than living life – first class.

Let’s Pray

Father, my heart hungers for Your power to flow through my life. I choose to obey You. I will seek You with my whole heart and I will follow You wherever You lead me. I know that Your plan for my life is amazing and I don’t want to miss any of it. Today, I choose to set aside my agenda and rest in the abundant life only You can give.

In Jesus’s name,


Now It’s Your Turn

  • If you could choose one word to describe your life journey so far, what would it be?  Explain.
  • Explain the statement that God is your source. What does that really mean in your life? What other “sources” have you counted on? Did they lead to success or failure?
  • What “wants” have been a hindrance to the abundant and full life God has for you?  What steps of obedience are you willing to take in order to control those “wants”? 

More from the Girlfriends

It is easy to live an entire life – just doing the next thing on the list. God has so much more for you! Surrender! Give Him permission to capture your heart. Yield to God’s abundant plan and experience what it is like to live – first class.

Do you want to be a success? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible study, Power Up With Proverbs, for Biblical wisdom and practical steps you can take to live a life of victory. Since each lesson stands alone, it’s not too late to join and still have access to all of the lessons.

Do you have any difficult relationships in your life? Get Mary’s book, Sandpaper People, for practical ways to deal with those people who rub you the wrong way.

And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

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Matthews, NC 28106

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Originally published Monday, 22 April 2013.