281. The Oxygen Mask

“Last week, “Stan began,”I was on an airplane that was getting ready to take off to bring me home and one of the flight attendants presented a Biblical truth I had not seen before.”

“Biblical truth by a flight attendant on an airplane?” I replied.  “You must be kidding!”

“Well, she didn’t quote scripture, and didn’t actually mention the apostle Paul,” Stan said, “but what she said clearly struck me as being right out of the Bible.”

“Okay, Stan,” I responded, “you’ve made me curious.  Tell me what you heard.”

“You know,” he replied, “how in the preflight preparation a flight attendant tells you what to do in the event the cabin loses air pressure and the oxygen mask comes down.”

“Kind of,” I said.

“You should know for certain,” Stan replied, “but in essence the instruction is for me to put my mask on first, and then help those around me who need help with their masks.”

Continuing, he said, “And that is what the apostle Paul was talking about at one point in his letter to the church in Philippi.”

“Not airplanes and oxygen masks, of course,” he said, “but Paul clearly instructed me that I am to not merely look out for myself, but I am to look for ways to help others.”

“I take that,” Stan continued, “to mean that just because I have my ticket to glory and I am in the process of growing closer to God on this side of eternity, that is not the end of the story.  I am to help others in getting their tickets and in their learning what the ticket means for their lives here before they step onto the train.”

“God has given me an ‘oxygen mask’ to put on so that I will be in the position of helping others with theirs.”


Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Philippians 2:9.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for your provision of life eternally with you through Christ’s finished work on the cross when my time here is done.  And thank you for your provision of growing ever closer to you on this side of eternity.  You know how easy it is for me to think that since I’ve got mine, that I am all set.  I confess that selfishness and ask for your forgiveness.  I ask you to open me to see every way you have for me to help others who do not have their tickets to glory to get them.  And please, Lord, help me to help those with tickets to understand what the ticket means for this side of eternity.  Please lead and help me to follow.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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