Oct 09

Graceful Communication

Ephesians 4 is an important chapter for Christians.  Within this chapter we are told to walk in a worthy manner that is becoming of a Christian, we are told that we are unified in our faith in Jesus, we see why God gave spiritual gifts,  and God’s way for doing kingdom work among other things.  Starting in verse 17 Paul contrasts our old way of life with the new life Christ has given us.  In verses 17-32 Paul says that we should “put away” certain things while also saying we should “put on” other things.  However, today I want to focus on the last four verses (vv .29-32).

In verse 29 we are told to guard our speech.  “Corrupt communication” here means worthless communication.  Have you ever known someone who can talk a lot and yet say very little?  Paul is specifically talking about communication that is not moral and not fitting for a Christian to say.  But notice it goes past this.  We are not to have worthless communication, but we are to have communication that builds people up (edifying) and we are to have communication that “may minister grace”, that is promote grace, unto the hearers.  At the heart of what Paul is saying here is make sure that you make your communication count.  It is ok to talk about other things that interest you (politics, weather, sports, etc), but make sure you have a point, in particular a spiritual point to your communication.  Many people have commented to me that sports is a point of reference I use a lot.  My explanation is that they are right, it is something I know, but I also see so many parallels between my faith in Jesus Christ and sports.  Some pastors/teachers use their kids, marriage, politics.  Literally the list is endless.  The point is not do you talk about these things, but do you allow God to use those things to point people back to Him?  An example may help here.  A memory I have of the Super Bowl is from 2000.  It was the St. Louis Rams versus the Tennessee Titans.  On the last play of the game a Titan player caught the ball, ran as hard as he could, looked like he was going to score a winning touchdown, but at the last second was tackled just short of the endzone.  The game was over and the St. Louis Rams had won.  How in the world can that be a spiritual principle?  So many times we think if we just try a little harder we can be a better Christian, or that if we are a “good” person that God will let us into heaven.  But try as hard as we want, on our own merit and efforts, we will never get into heaven.  The interesting thing about the final play of that Super Bowl is this, if the player had gotten just one more block, he most likely scores.  You see, we can’t get into heaven on our own, we need someone to block God’s justice from us by absorbing that blow of His wrath.  That is what a blocker does, they put themselves in between the defender and the person with the ball.  That is exactly what Jesus did for us.  He put Himself in between us and God’s divine justice, by taking our sin and paying the price.  Only because of what Jesus did can we get into heaven (the endzone).  That is one reason Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:30-31, “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”  What we couldn’t do on our own, Jesus did on our behalf!

Lord willing tomorrow we will look at verse 30.  For today, let us concentrate on making sure our communication with people promotes the grace that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

By His grace and through His strength, may we live for Him!

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Oct 08

Know Your Opponent

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on knowing your playbook, and that for a Christian we should constantly be studying the Word of God to know the will of God.  This morning I want us to realize that we have an adversary who wants to destroy us.  Part of a sports teams preparation for an upcoming game during the week is watching game film of their opponent.  A defense will study an opponent’s offense to see if they can pick up some tendencies.  A pitcher will study an opposing team’s batters to learn what they can hit well and what they struggle with. It is simply part of the preparation process for an athlete.  But what about for a Christian?  Paul says in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  We aren’t fighting each other, although many times it looks that way to us, rather we are fighting against satan and his forces.  So who is our adversary, what does he do, and how does he do it?

Obviously as a Christian, our adversary is satan and his demons.  Again read Ephesians 6:12, we are fighting an invisible power.  1 Peter 5:8 shows us what satan does when it says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  Notice satan is a roaring lion who is constantly looking for someone to destroy.  This is why putting on the whole armor of God daily is so important.  The final question to consider is, how does a roaring lion find those to destroy?  Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”  In this case the “serpent” is a reference to satan.  Notice, satan is subtle.  The word means to be sly or cunning.  I love how one Christian pastor put it, “satan doesn’t have to destroy you to be successful, all he has to do is distract you.”  In the Garden of Eden, satan didn’t come right out and lie because then Eve would have stood a better chance of recognizing it.  Rather, he distracts us by getting us to question God and God’s Word.  Satan gets us to thinking, is God’s Word really trustworthy?  Satan gets us debating mindless arguments that distract us from our God-given mission.  What are forms of spiritual warfare?  Although this is not an exhaustive list, this is a good place to start.  Diana and I recently went to a Pastor, Staff, and Wives retreat.  The featured speakers were Brian and Amy Bloye.  In one of the session they made the comment “be aware of the unseen.”  Specifically they mentioned spiritual warfare can be “disguised as frustration, anger, or even discouragement.”  Notice how subtle these things are!  Have you ever tried to do something that you felt God calling you to do only to have it not work or your work get frustrated at every turn?  Have you ever gotten angry at a brother or sister in Christ?  Have you ever been discouraged?  Again this is not an exhaustive list, but how effective are these strategies?

Know your enemy, his desire, and his tactics or you will get overrun!  When you feel that attacks pounding at your door I encourage you to do two things.  First of all, you need to pray.  You cannot fight satan and his demons on your own.  Secondly, you need to rest.  When do you get sick?  Most of the time we get sick when our bodies are worn down from the constant running and stress of life.  The same is true in our spiritual life.  When we don’t take time to physically rest and spiritually rest in Jesus, we are vulnerable to attacks.  Victory is certain because of Jesus Christ, but that doesn’t mean the devil won’t try to slow you down, distract you, or even take you out of the game.

By His grace and through His strength, may we live for Him!

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Oct 02

Easy or Obedient

I apologize it has been so long since my last post.  I pray the Lord will allow me to resume daily updates here.  The title of this blog might seem a little misleading, but hopefully it will make more sense shortly.  The issue here is discipleship.  The question is, do we want an easy discipleship or do we want an obedient discipleship.  Please understand that I am not talking about life in general or salvation.  I firmly believe that as God draws people and they hear the pure Gospel, they will give their life over to Christ.  However, salvation is the beginning point for a Christian, not the arrival point.  Before I go any further, let’s define what I mean by easy or obedient.  An easy discipleship is one in which you do the things that you desire to do such as pray occasionally or read your Bible occasionally.  This person might serve if it is convenient or even attend “extra” church services as their schedule allows them to.  Again this person has made a genuine profession of faith, but their faith is only surface deep.  An obedient disciple is one who follows all the instructions given by Christ and the Bible, including the ones that are difficult for them.  They live out their authentic faith in front of the world unashamedly.  If we are honest, most Christians live in the easy discipleship model.  Hebrews 5:12-14 says that although they should be teachers themselves, they need someone to teach them.  Those who opt for this model of discipleship simply need to know going forward that they will not experience all that God has for them because of the path they have chosen.  If we want to experience that abundant life He spoke of in John 10:10 then we are going to have to do things like love Him more than our father, mother, brother, sister, and all other relationships.  If we are going to obediently follow Him we are going to have to recognize that life isn’t about me and that what I desire no longer matters, but only what God desires.  We are going to have to live a life that has been radically transformed by God Himself which means the TV shows, radio programs, much of the music, etc. has no business in our life now because it doesn’t glorify God.  If we are going to be obedient we must be willing to go through persecution, suffering, trials, disciplining by God, and be willing to delay our ultimate gratification for when our life is over.  Being an authentic Christian has never been nor will it ever be easy, but you must answer this question, do you think it is worth it?  I can give you all the reasons in the world why I think an obedient life is worth it, but that isn’t going to help you.  You must make that choice.  One final warning, this will not be easy but with God’s help it is possible.  It is the only way we can be truly blessed by God, and it is the only way that a lost,dying world will know what God can do with any life.  I will close with familiar words, “Choose you this day whom you will serve. . .but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15)

By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him!

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Sep 21

Real Meat or Processed?

Wow what a difference 45 or so days makes!  August 1st of this year, hundreds of thousands of people who support traditional marriage flocked to Chick-Fil-A in support of their owner taking a biblical stand.  A few weeks later those who oppose traditional marriage staged a “kiss-in” that was no where near as large as they had hoped or what August 1st was.  And now breaks the story that Chick-Fil-A has changed their policy on who they will give to or more specifically who they will no longer be giving to.  I am going to attach an article from Baptist Press so that you can read the article yourself and come to your own conclusions.  Please understand that I am not claiming to have been in the board room during the decision process, nor was I there for all the criticism they took.  I have had my fair share of criticism launched at me (not to the degree they probably received mind you) and I can tell you it is no fun.  The kicker to the whole story is why the changed occurred.  It is clearly stated in the article, but here is the short version of it.  If they would change their stance, the Chicago Alderman would drop his protest of Chick-Fil-A opening in Chicago.  I feel as though Chick-Fil-A spit in the face of those who stood with them.  As one person on Facebook said, “so when are you going to start opening on Sundays?”  Luke 12:4-5 says, “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”  My message to Chick-Fil-A is this, you sold your convictions and your faithful customers out for a couple of stores (most likely Boston will now relinquish and let Chick-Fil-A there now as well).  You turned your back on God and His Word, something that you have stood for since your inception.  And now frankly, you are just like all the other fast food restaurants. Is your (Chick-Fil-A) faith in God so weak as to think that God could not continue to supply for you if you maintained your biblical beliefs?  God showed you what He could do on August 1st.  Just remember this Chick-Fil-A, the same God who blessed you for following His Word, can also remove that hand of blessing as seen in Deuteronomy 28:15, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.”

This is a reminder to all of us, our faith is only has strong as what we believe God can do.  It has been said that faith ends where fear begins.  Jesus told us in John 16 that we will have trials, but to be of good cheer because He overcame the world.  There is nothing too hard for God to do, but we must move from a talking faith to a walking faith.  Do you have enough faith to persevere until the end, even if it gets really hard?  Just know that testing will come, but Paul reminds us in Romans 8:37, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

By His grace and through His strength, may we live for Him!

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Sep 19

Knowing the Playbook

Few things will irritate a coach like not knowing your playbook or the signals or whatever a coach might use.  These are designed to help the coach communicate with his players during the game without giving away valuable information.  Yet, there are always those who choose not to learn the playbook or the signals.  What got me to thinking about this was I read an article about a young man who chooses not to take his Bible to church.  His premise was the if he takes his Bible with him to church, he doesn’t listen to the preacher because he is reading his Bible.  Let me say two things at the outset.  First of all, I don’t know if this young man studies his Bible throughout the week and simply doesn’t take it to church or not.  Secondly, I don’t want to come off a judgmental or that I am somehow better than he is because I take my Bible to church (not just because I am a preacher).  His article got me to thinking because in it he said, “I want to know the Bible better so I choose to listen to the preacher rather than be distracted by having my Bible in my hand.”  How many people or how many times have you said, “I wish I knew the Bible better”?  For a Christian, the Bible is our playbook.  It was written by our coach (God) and given for us not just to look at, but to study, and to memorize so that as we are playing in the game, God can communicate with us to let us know what He desires us to do.  2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  There is a two-fold implication of “study to shew thyself approved.”  First, we should study our Bible so that we are approved by God, because as His children we should desire to know Him more and the easiest way to get to know God more is by studying His word.  Secondly, we should study our Bible so that we can “approve” others messages that we hear.  That is not to say that we should judge whether a preacher or teacher did a good job.  Rather it means that we should be able to say “yes this is from the Bible, taught in context, and useful in my life.”  So many people get led astray not because they are not intelligent, but rather because they choose to be ignorant of God’s word.  According to 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible teaches us what we should believe (doctrine), what we do wrong in God’s eyes (reproof), how to fix it (correction), and most importantly how to be saved (instruction in righteousness).  In other words, in God’s word is contained everything we would ever need in order to live a life that honors and pleases God.

The enemy of learning the playbook for players can be many things.  If you want to get more playing time, you must know the playbook.  When it comes to a Christian not learning more of the Bible, it comes down to one thing, we don’t spend enough time in God’s word.  We may read it, but we are not studying it.  So let’s all turn off the distractions, get alone with God’s word, and start studying so that we will be approved by God and used by God.

By His grace and through His strength, may we live for Him!

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Sep 18

Is Winning Enough

To quote a former football coach by the name of Herm Edwards, “Hello, you play to win the game.”  That was in response to a question asked by a reporter after then Coach Edwards’ team lost a close game.  It makes for great soundbite but the question is, is winning enough?  If you were to ask any serious athlete or coach their answer would be unequivocally “yes winning is enough.”  I think this is born out in the actions of the players and coaches.  They are willing to cheat and even ruin their reputation all for the momentary glory of winning.  As athletes and coaches, of which I have been both, we always think that people are always going to remember the “champions.”  I would submit to you that if I were to go out and survey the average person they would not remember things nearly as well as we athletes and coaches think they would.  Let’s give it a try.  Here is a quote from a very “important” sports moment, “Do you believe in miracles?”  Who said that, why did they say that, and here is a hint-was it the gold medal game?  Or how about, if I asked what team did Michael Jordan on, most people would be able to get that.  But what if I asked, how many championships did Jordan win and what were the years, could you name them?   Please reply to this with your answers on here or on facebook under this post, or even tweet your answer.  The catch is this, don’t google the information first.  Let’s see if “champions really live forever.”

While coaches and athletes will tell you winning is enough, what would the wisest man who ever lived say?  King Solomon is commonly referred to as the wisest man who ever lived because he asked God to give him wisdom in all that he did when he became the king of Israel.  Yet as he gets to the end of his life, Solomon is faced with a difficult reality.  We find that reality in Ecclesiastes chapter two.  In the chapter Solomon says that he has tried drinking fine wine, laughter, having all the wisdom one needs, working hard, and even being able to buy anything I desired.  His conclusion about all of those things, “all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecc. 2:11d).  Solomon was saying I had everything that one would think they would need to be happy in life, but it is all worthless and didn’t bring me happiness.  One reason that coaches and players hang around their sport to play or coach even after they can no longer be good at what they do is because they are afraid that if they walk away from their sport, they will have nothing.  You see when we put all of our time and energy into something material or something of this world, we are faced with the reality that one day it is going to be gone.  And when it is gone, we will be forgotten.  We were created from an eternal perspective, with eternity in mind.  God did not create us just to exist for a short time and then disappear.  God created us for eternity and to pursue things of eternal value, things that will not fade away.  The reason so many coaches, athletes, and even Solomon were and are so dejected at the end of their life is that they woke up one day and realized they had wasted their entire life for pointless pursuits.  Please don’t misunderstand me, I still love playing and watching sports, and I hope to re-enter the coaching ranks one day by coaching my sons’ teams.  But if my life or your life is about “winning” here and now, we are going to wake up one day to the reality that it is all “vanity and of no profit.”  That is why Jesus tells us to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…that will never pass away” (Mt. 6:20).

What are you pursuing today?  Is it going to be like your life and vanish one day, or is it going to carry on long after you are gone?  Today is something that is too small to live for, because we were created for so much more.

By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him!

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Sep 17

How You Practice Is How You Play

The title of this blog entry was something that my high school baseball coach use to always say to us.  Generally it was when we were not practicing as sharp and crisp as we should be.  Those who know me are aware that I am a big Virginia Tech Hokie fan.  Saturday was a painful day for me to watch my beloved Hokies.  If you look at the teams on paper, Virginia Tech was clearly the superior team.  They should have won this game with very little problem.  However, if you turned on the television or pulled up the internet you found a headline that said something to the effect, “Sloppy play by Virginia Tech allowed the upset.”  The headline was painfully accurate.  From a fan’s perspective, and yes I do realize I never played college football, it looked as though the Hokies either didn’t take their opponent seriously, or they just weren’t prepared to play.  They were playing the Pittsburgh Panthers.  A team that had not won a game this year.  They were not ranked among the top 25 teams in the country in football, and they were playing a team that was supposedly the 13th best football team in the country.  Pittsburgh had nothing to lose.  They were expected to lose and even if they won the game, they would still have a losing record, and so their season still wouldn’t be a good one thus far.

This reminds me a lot of Christians who fail to follow Paul’s advice in Ephesians 6:10-20.  Paul instructs us to put on the “whole armor of God” in verse 11.  I won’t breakdown every piece of armor here, but suffice to say that every piece of armor is vital.  Why do we need to put on the whole armor of God?  The end of verse 11 says, “that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  The word “wiles” means tactics.  We need to put on the whole armor of God so that no matter how the devil decides to attack us on a given day, we will be prepared and able to stand it.  The implication is this, whichever piece of armor you do not put on, is where you are susceptible to attack.  In other words, you would be unprepared, exactly how the Hokies looked this past Saturday.  We must also remember that the devil is playing like he has nothing to lose.  He already knows his eternal fate and that he can’t change that.  So he is busy trying to take as many people down with him as he can.

The result Saturday was a loss for the Hokies.  They dropped out of the top 25 as a result of this loss.  They can bounce back from it and be okay and still have a good season.  The results of you and I not being prepared can have far greater consequences.  While we know the Bible teaches you cannot lose your salvation, you can be rendered ineffective and unusable as a consequence of sin.  We see this in 1 Corinthians 9:27c that says, “lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”  Against, Paul wasn’t saying you can lose your salvation.  He is saying that you would be ineffective because you will have fallen victim to the devil’s tactics and be suffering the consequences.  So let us remember, we have an adversary who has nothing to lose and knows where to hit us.  That makes him very dangerous to the Christian who is not prepared.  The solution is to put on the whole armor of God in preparation for the attack, move forward, and remember we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!”

By His grace and through His strength, may we live for Him!

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Sep 13

Moving Mountains

How many times have you heard a preacher or Sunday school/small group teacher say “if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains?”  If you have been in church very long you have probably heard that before.  It is used many times when a church is facing what feels like insurmountable obstacles.  The mustard seed concept is found in Matthew 17.  I would caution us all to make sure that we “rightly divide the word of truth” as it says in 2 Timothy 2:15.  By this I mean, we need to make sure that we read the entire context of a verse and not just pull one verse out as that could lead to us misleading people about what the verse says.  In this case the context is a man brings his son to Jesus’ disciples to have demons cast out of him.  Yet the disciples were unable to do it.  Not knowing what else to do, the man takes his son to Jesus and says I brought my son to your disciples, but they couldn’t cure him (Mt. 17:16).  Jesus then proceeds to rebuke the demons and they leave the boy.  The disciples were curious as to why they couldn’t do that, after all they had seen Jesus do it before and they had done it as well.  What happened this time?  Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith (Mt. 17:20).  We get a little more information about what Jesus was talking about in verse 21 where it says, Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”  What becomes clear is that the disciples had tried to cast out the demon themselves.  They were trying to be the power source rather than being plugged into the Power (Jesus).

You and I are a lot like the disciples at times in our life aren’t we?  Sometimes we remember the words of John 15:6, “For without Me, ye can do nothing.”  And so we pray and we truly depend on Jesus and because of our belief, it seems as though mountains are moved.  Yet at times, we think “oh this is no big deal, I’ve done this before” and so we forget how and why we were able to do it before.  The end result is frustration and many times failure.  The key is to remember a specific phrase in a commonly quoted Scripture.  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME.”  Notice we are only able to do all things when Christ gives us the strength to do it.  and Christ’s strength only comes through our utter dependence upon Him, first and foremost through prayer.

Are you facing a mountain in your life right now?  Mountains come in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes it is a financial need, sometimes it deals with our marriage, our kids, school, friends, or any number of other things.  The good news is, God already has the answer to our problem, even before we realize we have a problem.  All we have to do is follow the words of a popular hymn, trust and obey!

By His grace and through His strength, may we live for him!

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Sep 12

Yes We Can!

My wife and I sat at our children’s school last night for “Back to School Night” and got to hear many wonderful things about where the school is and where God is leading it.  Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy is currently in its fifth year of existence.  During those five years, those at the school have seen how faithful God has been to them personally as well as professionally through the school.  Like any other private school, there are always unique challenges that must be addressed and met head on, but when you first hear about them they can feel overwhelming and even frightening.  And so as my wife and I as well as many other parents and teachers sat there and heard the challenges the school faces this year, there were the to-be-expected shocked looks on many faces. Yet out of the shock, confusion, and even worry comes Paul’s word in Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”   I love that phrase “exceeding abundantly.”  It literally means to the extent that we cannot express.  In other words, God can do far more than we can ever think or ask for.  I had this discussion with the Bible students I teach on Monday night, does the Bible teach that God will not put more on your than you can handle?  Instantly many of them said “yes” as most Christians do.  The verse that is often associated with that phrase is 1 Corinthians 10:13.  However, that verse has been taken out of context and made to say something it doesn’t really say.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. ”  This verse deals with temptation, not actual trials we are to experience.  And the way out within the context of the verse and passage is that we are to depend on God.  The truth of the matter is this, God will allow circumstances in our life that too difficult for us to handle alone.  Only when we admit that we cannot do this or rise to meet this challenge can God step in and show Himself to be the all-powerful God that He is.  When we are able to meet a challenge, unfortunately many times He does not deserve the glory that He deserves.  However, when He shows up and accomplishes something that we could not accomplish, there is no one else to give the glory to but to God.  One way that I think of it is this, if God did not put more on me than I could handle, why would I need Him?  SMLCA, churches, other private education schools, and businesses are facing challenges today that have not been seen since the Great Depression in our country.  We have tried everything we know to do and we have barely made a dent in our problems.  I want to close this devotional with a popular quote.  Last night the Board of Directors, faculty, students, and parents were encouraged to join us at Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy on Thursday mornings to pray.  All options have been exhausted for many schools, churches, and businesses, and we should know that that is exactly where God wants us at this time because “You will not know that God is all you need, until He is all that you have” (A.W. Tozer).

Remember, God is able to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”  If we will trust Him and depend on Him, He will show up on time and deliver us from whatever situation we are in.  But we must stand ready to give Him the glory “…throughout all ages, without end.  Amen” (Eph. 3:21b).

By His grace and through His strength, may we live for Him!

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Sep 11

We Remember

Today marks the 11th anniversary of a day that fundamentally changed America again.  Every generation has at least one day in which something so dramatic happens that is defines that generation.  In 1940’s it was December 7th in which Pearl Harbor was attacked and subsequently drew the United States into World War II.  The 1960’s saw the Civil Rights struggle, Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream Speech”, the assassination of JFK, and other events.  My generation has September 11th.  It is easy to ask “why” when tragedy strikes, but I believe the better question is what is God up to?  As Christians we know and say we believe that God is in control.  And for the most part we are ok with Him being in control as long as things are going ok in our life and difficult times come to others.  We want to question why a loving God would allow nearly 3,000 people to perish in one day.  We cannot say in one breath, “Lord I give You control of my life” and in the next breath question how He decides to control our life.  I cannot imagine what those families experienced that day or have experienced since then, and I pray that I never have to experience that deep of loss.  However, as a Christian I must ask God to help give me perspective and ask, God what are you up to?

As a result of September 11th, 2001 many people came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.  More than our happiness or our comfort, Jesus desires that the world place their faith in Him.  2 Peter 3:8-9 tells why Jesus has not returned for His church yet when it says, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  Notice God is not on our time, but rather we are on His.  The reason He hasn’t returned is because He is waiting on more people to place their faith in Him, because He desires they would repent of their sin of rejecting Him and turn to Him in faith.  Because of the horrific events of September 11th, many people did come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.  His word says that is what He desires, and if as a child of God I pray the way Jesus taught us to pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” then I cannot question the means in which He accomplishes His will, but I must trust that it was right because Genesis 18:25 reminds us, “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

I am no suggesting that it is easy to deal with days like December 7, 1941 or September 11, 2001.  In our finite minds this just doesn’t make sense, but then again Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that not everything in this world is going to make sense.  We must simply trust that God knows what He is doing and what He is doing is in our best interest.  It didn’t make sense for someone who never sinned to die on a cross for all those who had sinned, but God did it in our best interest, and He continues to do things that are in our best interest!

By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him!

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