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Never Forget
9/11/2012

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:16-18 (NKJV)

Each year when September 11th comes I am reminded of the horrendous terrorist acts of 2001.  I will never forget the graphic images of the firemen’s faces, as some of them were exiting the burning buildings, and even more so those images of the men who were walking in just before the first building collapsed.  I will never forget the faces of the police officers who were seemingly overwhelmed with the reality of what had just happened—their hearts were to protect—how did this happen, and how could they stop it.   

I will never forget the price paid by so many selfless men and women as they attempted to help others to live.  They knew the costs and yet after weighing everything out they continued to march forward in the face of almost certain death.  I will never forget the thousands of families who lost loved ones so tragically.  I will never forget how our country changed forevermore and the thought of being safe evaporated with the smoke over New York City that fateful day in September. 

I will never forget the thoughts I had racing through my mind that morning, and every so often since then they return.  Had God lifted His hand of protection off of our country in an attempt to get our attention?  Had we strayed so far from Him in an attempt to live our own lives—independent of His will—was this the best way to actually save millions of us from our selfishly-destructive ways?  Was this the cost and loss so many were to suffer on our account?

Many people turned and ran to God in the wake of 9/11.  By some estimates church attendance was up almost 50 percent.  Senior Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Texas stated the Sunday following 9/11 was the largest crowd in the history of his church.  He said, When I walked on stage I looked around and said, 'Where have you guys been? It takes something like this for you to show up to church?'"

As unfortunate as it may be, it does take a disaster for some to turn to God.  When the chips are down and everything is seemingly out of control, people will turn to seek the One who is in control.  Equally unfortunate is the fact that just a few months after 9/11 most of the people who had come seeking God’s protection and wisdom resumed their normal lifestyles, which did not include going to church.  George Barna of Barna Research expressed amazement at the outcome of their study, which concluded that people had gone back to the way they were spiritually before Sept. 11.

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." John 3:19-20 (NKJV)

All this to say, as followers of Jesus Christ we should never forget, we are not of this world, and this is not our home.   We should never forget the enemy’s ability to distract and divert the multitudes of people from seeking to know their Creator personally, and intimately.  We should never forget Satan and his emissaries do not want others to know about how Jesus sacrificed His very life so they could live eternally.  We should never forget how Satan does not want others to know just how much God loves each and every one of them, and desires to have a relationship with them as well. 

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these things today.  Let’s make it our heart's desire to never forget these things.  Let’s choose to share these truths with others today as the Lord leads us. God’s love is amazing; He is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9).

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures in this devotional, what can we learn about God’s love, and the importance of our truly believing in Jesus and why He needed to die for us?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: How did the events of September 11, 2001 change your life?

APPLICATION: Let’s choose to never forget the selfless acts of all those who died to save others on 9/11.  And let us never forget the selfless act of love that Jesus demonstrated to us upon the cross of Calvary.

LET’S PRAY: Father, thank You for allowing Your Son to die for us.  Thank You for showing us how to love sacrificially.  Help us to share this love with others today.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

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Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000