Posts Tagged With: salvation

Salvation: Answering the What? Why? How?

Most people in today’s society have heard expressions liked ‘saved,’ ‘born again,’ or ‘converted.’ Yet, no matter how many times they may have heard these terms, throngs of people have never made the effort to accept salvation through Jesus Christ. Ironically the reason for this may not be because they have never been approached; but for the simple fact they do not know what salvation is or how one obtains it. It is my hope that if you have somehow stumbled across this article, by the time you are finished reading it you’ll be able to walk away with a much clearer understanding of three very important questions concerning God’s plan for salvation. These questions are; What is salvation? Why do you need salvation? And, how do you obtain salvation?

One of the most renowned biblical verses in all of Christianity is, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). As this verse shows, salvation is a free gift of everlasting life that is only made possible through Jesus Christ. However, what is the definition of salvation? For believers in Christ we know that our source of life stems from God the Father. Yet, due to the entrance of sin we were forever separated from God. In essence, our only source for eternal life has been separated from us. Salvation is God’s plan that was designed to bridge the gap between sin and man. It is though Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that we are reunited with our father and provided everlasting life. As Thorsen states, “Salvation ultimately represents a gift from God, secured by Jesus, and affected in the lives of people through the Holy Spirit” (Thorsen 277).

With salvation now defined, you may be asking yourself, “Why do I need salvation?” Most people have heard of the story of Adam and Eve and how they lived in harmony and love with God in the Garden of Eden. Yet, man was tempted and disobeyed God’s Word when instructed not to eat from the Tree of Good and Evil. It was this action that brought irreversible death to us all. An event so sinful in God’s eyes that man would inherit this sinful nature for generation to generation to come. And since God can’t have a harmonious relationship with sinners, we are each born apart from our Creator from the very moment we take our first breath. As the scriptures confirm, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Thus, because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, we are forever banished and separated from God. Yet, the good news is, everyone has the ability to be saved. The removal of sin can occur, and we can be brought back in fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Salvation is the answer and it provides us each with an eternal lease on life. When one believes in the Gospel and gives up his or her life for Christ, we receive benefits unimaginable to the non-believer. These benefits include our sins being forgiven, a realignment with our relationship with God, eternal dwelling in Heaven instead of Hell, and a new life lived in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Now that we have recognized that everyone needs salvation, maybe you’re wondering how do you go about receiving it? In short, it is a determination to make a life-long change. “To become a beneficiary of Christ, one must first repent – become sorrowful for ones wickedness and forsake ones evil ways. Then in the second place, one must accept Christ by faith, and commit ones soul to ones Savior for salvation” (Webb 272). When one takes these first two steps a justification between man and God occurs. We are reinstated in the divine favor we once had before the Fall of Man. To better understand this, one can look to 1 Peter 3:18 which states, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). “God’s remedy through the Lord Jesus is justification. This means that if we believe in the Lord Jesus, He looks upon us as though we are righteous. It may help us to think of it like this. When I am justified it is JUST-AS-IF-I’D never sinned” (Sherring 7).

If before reading this article you never fully understood the true meaning of salvation, I hope that you are now able to walk away with a clearer understanding. I really hope you recognize that God loves you no matter what. And He wants nothing more than to deliver you from sin and the assuredness of spiritual death. I also want you to know that if you desire to receive God’s free gift of salvation, it doesn’t have to occur in a church. You don’t have to wait. Your eternal security can be changed, right here… right now as you read this. And it begins by praying something like this to God:

“Dear God, today I turn away from all of my sins (name them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way for me to be saved. He is ‘The way, the truth, and the life.’ Please forgive me, change my heart, and grant me Your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you’ve taken the time to say this prayer I would like to congratulate you for making the commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Your obedience to God is proof of your love for His Son. From here you should go out and find a good church to help you grow. Don’t wait for an invite; if you have questions, call a local church and ask to speak to a pastor. The decision you have just made is not taken lightly, and it comes with eternal rewards. As the Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Today is the beginning of your new life in Christ Jesus!

If you’ve made the decision to commit your life to Christ or have any questions, please use the contact me form at http://pastordodd.com/about/contact-me/ to reach out and let me know.

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

 

Works Cited
Legge, David. “Love the Lost.” Preachtheword.com. March 2005. Web. May 2, 2011.

Sherring, Brian. The Meaning of Salvation. London, England: Berean Publishing Trust, 2000. Print

Thorsen, Don. An Exploration of Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2010. Print.

Webb, Robert Alexander. Christian Salvation: Its Doctrine and Experience. Richmond, Virginia: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1921. Print.

Categories: Judgement, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forgiving Yourself: Is Your Past Controlling Your Future?

“I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13). As a pastor, I have seen the same look on the faces of people almost everyday of my spiritual walk. You know the one, that look that someone carries when it seems like they have something to prove. It’s a contradictory look of sorts; for they hear about God’s forgiveness, but they just can’t come to grips with accepting it. For forgiveness to them is still viewed as something that has to be earned, not freely received. It’s a look I know all too well, for I wore it upon my face most of my adult life; walking mile after mile in those same pair of shoes.

Many of us have made such poor choices in our lives that we actually allow the regret from these decisions to now rule over us. Essentially, we are allowing choices from our past to now control our future. While some of life’s decisions are soon forgotten; some of them have such lasting impact that they change the way we see people, how we view ourselves, and ultimately messes with our emotions; sometimes throughout our entire lives. In a sense, these poor choices keep us in a state of confinement in our own private prison. Maybe, you used to be an exotic dancer, had an abortion because you were to young, got divorced, feel like you weren’t the best parent, or even sold and engaged in drugs. The list of sins are so numerous and diverse for a reason; Satan wants nothing more than to make you feel like you’re not worthy of God’s grace. The fact is, Satan knows of your full potential as God does. So to combat this, he tries to keep you in a state of never-ending doubt and insecurity.

Perhaps the main reason we are still living in this prison of resentment is because we allow Satan to keep us bound by one of his most powerful restraints; guilt. Guilt keeps us in a constant state of feeling dirty, powerless, unworthy, and eventually steals away the glory and faith that we should be placing in our Savior Jesus Christ. It’s like on one hand, you believe in freedom, yet the resentment still keeps you so bound up that you don’t know how to choose. And why is this? Because we’ve created a fragmented version of the person we believe that we should be; moreover, a person that God won’t love unless…

Admittedly, you and I are lying, deceiving, thieves who unquestionably deserve to inherit the lake of fire. But when we turn to God and allow Him to come into our lives and work through us, our future is forever changed. Let me assure you, true followers of Christ don’t care about your past, and neither does God. Remember He created you, just like He created me. Therefore if anyone knows we’re not perfect it’s Him. But for some reason we are so afraid of losing control and allowing God to find out what we’ve done that we just won’t let go. News flash! He-Already-knows. He knows you made some mistakes, but who hasn’t? If you could, I’m quite sure you would do things differently. But then again, sometimes going through pain is the only way many of us will ever learn. Have you ever wondered why things both good and bad happen to people? It’s because God create each if us differently? And this is because He wants to use each one of us to accomplish something distinctive. Ironically, we as Christ followers spend more time anguishing over wanting a “do-over” in our lives that we fail to realize that through Christ’s death, He in fact has already provided that to us.

No matter what your past holds, you can never fall so far away that you can’t get back. It’s never too late and nothing is so bad that you can’t change who you are. That’s why Paul was so adamant that we know God’s view on love. God’s love for us is so unshakeable that Paul wrote in his letters, love, “keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:5-6). When we are truthful with ourselves and let go of our past, our Heavenly Father rejoices for He knows that we have placed our faith in Him. Our own perceptions determine our actions, and choosing to let go of your past will have a direct impact on how you perform in the future.

God is a God of grace and forgiveness. Look at the life of King David. In the Old Testament, David’s life is detailed regarding his sin with Bathsheba, his defiance before the Lord, and his conspiracy to have Bathsheba’s husband murdered. Yet, what we can learn from this is that while David’s transgressions are never simply swept under the rug, we can see how God’s grace is abundantly provided to David in future references. In the New Testament, David is referred to fifty-nine times; yet, his past transgressions of murder and conspiracy are never mentioned. Why? Because while David’s indiscretions and poor choices are recorded in the Old Testament, through Christ’s blood in the New Testament, God’s forgiveness for our sins are forever.

If we allow it, there will be no end to the obstacles that our past places in front of us. Satan has a vested interest in keeping us from fulfilling of our dreams. Did you know that one of the primary reasons people never accomplish their dreams is because they allow their pasts to stop them? As you sit here reading this, I want you to ask yourself this question, “Will my past mold me, or will my future mold me?” The Bible does not say that we must be happy about the poor choices that we have made; yet, it does say that we are no longer controlled by sin’s power for we are born anew! The Bible says that when God forgives us, He “remembers our sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). So let me encourage you. It’s time to let the consuming fire of God come in and burn away the troubles of your past. Let the ashes fall wherever they may. Now is the time to come back from wherever you have been and kneel at the foot of the cross and at the feet of Jesus. For at the foot of the cross, you can change who you are.

This does not mean that our omniscient Father in Heaven forgets our past because He forgives us. Rather, He makes the decision not to dwell upon our sin. In our daily lives, when our former sins come to mind, we have a choice. We can choose to dwell upon them (which leads to guilt and resentment), or we can choose to draw our eyes to Heaven and the God who forgave us and praise Him for it. Dwelling on our past is only beneficial when it reminds us of the magnitude of God’s forgiveness for our sins; thus making it easier for us to forgive others, “And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:33).

One of my favorite sayings is, “Don’t allow your past to become a crutch; but use it as a ladder to help elevate your future.” It’s time to finally let go of your past; “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). No matter how bad you believe your past is, know that God is not done with you. The only thing that is stopping you from having that fulfilled life in Christ is YOU. Now is the time to let go, let God, and claim your Victory!

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

Categories: Forgiveness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Never Said at a Funeral… But Christians are Thinking it

The passing of a loved one marks a very difficult time for those who are experiencing a loss of a beloved family member or friend. As a pastor, I have attended more than my share of funeral services. These vary from the most conservative Christian ceremonies, to the ceremony that God is never even mentioned. However, it seems that no matter what the setting, I’m assured to hear one statement being tossed around more than any other. You know the one, that infamous, “Well, at least they’re in a better place.” Brushing all political correctness aside, let’s be honest, if you’re a Christian who knows God’s Word you’re not really thinking that when someone makes that claim about an unbeliever. Let me paraphrase what most of us our actually thinking, “You’re loved one is eternally burning in a lake of fire, tormented day and night, with no escape.”

Now that statement may seem brash to some reading this. But the fact is, it’s the truth! The Bible states two very important facts about Hell. First, Hell is conscious torment. It is described as a “Furnace of fire…where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50). And its inhabitants, “Will be tormented with fire and brimstone” (Revelations 14:10). Second, Hell is not some temporary weekend stay at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons. The Bible says that Hell is eternal and irreversible. “The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night” (Revelation 14:11). “Anyone’s name not found written in the book of life, will be thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

Unfortunately, conventional wisdom has interceded and watered down biblical truth. Atheists and agnostics aside; the majority of people if asked today what happens when they die believes in the good person/bad person consequence. The belief that when you die, you will stand before God, and as long as you’ve done enough good things that outweigh the bad things, then you get into Heaven. Because only good people go to Heaven, and Heaven is for good people, right? On the flipside, the belief also asserts that if you’ve done enough bad things, which outweigh your good ones, then you will go to Hell, because Hell is only for bad people. Essentially the belief is: Heaven is for good people who get in by doing good things, while Hell is for bad people who have done too many bad things.

Almost everyone believes they are good person… but the real question you should be asking yourself is Am I good enough to get into heaven? How do you know? The Bible says that each one of us, “Will all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Romans 14:10). If this philosophy is true, then by who’s standards are you measuring your eternity? God’s Law is the Ten Commandments. And even Mother Teresa herself said she was unable to keep them. So ask yourself this. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen… anything? What about that hot guy or girl you see at the gym… ever lusted over them? Then you assuredly have broken one of these; and these are only 3 of the 10 Commandments. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Well compared to some people I’m a saint.” But the standard which we are measured against is God’s Law; not other people’s. Take for instance if you’ve sinned just once a day in your life. That’s 365 sins in one year. If you live to be 80, you will have broken God’s Law 29,200 times. And you will have to answer to God for each one of these sins you have committed. If breaking God’s law just once keeps you from going to Heaven, do you think that being a good person is going to help you now?

I once knew a friend who was raised in a Christian home. And all though brought up well, rebelled against God for most of his life. Often I would try and have a serious discussion about life or it’s meaning, and whether he understood God and His plans for our afterlife. To this I was always met with him saying, “I don’t want to talk about it.” One day God impressed upon my heart that I needed to go minister to him again. So I went to see him and said, “I want to talk to you about the meaning of life and what happens after we die.” Once again I got, “I don’t want to talk about it.” This time I said, “No today, we are going to talk about it.” And we finally got to really talk about life and God’s plan for us. As a result, He committed his life to the Lord. It was only a month later that He was unexpectedly killed in a tragic car accident. I am so glad that while the conversation was not an easy one, I didn’t take “no” for an answer that day.

A funeral is a time when man comes face to face with their own mortality… and morality. While you may think you are doing the right thing by stating politically correct words of condolence; you are actually doing them an eternal disservice. I’m not saying that we need to confront people at their weakest moments with in your face comments like; “Sorry to tell you, but Johnny is burning in Hell.” To be honest, once a person is gone, the Bible does not say that those left behind can pray their loved ones back into Heaven. But we should be using it as a time to aid those who still have a chance.

The Bible is clear, everyone will exist eternally either in Heaven or Hell (Matthew 25:46, John 5:28). And each one of us will become responsible for which one of those places we eventually wind up in. Still think that if you’re a “good person” you’ll just squeak by into heaven? This way of thinking is completely inconsistent with what the Bible teaches. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that Hell has been prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41); it was never prepared for bad people at all. Likewise, Heaven is the dwelling place of the Godly. When you stand before God and He makes the decision if you get into Heaven or are cast down into Hell, His deepest concern is not whether you were good or bad. The pressing question on God’s mind will be, “Did you believe in My Son Jesus Christ?

The assurance that we will go to Heaven because we are a “good person” is not as our culture often tries to convey. Our assurance lies within the pages of the Bible and what God teaches; not man. It a Son question—not a Sin question. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The Good News is that it is never too late. Even if you have lived a sinfully wicked life up to this point, all you need to do is call out to the Lord Jesus Christ in genuine repentance, and you will be assured a place in Heaven.However, if you are still living in a cloud of disbelief that you are relatively a “good person” who lives morally and does good deeds, yet have never put your faith in Jesus Christ, then you will not go to Heaven. Oh and by the way, there is no measurement of good works that would ever outweigh your bad works in God’s eyes. I’m so thankful that’s not what we’ll all eventually be judged by.

Maybe you’re sitting here reading this saying to yourself, “I’ll get right with God one day.” Well, what happens if you’re like my friend I spoke of earlier and are killed in a tragic car accident on your way to work? The Bible says, “Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Are you really willing to put your eternal salvation into the hands of a day that has not yet been promised?

Make the commitment right now! Now with all your heart, turn away from your sin, and surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Please don’t put it off. You may die today and then it will be too late. Put your faith and trust in Him today. God doesn’t want you to go to Hell. And neither do you want to go there; so confess your sins to God right now, put your trust in Jesus to save you, and you will pass from death to life. When your day comes, won’t you be glad that you know you are going to Heaven; rather than hoping you’ve done enough good deeds?

In closing, I know that death is a topic that many try to avoid; likewise, the reality about a person’s salvation. And it’s even harder when it’s a family member. Maybe you don’t know how to lead someone to Christ; or don’t know what to do yourself. Look, it’s not some big spectacle at a church where it needs to take place. Your eternal security can be changed, right here… right now as you read this. And it begins by praying something like this to God:

“Dear God, today I turn away from all of my sins (name them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way for me to be saved. He is ‘The way, the truth, and the life.’ Please forgive me, change my heart, and grant me Your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you’ve taken the time to say this prayer I would like to congratulate you for making the commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Your obedience to God is proof of your love for His Son. From here you should go out and find a good church to help you grow. Don’t wait for an invite; iIf you have questions, call a local church and ask to speak to a pastor. The decision you have just made is not taken lightly, and it comes with eternal rewards. As the Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). For now when that day comes and people are speaking about you at your funeral, and someone says, “Well, at least they’re in a better place;” you have the knowledge of knowing… you really are.

If you’ve made the decision to commit your life to Christ or have questions, please use the contact me form at http://pastordodd.com/about/contact-me/ to reach out and let me know.

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

Categories: Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Where was God on September 11th? (My Firsthand Account)

On September 11, 2001 the world as we know it changed forever. 10-years has passed since that fateful day, and we as American’s still find ourselves struggling to make since of it all. Some of us have been able to move on; yet for others like myself, the mere mention of the words “September 11th” brings up paralyzing memories of a day that will forever live in infamy. As a nation comes together this weekend to remember those who sacrificed their lives, I still find myself angered, grieving, and questioning why this day had to occur. While each of us carries a memory of where we were when we heard the horrific news, there are some of us that still struggle to cope with what occurred that day. It’s been incredibly difficult for me because I was there to experience it firsthand. As my wife will tell you, this is not a subject that I like to speak about; in fact, this is the first time that I’ve spoke about it publicly since that fateful Tuesday morning. While most American’s watched the events of this day unfold on television, I had an unwanted front-row seat of what occurred at the Pentagon the morning of the attack. I’ve often been asked what happened that day, but I could never bring myself to speak openly about what I had witnessed. After much soul-searching, I’ve decided to share what I saw as a way to help myself cope with this ordeal; and try and lighten the burden that I’ve carried with me the last 10-years of my life.

In September 2011, I had been in the United States Air Force for 13-years. At the time, I was stationed at Anderson AFB on the island of Guam and was working as a General’s Aide. Like all General’s Aides before me, it was now my time to be sent to the Pentagon for 2-weeks of culinary training. This training occurred at a location in the Pentagon called the Executive Dining Room. This is the area where the top military leaders are fed and the culinary skills of chefs are honed. To be honest, as I began my second day of training, there seemed to be a real eerie feeling in the air. But I shrugged it off thinking that it was probably just the fact that working in the Pentagon was different than I was used to. As we were in full swing of breakfast service, one of my fellow chefs came flying into the kitchen telling us that an aircraft had just hit the World Trade Center (WTC). As we all huddled around that small television set in the corner of the dining room, I like everyone else thought it must have been pilot error. This was until we watched in horror as another plane hit the second tower. As we gasped in disbelief, the kitchen’s food vendor called from the Pentagon courtyard to let us know that the morning shipment had arrived. Needing a break, I volunteered to go down with a fellow worker to pick up the shipment.

Looking back, I realize now that it was pretty ironic that the delivery truck was parked on the same side of the Pentagon where the aircraft hit. We had just finished unloading the truck and started to leave the courtyard while talking about the WTC attack. As we entered the building it seemed as if things began unfolding in slow motion. I remember the glass doors closing behind me as I uttered the words that will haunt me until the day I die, “I can’t believe they hit the WTC, you think if they wanted to hit something they would hit the Pentagon…” Just as those last words left my lips, the building exploded into a ball of fire. We never saw it coming; and we were just a few hundred feet from the aircraft entry point. Till this day I still remember the powerful compression of the blast as it knocked victims to the ground. The glass breaking around us as the walls came tumbling down. Suddenly there was the skyline, filled with smoke. Even as I write this, the memories seem unmanageable; the horrifying sound of screaming victims as they jumped from the 3rd and 4th floors of the Pentagon; the smell of jet fuel in the air; and the stampede of military personnel as they began to evacuate in chaos.

As I ran through the dark hallways in a daze of disbelief, we opened doorways looking for survivors as we evacuated. Imagine 23,000 people in full-blown panic mode trying to get out at once. The outpouring of personnel yelling and crying as we ran down the halls was indescribable. As we made it outside to the exterior of the Pentagon, suddenly the aircraft fuselage exploded sending everyone scattering. People were climbing over fences, hiding under SUV’s, and running through traffic; anything to distance themselves from what was happening. There was such fear and hurt in everyone’s eyes. And take make matters worse, a new warning came over the loud speaker to take cover, an unidentified aircraft was approaching 20-miles out. Luckily this time, it was a false alarm. Yet here we stood, all cell phones were dead, the Secret Service, FBI and local police swarmed around us, and as many as 10 helicopters were flying around as smoke poured out of the Pentagon. To add to the chaos, F-16 aircraft began circling the perimeter and we were told to take cover because they had orders to fire on any approaching aircraft.

When we were finally released to go home, it was 12:30 pm; however, due to the traffic congestion, the once 20-minute drive to my hotel took over 4-hours until I walked in the door. During this 4-hour period, with cell phone service cut, I was unable to call anyone to let them know I was okay; let alone alive. As I grabbed the hotel phone there were so many messages on the hotel message service that they literally stopped recording them. How heart wrenching it was to know that my family back in Guam had known about the attack for 5-hours before I finally was able to call and tell them that I was okay. Not to mention, how much emotion poured out of me when I called my father’s work and told his receptionist that, “When you see my Dad, can you please just tell him that his son is alive…” As I recount what happened that day, I look back now and think how close I really came to dying. 45-seconds longer and I would have been in the exact area that the plane had hit.

Later that evening I received a call that the Executive Dining Room Staff and I were being called back in at two-o’clock in the morning to support rescue efforts. As we walked into the Pentagon it seemed liked such a hallowed place. The once bustling hallways were totally empty. As I write this, one thing that still sticks out in my mind were the plate glass doors entering the building. They were completely smashed as if they never made it open; as if someone was running trying to get out but couldn’t. As we worked to feed the troops, we used literally anything available. Our once 5-Star kitchen had resorted to making sliced hotdog sandwiches; anything to feed those working diligently to preserve this countries peace and freedom in a time of cowardly agression. As we worked through the early morning the Pentagon was still on fire. The walls and floors were covered with thick black ash. And the smell of smoke, jet-fuel, and another chard smell that I wish not to name kept us on the verge of upheaving. As dawn broke, I took a moment to walk about the Pentagon corridors. From the windows, I was able to peer into the courtyard. It was at this time that I was brought to my knees in uncontrollable tears. There, lay row after row of sheet-covered bodies; someone’s mother, father, sister, brother or friend. The sight of innocent people killed while defending our great nation. Lives lost for some useless ploy at disrupting our way of life.

It’s been 10-years and yet the memories seem just as vivid as the day they occurred. As we join together this tenth-anniversary of September 11th, we as a nation remember those who lost their lives. It is at this time that I find myself reflecting on a question that many people have asked, “Where was God on September 11th ?” When we think back at what happened that dreadful day, people tend to focus more on the evil and destruction and tend to forget the thousands of miracles that transpired in the face of evil. While thousands never made it out of the WTC and the Pentagon, there were also thousands that were able to make it out just in the nick of time. Let’s not also forget the brave passengers on Flight 93 who defeated the terrorists and saved thousands of lives from another plane attack. Yes, I can tell you firsthand that September 11th was a tragic and unwarranted attack on this country; however, though these events were horrific, God still proved that He was in control. We should never doubt His sovereign grace. Did God have the power to stop what had happened? There’s no doubt. Yet how many lives did He save that day? How many lives are forever touched? And as a direct result of September 11th, how many people made the commitment to place their faith in Christ for salvation?

So the question remains, “Where was God on September 11th ?” The answer is, right were He was supposed to be. It is in these moments of trial and suffering that we as Christ followers must lean on the words found in the book of Romans, “And we know that all things work for good to those who love God, and are called to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). If we have learned anything from the tragic events that unfolded on September 11th, it should be that we should not go to work each day in an illusion that we live in a perfect world. That nothing of this magnitude could ever happen on U.S. soil. The pain that was inflicted that day will never be forgotten. Only bandages can cover the sores, but the pain will never go away. I for one will never go a day without remembering what I saw. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t shed tears for our fallen heroes. And while I pray for the victim’s families, I thank God that I wasn’t one of them. If you’re taking the time to read this, you have somehow touched a part of my life and I thank you for being in it. I would ask you to go to work each day knowing that one person can really make a difference. That life is too short to worry about the small things. Hug your spouse, children, family, and friends and tell them that you love them. Because that one-day that you don’t, just may be the last day that you’ll ever have the opportunity to. God bless you, and GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!

Building HIS Kingdom One Soul at a Time…

Pastor Steve

 

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