Saturday, September 11, 2010


Recently, I've been watching and listening to all the rhetoric about that infamous act of terrorism upon America nine years ago. For those of us who are old enough, we all remember where we were and what we were doing at that moment, much like the dark days of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

 I've seen hurt, anger, and pain all over again, along with statements ranging across the spectrum.  Today, we hear about burning Korans and arguing about where a mosque should be built, but these are not going to change any hearts.  Book burnings have never accomplished whatever they were meant to do.  The insensitivity to the families of the 9/11 victims will not be changed by argument and protest, either. 

Christians should always stand for what is righteous, but our calling is to spread the message of salvation to a world who has, for the most part, heard only a skewed message of redemption.  Are not all people, whatever their religious or political persuasion, part of The Great Commission?  After His resurrection, "Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"  Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

 Jesus, my Lord and Savior, died upon that cross for all who would accept Him as Savior.  He gave up His life willingly, and rose from the dead three days later.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that mankind must work his way to heaven, do certain acts to incur God's favor, or keep a list of laws in order to get there.  If those were the case, then Jesus would not have needed to die in the first place!  His death, burial, and resurrection are God's plan of redemption for man--accept Him as Savior, asking forgiveness for our sins, and receive eternal life.  That's it.  No strings attached.

Once we become a Christian, we are changed inside.  We are in a lifelong process of becoming more like Him, and our entire outlook focuses on the eternal rather than the short term.  When something bad happens, and it will, we can put it in proper perspective and seek His strength and guidance to sustain us and heal us.

Is my life now perfect since becoming a Christian 35 years ago?  Of course not--neither am I.  But I know He has given me eternal life, and I try to live for Him, putting Him first in my life.  Do I always do so?  Of course not--I am still a sinner, but saved by His grace.  He guides me, strengthens me, and loves me.

September 11 was a dark day in America.  But it brought us together as a nation.  We were not black or white, Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative--we were united.  Along the line since then, we've lost our focus as a nation.  I believe a great part of our efforts should be in turning back to God, seeking His wisdom and leadership, and being the kind of people He leads us to be. 

Only then can America truly be great.

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