Today as I write this, our country will mark with somber reflection, the 12th anniversary of the tragic and cowardly 9-11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington DC, and Shanksville PA. If you are like most people, you remember in vivid detail where you were when you heard or saw the terrible news that a multiple planes had hit the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in DC. You remember those 44 brave passengers on United Airlines flight 93 who overpowered the hijackers and crashed that plane into a field rather than whatever target the terrorists had in mind. Literally there are thousands of stories to be told and reflected upon from the events of that awful day where life in America and how we travel by air changed forever. Those stories must be remembered and retold lest we ever forget the cost of freedom, liberty and security for the nation we love called the United States of America.
On days like today, it is appropriate to move a little slower, take time to reflect, mourn the loss of life and say a prayer for the families of those victims, for ourselves, our families and for our nation as a whole and to thank God for our first responders and military personnel. We are battle weary and worn from 12 years of fighting wars and battles on multiple fronts against terrorists. With all the stress that 9-11 has added to our lives and the financial impact on our economy where we’re scratching out a living, everything costs way too much, and there is great concern on all fronts as to what the future holds; it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger battle we’re engaged in as Christians.
The “Bigger Battle” I’m referring to is for the souls of men, women, boys and girls. Certainly, we are citizens of the greatest country in the world with a duty to our country, but we as Christians need to be reminded we’re passing through this life on the road to eternity and our primary citizenship is in Heaven. We need to be reminded that the Lord Jesus Christ is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that in spite of 9-11, God has not moved off His throne. We need to be reminded that the Gospel still has the power to transform lives and is the power of God to salvation. Satan would have us to believe there is a gag order upon us and we can’t speak about Jesus. Satan is a liar who doesn’t want us to be about our Heavenly Father’s business, living like Jesus who came to “seek and to save that which was lost.”
Dear Christian brothers and sisters, today on 9-11, be encouraged that the Bigger Battle has already been won and Jesus Christ has declared victory over Satan and the forces of Hell. We were horrified 12 years ago and still are at the evil and wickedness the human race is capable of carrying out on their fellow man. Yet I want to encourage you as a Christian soldier, you are God’s agent of blessing to the people around you in your circle of influence. Every day, you have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people you come into contact with because you have living within you God’s Holy Spirit. As you go about your daily routine, the power of God pulses within you with all the resources of Heaven available to you as you walk in the Spirit and seek to honor the Lord. If you make yourself available to the Lord each day, the Holy Spirit will give you many opportunities to shine brightly for Jesus. As you let your light shine, people will be drawn to ask questions about the hope and joy you have. The Apostle Peter encourages us of how to prepare for those natural questions: “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” (1st Pet.3:15).
Tragic things happen in people’s lives every day and yet God has placed believers here on earth as His carriers of hope and blessing. When someone you know in your circle of influence is having a bad day or tragedy strikes them, remember God has you connected to that person “for such a time as this.” You are equipped with the power of Almighty God to simply introduce them to your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In the aftermath of 9-11, I know in my life and I’m certain in other believers, I think we were more sensitive to minister to people around us who were hurting and in despair because of the national tragedy. Today 12 years later there are still lots of people out there that are hurting and in despair and are looking for hope.
At Ground Zero in New York, two massive blue beacons illuminate the night sky as a vivid reminder of 9-11. Oh dear Christian friends, you are great beacons of light for the Lord Jesus Christ in a dark world. Let us continue to let our lights shine boldly for Jesus so the world will be pointed to Him in the same way those beams in New York point to the God of Heaven who is bigger than the evil of 9-11. Something to reflect on and find encouragement in, from my little corner of the world to yours…