Summary: September 11th Rememberance Service

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I. A Time of Healing

A. Text: Isaiah 61:1-3

“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

B. In light of the events of September 11, 2001, it is important for the people of God to not mourn or grieve losses, but rather rejoice in what God has done through – and in spite of - this tragic event.

C. Our text tells us that we have been anointed of God to preach good news {glad tidings; the gospel} to those who are meek.

D. This word ‘meek’ is translated ‘poor,’ or in other cases as ‘depressed.’

E. The enemy’s complete desire is to use the tactic of fear and terror to bring oppression and depression upon mankind.

F. To bring terror is nothing more than attempting to use fear as a weapon.

G. Once someone has brought another person to the point of absolute fear, and then they become obsessed with that thing that they fear…thus the oppression.

H. Then, as they discover that they – alone – cannot do anything about the situation – depression will kick in.

I. And yet, Jesus promised: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20b, KJV)

J. And, in Luke 18:27 – “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (KJV)

II. Remnants, Relics & Remains

A. The Lord promised ‘beauty for ashes.’

B. What are ashes? They are nothing more than the remains of something that once was.

C. Many of you are now looking back at ‘what used to be,’ and you are wishing it could be that way again.

D. You’ve lost something or someone that ‘used to be’ and are wishing you could have that person or thing once again.

E. You are grieving your past; grieving past relationships; grieving past memories; grieving past moments of blessing and are dreaming of ‘what used to be!”

F. Your past relationships have failed – they are nothing more than ashes it seems – but God has promised beauty! He has promised to replace your ashes for beauty!

G. Psalm 113:7 “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap…” (NIV)

H. It seems at times that you may have nothing left other than remnants of what once was.

I. You look around you and see nothing more than relics of the way things used to be.

J. Many in New York City have taken a look back to a year ago – this week- only to find hurts, grief and memories of the remains of yesterday. But I’m here to tell you today that God wants to give you beauty for what has turned to ash! He desires to fill your life with blessing once again!

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