Summary: This message was delivered to a Men's Breakfast group and Sunday services on the fifteenth anniversary of September 11th. Our society and the church have often yielded in many ways since then. A wake up call to the church.
Lanier Christian Church
September 11, 2016 (Also Hamilton Mill Christian Men’s Breakfast – 9/10/16)
David Simpson – Sermon Series: Signs of Life - #3
Signs of Life: I will not Yield
Fifteen years ago today, on a Tuesday, America was shaken to its core. The tragic events of September 11th will live forever in the memories of those of us who remember that terrible day. Over 6,000 people were injured that day and 2,996 people lost their lives – passengers on planes, workers in builders, first responders who rushed to the scenes of tragedy. It was the worst tragedy in our nation’s history.
For the first time ever, fifteen years ago, I opened the doors of the church for prayer on a Tuesday. For the first time ever, we devoted our entire Wednesday Bible study to prayer for our nation. For the first time ever, I led a prayer the following Thursday for those who were present where I get my hair cut. For the first time ever, the principal at Gainesville Middle School called on my wife to lead the teachers and faculty in prayer that terrible day and for several days after. For the first time ever, our church attendance surged like no other time as people sought comfort. For the first time ever, I prayed for our nation’s leaders and first responders and military for weeks on end. For the first time ever I was scared for my children and the world they would live in.
Thankfully, fifteen years ago we knew WHO to turn to. We turned to Almighty God and the strength and courage that is found in Him. Fifteen years ago we found comfort in verses like Psalm 18:1-3
“I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
My God is my rock in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
And I have been saved from my enemies.”
And yet, today, fifteen years later, and after thousands of lives have been lost in the fight against terrorism, the battle continues. Who would have ever thought that we would live in such perilous times?
Therefore, the prayers must continue, and we must never waver in standing for the righteous truth that our faith is built upon, and we must always live boldly for our God.
This is the third sermon on my sermon series about signs of life…signs we see along the highway that can imply spiritual truth. I pass yield signs every day as I travel down the highway. You do too. This yield sign (PHOTO) is just up the road from the church, almost within sight of our driveway. Good drivers know to yield to oncoming traffic. It is a basic rule of the highway.
But there are times over these 15 years, when we have yielded as believers, and we should not have done so. Instead we should have spiritually obeyed the road sign that says: “Keep Moving.” (PHOTO) Keep moving forward in your faith. Instead we have often yielded in the years since September 11, 2001. For instance….
We have often yielded our prayer life.
When is the last time you prayed…sincerely prayed…for our Country, Our President, Our Military, Our First Responders? Is it on a daily basis like it was fifteen years ago? But, lest I accuse others of yielding, I must start with myself.
Have I prayed with the same fervor I did the days after the 9/ll tragedies? Do I seek the Lord’s blessing for our government and military? Do I seek the Lord’s protection over our first responders be they EMTs, Police or Firefighters? Do I pray that the Lord would increase our strength and courage as we fight evil? Do I pray that the Lord would increase my faith against the evil threat of terrorism?
I prepared this sermon after our bulletin was printed. I want you to compare our prayers today to what they were 15 years ago. (PHOTO) “Pray for our President, Leaders, Military, Rescue Personnel and the World.” None of those are listed in our prayer bulletin today.
Today, I must choose not to yield. Can I honestly say?.... I will not yield my prayer life. I will not allow apathy or despair to rob me of a prayer life that seeks the Lord above all and prays specifically for the many needs around me. I must not be complacent in my prayer life. Yes, I must yield my life to the Lord and HIS will, but I must not yield the life giving connection I have with the Almighty through prayer.
I want to be more like the apostle Paul when he wrote to the Colossian church: