Summary: In the light of Septmember 11, 2001, we must remember, honor, and trust.
Remembering, Honoring, Trusting
INTRO.- ILL.- One man said to his friend: "Say, you look depressed. What are you thinking about?" "My future," was the quick answer. "What makes it look so hopeless?" "My past."
Our past does tend to "taint" or affect our future. Good, bad or otherwise. Our past sometimes determines the path we take in the future.
ILL.- Looking back. One lady named Carole Mayhall, wrote in Today’s Christian Woman, "I glanced up from my desk, and for what seemed to be the hundredth time that week, my eyes fastened on a sign that read: ‘To err is human, but to really foul things up takes a computer.’ I groaned as I thought, Computers may make writing easier-but they don’t make my life easier!
"Despite the frustration my computer occasionally causes me, there’s one thing about it I cherish-its ‘delete’ key. What a wonderful little gizmo! With one press of a button, it completely erases an unwanted letter, word, or document.
"Yesterday, I wished I could press some kind of delete key and undo a bit of my life. I’d erase the ten minutes of major hail that fell and caused our bathroom skylight to leak-again. Oh, and I’d abolish the thirty minutes I spent toiling at my desk while the spaghetti sauce I put on low boiled over-not only on to the stove top, but on the rug as well. I’d like to undo at least those moments!
"But that’s minor stuff. I’d love to do away with some major painful, embarrassing, frustrating, even difficult events in my life. For example, when I was in high school, my mother almost died following surgery. I saw my father cry for the first time, and it broke my heart. I’d love to delete those weeks of heartache and pain.
"But the two most difficult years of my life were when my sister, Joye, suffered from leukemia. I’d like to erase the pain and suffering Joye experienced; I’d like to remove the hurt her family bore; I’d like to eradicate the tears and sorrow of that time."
Brothers and sisters, when we look back over our lives, we all have things that we would like to delete from them. We would like to delete the bad, the sorrowful, the painful and remember and even increase the joy-filled times.
Heb. 4:16 "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Mercy and grace. Two great things we all need.
When it comes to the pain of the past, we must ask God for mercy in order to get over it. There are some things that are hard to handle, hard to overcome, such as: losing loved ones in death, divorce, abuse, financial loss, etc.
We must ask God for mercy to put an end to our suffering over these things. Sometimes we are tormented in our spirits for years over such things. But our God is merciful. We must ask for Him to be merciful and have the confidence that He will demonstrate it.
And next, we must ask for grace to keep going forward. We are here by the grace of God. We exist by the grace of God. Good things come to us by the grace of God. We are only able to forgive by the grace of God. And, of course, we are only forgiven by God’s grace.
We will never move forward in life without the grace of God!
Brothers and sisters, our country is in the process of looking back and well, it should. We are looking back to that horrendous day of September 11, 2001.
ILL.- One article read, "When the hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, more than 1,100 people were trapped by wreckage and fire on the upper floors. Fewer than 20 managed to get out alive."
It’s hard for most of us to imagine what took place in the World Trade Center towers. In fact, there is no way we can imagine what happened. We can only rely on the firsthand testimony of those who were there and survived.
By the grace of God, some survived. And it is only by the grace of God that we survive the tragedies that come into our lives. Everything points to the Lord. By Him, we live and survive. And with Him, we die. Without Him we cannot live or live abundantly. And we certainly don’t want to die without Him!
PROP.- As we think about September 11, 2001, let us think in terms of:
ILL.- My wife Elaine says the reason God doesn’t let mothers over 50 have any more babies is because He knows that they will put them down somewhere and forget where they put them.