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Daily Devotional for Saturday September 10, 2005
(2 CORINTHIANS 5:20)
AS WE SPEND THE NEXT FEW DAYS TO REMEMBER THE HORRIBLE EVENTS OF 9/11, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO PUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE UNITED STATES THAT DAY IN THE CONTEXT OF OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. I WAS NEVER SO THANKFUL TO GOD FOR THIS MINISTRY AS I WAS ON 9/11. WITHIN 10 MINUTES OF THE PLANES HITTING THE WORLD TRADE CENTER, WITHOUT EVEN UNDERSTANDING FULLY WHAT WAS HAPPENING, WE HAD MOBILIZED A WORLDWIDE PRAYER EFFORT INVOLVING OVER 1 MILLION PEOPLE.
WAS IT AN ACCIDENT THE OTHER PLANES THAT WERE TO BE FLOWN INTO BUILDINGS ON THAT DAY WERE GROUNDED? NO!!! IN THE FOLLOWING DAYS, OVER 2,000 THAT WE KNOW OF, ACCEPTED CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOR. EVEN IN GREAT TRAGEDY, GOD IS WORKING! PLEASE PRAY AND READ THE WORDS GOD WROTE THROUGH ME ON THAT DAY SINCE THEY HAVE AS MUCH RELEVANCE NOW AS THEY DID ON THE DAY THAT THEY WERE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN.
THE DATE OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 IS A DATE THAT WILL FOREVER LIVE IN UNITED STATES HISTORY. IT MARKS THE DAY WHEN THE REALITY OF THE END-TIMES BECAME PART OF OUR EVERY DAY LIVES. MAY GOD BE MERCIFUL TO THIS GREAT NATION AND ITS' PEOPLE AS THESE EVENTS UNFOLD. PLEASE MAKE SURE THIS GETS POSTED IN YOUR CHURCH, AT YOUR WORK, AND YOU SEND IT TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
(Originally sent on September 12, 2001)
It is 10 p.m. on Tuesday night, the 11th of September as I write this Devotional. I am absolutely drained as I type these words. I have been in prayer the last hour, asking God to speak through me to help put this watershed day in US history in some perspective for you. First of all, thank you for joining me this morning in what turned out to be an incredible prayer effort. Less than an hour after the events of the day began to unfold, I sent a special call to prayer to over 700,000 worldwide that make up the subscriber base of this Daily Devotional.
Many forwarded it on to family and friends, and within a few hours, we had mobilized over 1 million around the world to be in prayer for the families of those who lost loved ones, for the injured, for those brave men and women in the rescue teams, the talented people in the hospitals, for our nations leaders, and finally, for those who planned and carried out this horrific attack on innocent people. I know God heard our prayers and has been working in a mighty way throughout this tragic day. Additionally, we were flooded with tens of thousands of emails, many expressing fear over what happened, many wondering if the end is now upon us, most asking simply, why did God allow this? Let me take this time to deal with these questions, and put this days events in perspective for you.
Why did God allow this to happen to innocent people? There is never a good answer when these tragedies occur. To try and understand however, you must step back and look at the big picture. God made man and all creation perfect. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, that perfection was spoiled. He was now born with sin and his environment was tainted by sin. The fact is, we live in a world where evil abounds. It is rampant throughout every aspect of creation. As part of this world, we are subject to the evil actions of sinful men around us.
Could God stop an event like this from occurring? Of course. Why doesn't He? Only God knows that answer, but the Bible teaches us that there will come a day in time when He will end this world as we know it. Don't forget, we are bound by time and space. We measure our lives with time. God is not bound by time and space. The Bible tells us that a thousand years are but a day to God. So while we may wonder why it takes God so long to clean things up, we forget that God has no conception of time. His creation will come and go quickly in light of eternity, even though it seems like a long time to us.
The fact is, all throughout human history, people are born and they die. Many die tragically, seemingly innocent of anything other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nobody who got on those hijacked planes today, nobody who went to work at the World Trade Center today, nobody who went to work at the Pentagon today, thought they would never make it back home. The Bible clearly tells us that tomorrow is promised to none of us. That is why we must make the most of today, and treat it like the precious gift it is.
We must find ways to serve Him, even if that is simply being kind to someone you meet along the way. We should never take for granted our daily time with the Lord in prayer and the Word, since that is the only relationship we take with us into eternity. Never take your life for granted, since you never know when and how it will end. Until God steps in and wipes this creation away as He has promised to do one day, there will be evil in the world, and innocent people will tragically die.
Is this the start of the end times? Only God knows for sure. In my spiritual gut, I believe today was a VERY big day in the overall end time events. Any time someone tries to take a specific current event and match it up with a passage of Scripture, be VERY CAUTIOUS of that person. That is an extremely dangerous game. My gut instinct about what happened today is in this context. There is no doubt that the United States has played a special role in God's overall plan. This nation was blessed from its founding and used by God to bring millions and millions of souls worldwide to the Kingdom.
I have shared in the past how I was very concerned that in the last 40 years we have squandered our blessing through the moral decay we have allowed this nation to undergo. The destruction of the family, abortion, compromising the Word of God, have led to the United States to be much like Israel in the Old Testament. I have warned you, and have no doubt that without dealing with these issues immediately, God will eventfully take His hand of protection and blessing off of our great nation, just like He did at times with Israel.
The Holy Spirit quickened in me this morning as I watched what happened, that "God allowed this to happen to our great nation." Only God knows the day and time of the return of Christ, but the Bible says it will be in the twinkling of an eye. The Word of God clearly tells us that we are living in the last days. Today's event for me was simply more confirmation of that.
The question many are asking is, "What can I do?" Pray and serve. Today is a wake up call for all of God's children to realize how serious this battle is. We have it way too easy here in the United States. We have the freedom to worship God any way that we want, we face minimal if any persecution, we have the resources of the greatest nation in the world. Yet despite all of that, the majority of God's children here are spiritually fat and lazy.
We pay very little cost to be called a child of God. I think about those early Christians, how they sat in the Roman prisons, waiting to be fed to the lions. They knew that there was a price to be a Christian, and were happy to pay it. I think about how a handful of common men after our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection turned the world of their day upside down with the Good News of Jesus Christ. How? They were sold out and committed to share the Gospel with everyone. They knew the price of being a Christian was their very life. It no longer belonged to them, but belonged to God.
I pray that today will be a wake up call in your life that being a Christian has a price attached to it. So many are focused on this brief time here, instead of the eternity that awaits each of us. They forget that their role here is to be a servant, not be served. I take this message today to the masses, because the majority of the spiritual leaders of our day have no vision, they have no leadership skills, they have no fire to send the people of God out into this sin-filled and evil world and proclaim that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords!!!!!!
My word for you tonight is quit waiting for your pastor, or some evangelist, or a TV preacher, or anyone else to do great things for God. THAT IS WHY GOD HAS RAISED YOU UP IN THESE LAST DAYS. TO DO GREAT THINGS FOR HIM. No football player ever won the Super Bowl, no baseball player ever won the World Series by sitting in he stands. You have to get out on the field and work hard every day, give it 100%, and expect God to use you to share the hope and love of Christ with this dying world.
I PRAY TONIGHT THAT YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN, THAT EVERYONE WHO DIED IN THIS TRAGEDY TODAY WILL BE A REMINDER TO YOU THAT THE ENEMY IS OUT TO KILL, STEAL, AND DESTROY, AND THAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU!!!!...YOU!!!...FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!!!!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I am not afraid of the events of today, I am challenged by them. I see them as an incredible opportunity to share Christ with a world that is hurting, lost, and looking for answers. We have the answers for this world, and they are in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Bad things will happen to good people in this evil world until God brings this world to an end. We ARE living in the end times according to Scripture. We each have a responsibility as a Christian to be about our Father's business until either Christ comes or God tells us our work here is over and calls us home. May we never forget that we must work while it is still light, that night is coming. May you and your family be richly blessed during these extraordinary times in which we live.
My friend, let me take this time to ask you if you died today, are you 100% sure that you will spend your eternity with Jesus? If you can not answer that question yes, or you are not sure, please go to www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.html . Pray and ask God to open your heart before you read this information. This is the most important decision that you will make in this life. I am praying for you.