Very few are unaware of the significance of September 11th. Five years ago the world was saturated with images which caused shock, fear, anger, and confusion. And each year we again see the images which, in many ways, changed how we view our world. What does it mean to live in a world where people blow themselves up to glorify their god? But then, what does it mean to live in a world where thousands die of starvation and disease every day, where unborn babies are killed, where men hit their wives and children, and where the definition of marriage is freely changed? Dear Lord, we need Your message of truth!
2 Corinthians 4:18 "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
Is it possible to look past the images of this world and receive a message from God? His messages are available, but they must not be clouded by what we see and hear, or processed through a filter of fear and anger. We must learn to see with new eyes and hear with new ears. However, God's messages cannot be received, and certainly not understood, unless we first believe; "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing" (1 Corinthians 1:18). Those who have not, by faith, trusted in the sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, cannot begin to understand; their heart is hard and unopened to the truth.
The first message God continues to send is that we live in a fallen world in which life is extremely fragile and short; "a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14). God is not trying to depress us with this message; rather, He simply desires our priorities to remain with the eternal King of Kings - not with the temporary, and unsatisfying, gods of this world.
The other message from God is the challenge to speak and live His Word in the face of all kinds of evil and adversity; "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20). Our actions, and reactions, send a message to those who are watching - and they ARE watching! If we are to declare the glory of God in all we do, then what do others perceive of God's glory as they watch our actions and listen to our words? Is our life being an effective ambassador of Christ?
Two thousand years ago, God demonstrated His love by sending His Son to die for our sins; "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). He did this so that those who believed would be transformed and given the gift of eternal life. Once we understand the love of God and the magnitude of our forgiveness through Jesus, we can begin to follow His command to love and forgive others; "Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:13). Without His undeserved forgiveness, we would all spend eternity in the same hell as anyone else who rejects Christ. Let's begin to listen for what is unheard and look for what is unseen. Let's focus on the eternal and respond in ALL situations with a new heart.