Pastor Dennis Devorick

Sept. 11, or 9/11, is a day we are to remember. Living these past months caught up in the pandemic, some may have forgotten it. We need to be reminded of the events of that day and what has transpired since.

Remember the whole world was in a frenzy. Remember when the nation came together to heal. Republicans and Democrats held hands and sang on the steps of Congress; our churches were full, and people turned to God in prayer.

In this pandemic, I wish we would have the same response.

After Sept. 11, as a nation we went all out to rid the world of terrorists, and we continue to do so. We have been very much indoctrinated into a world that is full of fear, even more so as we live through this pandemic. I am concerned that we have allowed fear to overcome our faith.

Matt. 17: 20 says “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

This passage of Scripture was directed at the disciples who were not able to accomplish a task because they had so little faith.

I believe that we need to settle back and take a good look at our faith.

Is it not faith that saves us through God’s grace? We are not being graded by a higher power on our works. That is a relief! There are few, if any, of us who can live up to our own standards, let alone God’s standards.

But even when we recognize that faith is the measuring rod for our salvation, some of us change from what terrorized us to another terror. As we come into worship each week in person or as we watch online, we may question whether we have measured up.

We may have doubts about the Immaculate Conception or Jesus walking upon the water during a storm. We look at the stories of Jesus’ miracles and we wonder how He could possibly have fed 5,000 with just a few fishes and loaves of bread. Perhaps the biggest question that confronts many is how Jesus could possibly have come out of the grave after three days.

If God is grading us, then maybe we have just flunked out of heaven.

Take a deep breath and remember we are saved not by our works of mind or body, but by faith in Jesus Christ. We must put our full trust in Him.

We are not the only ones who question what the Bible tells us about Jesus.

Peter thought Jesus was a ghost as He walked upon the water.

Andrew did not believe the story of the feeding of the 5,000.

Martha, the sister of Lazarus, knew Lazarus’ body would stink if anyone went in where he was buried. She did not believe that Jesus would raise up Lazarus from the grave.

Prior to this miracle when Jesus heard of the death of His good friend, we read in the shortest Bible verse, John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”

Many of us we find ourselves like Jesus, weeping for those who have been lost since 9/11 and during this pandemic.

In the story of Lazarus, after Jesus wept, Resurrection happened. We need to move beyond our tears to new life also.

What has all this got to do with Sept.11 and this pandemic? A great deal!

We need to remember to pray for those who have been lost, and their families and loved ones. We need to pray that these events will not ever occur again.

However, we need to get on with life, not in fear, but with faith. We need to come together as one nation in humility and prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says “Then if My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

With the events of Sept.11, many have said, and again during this pandemic, this is the beginning of the end.

Live your life with faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t be fearful of what tomorrow may bring. So many end time prophecies have been wrong.

Remember what Moses had to say about prophecies: Deut. 18:22 says “If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.”

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 24:23-26 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time. So, if someone tells you, ‘Look, the messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it!”

Don’t let the tragedy of Sept. 11 or this pandemic altar your faith. If you believe Jesus will come again, spend more time loving one another and trusting that God will direct your life according to His will for your life.

We have been given the breath of life, so live it. Do what you believe is acceptable in God’s sight. Look around you, there just might be someone who needs to know you and your faith. The fields are ready for the harvest, let us do our share of reaping so that others may know Jesus as you do.

Don’t be fearful, but have faith in Jesus Christ.

Be thankful that God has been so gracious to us that He has granted us the privilege of living in this great nation of ours. He has done so that we may be able to preserve the faith upon which this nation was founded.

We were violated by the events of Sept. 11. There may be other such events as the pandemic, but never allow your faith to waver. Read and obey the Word of God:

Romans 8:37-39 says “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

F.A.I.T.H. = Forsaking All I Take Him

Pastor Dennis Devorick, pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church, 1527 Hwy 544, Conway, can be reached at 843-347-3781, www.CCUMethodist.com or djdevorick@umcsc.org

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