1. When I am abused – Genesis 50:20 – As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
2. When I am persecuted – 1 Samuel 23:14 – And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.
3. When I am weak – Psalm 73:26 – My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
4. When I am arrogant – Luke 12:19–20 – And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
5. When I am dead in my sin – Ephesians 2:1, 4-5 – And you were dead in the trespasses and sins…4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
6. When I am a sinner – Romans 5:6–8 – For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
7. When I am dying for the sins of the world – Acts 13:28–30 – And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead….
20 Years and Counting
It’s been twenty years today. Twenty years and counting
It’s so long ago, yet it’s not. It’s like yesterday, or like last week or like last fall.
But not twenty years ago today!
But it’s really been twenty years and twenty years and counting
The pile, the horrible stench, the fear, the tears, the funerals, the bagpipes, the reading of the names
They are all etched in our minds like a bad stain, they can become faded with time but they will never be wiped away
But more importantly we still see the faces
The dad, the mom, the son or daughter the Firefighter, the Cop, the EMS worker
We still see them, we still weep for them, they are still precious to us.
Though it’s been twenty years, twenty years and counting.
Our nation lost some good people that day at the Pentagon and at Shanksville and at The Towers
2977 souls that day. Over 1500 souls since then.
Our City lost some good people that day as well.
Officemates who walked down the stairs of the North Tower together but didn’t quite make it
Strangers who grabbed each others hands and jumped into eternity
Volunteers giving their all to save a few, some not saving themselves
We all lost some great people that day, some heroes
People who lived out the words of Jesus who said “Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends”
Heroes who would rather lose their life than to let someone else, even a stranger, lose theirs or lose theirs alone
343 firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers, 8 EMS workers
So many lost some very special people that day. We know them all by their names
They went by Daddy, Mommy, Grandpop, Grandma, Uncle, Auntie, Sis, Brother, Son, Daughter, Neighbor, Friend, New Yorker. They were all irreplaceable yet they are gone.
It still stings to think about them. It’s been twenty years, twenty years and counting.
And with the time the wounds heal but never completely. How can they?
The wound runs too deep. It has left a near eternal scar on our hearts
20 years later an aging parent still says, “I lost my boy”
20 years later a group of retirees in Florida say it would be great if only Jack or Janet were here
20 years later a pregnant daughter says at her shower, “I wish my mom were here”
20 years later a Yankee fan on their couch says, “I miss my Pop Pop”
20 years later a bride on her big day wishes for the steady arms of her dad to walk her down that aisle
Yes, it is hard to believe it’s been 20 years, 20 years and counting
So today we gather. We look together for hope
The Good Book says there is a time for every purpose under heaven. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry and a time to mourn and a time to rejoice and a time to embrace…..so we do that now.
It also says that “He makes everything beautiful in His time”. That is the day we look forward to. When God himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more crying or dying because the former things will have passed away. That is the day we are longing for when there will be a great reunion in the sky.
Until then we look back and remember, remember as we should…. 20 years, 20 years and counting until the day He makes us whole.
Pastor Dave Watson – Senior Pastor- Calvary Chapel