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Reflections on 9/11

September 12, 2005

As I remember the events that took place that tragic day I’m torn in two directions. One as an American I feel a call to arms not only to defend this great nation, but also to seek out and destroy radical Islam. But there is a growing, I don’t know if feeling is the right word, maybe desire would better, I just believe it is time for me, at least to start forgiving my enemies. Not only did Christ teach us to love our enemies but He also said that hate is murder, and I’ve been harboring a lot of hate in my heart. I feel that it is time for me to let go of the hate, while still remembering the events of 9/11.

I want to illustrate my point and I happen to be reading a book that does a very good job of doing just that. The book is called The Bible or the Axe and it’s written but William O. Levi. For you to understand this illustration I’ll need to give you some background info on Mr. Levi, he is a Messianic believer from an African Hebrew tribal group he grew up as a refugee in Uganda and later returned to Sudan. These are his thoughts after a lesson from his grandfather (who was a pastor) on Ephesians 6:

He wanted all of us to understand that our earthly enemies were just people who needed God’s love. I could choose to dispatch them to eternal damnation with a bullet or a sword, or I could serve them and reach out to them with the redeeming message of the Gospel of Christ. In choosing the latter, he wanted me to know that I would have to be prepared to sacrifice my life for my enemies, just as Christ did when He died for the redemption of men who hated Him. He wanted us all to understand that the war and the corruption and the hunger and the pain and the hatred were symptoms of the disease of sin. God’s overarching plan, I would come to understand, is not about me or my comfort. It is about His redemptive plan.

To me those are some pretty strong words, while I have not finished this book, I know that latter William Levi suffers greatly for his belief in Christ, I’m very interested in seeing how he deals with this.

After reading this I began to think about my own attitude, the funny think about forgiveness , a least for me, its super easy to talk about but much harder to live out.

Below is the part of Eph 6 that William’s grandfather was teahing on.

Ephesians 6

Exhortations for Spiritual Warfare

6:10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 6:11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 6:13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. 6:14 Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 6:15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, 6:16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 6:18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints. 6:19 Pray for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak—that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.

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