Last Sunday, our nation observed the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the worst terrorist attack ever to take place on our shores. It was a time of reflection, healing, remembering and even praise. Not praise for that undeserved and cowardly attack, but praise for the courage of those willing to give their own lives in an attempt to save others.
God's holy word, the Bible, calls this the greatest demonstration of love known to man.
John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
When Jesus made this statement he was foretelling what he would do for us on Calvary. He laid down his life as the payment for our sins. He had no sin of his own, yet he was willing to suffer the shame and agony of the cross in order that we might know the peace and joy of forgiveness through his sacrifice.
As I look back in remembrance of 9/11, I realize that one of the reasons America is great is because Americans are good. Americans have always been willing to sacrifice for those in need.
There are many in our day that want to portray our nation as evil, greedy, narcissistic exploiters of the rest of the world. I understand that there are individual Americans that fit all of the negative adjectives that are presented by those that hate America (some of whom are Americans themselves), but that is not an accurate picture of the great majority of Americans.
Sept. 11, 2001, reminded us who we really are at heart.
Firefighters running into burning towers to rescue others. Ordinary citizens giving of their time, energy and money to help those in need. Families who pray together and seek to raise children who respect the rule of law and order. Hard-working men and women who get up each day and face the challenges of life without looking to government to provide their every need. America is not perfect by any means, but it is still a nation of greatness.
It is my conviction that America's greatness can be traced to our founding. Our founding fathers did not come to these shores in search of gold, but God. It was the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience that led them to leave England and make the perilous journey to the New World.
I believe that what we see around us is the result of God's blessings upon our land. I also believe that the farther we depart from the principles we were founded upon, the more precarious will be our condition.
It is my prayer that a religious revival would sweep across our land, not a revival of denominationalism, or political correctness. A revival of returning to the God of our forefathers. The God who left heaven, and took upon Himself the form of a man in Bethlehem's manger. The God who walked upon this earth 2,000 years ago, healing the sick, loving the unlovely and doing good.
His name is Jesus Christ, and he really is the hope of the world!
DWIGHT TOMLINSON is pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Newport Beach.