I don’t think its news to anyone that this Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of 9-11. There has already been a tremendous amount of media coverage and it will only intensify over the next few days. You will probably catch yourself wondering where you were at this time 10 years ago. I vividly remember the week before 9-11 because it was my first week of college. I had just graduated from High School and was looking forward to an exciting new adventure in my life.
No doubt the world has changed a lot since that horrific day 10 years ago. To try and document all the significant changes over the past decade would be a monumental task and I do not intend to do that in this post. But did you know that we have changed too? Those who know me well can testify that I have changed a lot in the past decade. I guess going to college, to seminary, to pastoral ministry, and having a family of my own will have that effect on a person. The last 10 years has been an amazing time of growth in my life as God has truly changed me. I am a different man than I was as a college freshman. I am sure that you could think of ways in which you have changed too.
The question is then, are we changing in the right ways? The apostle Peter writes, “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-11)
In other words, Peter is saying, make sure you are growing in the Lord. Don’t be content to stagnate and grow sour in your Christian walk. Instead, make every effort to grow in your faith. Friend, how have you changed in the past 10 years? Has your love for Christ grown? Do you have the joy of the Lord? Are you growing in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? In short: is progressive sanctification happening in your life?
Over the next few days as the world stops to reflect on 9-11, don’t waste this opportunity to reflect on your own life. In what ways have you grown in Christlikeness over the past year? Past 5 years? Past 10 years? Paul told Timothy, “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15) It is my prayer that you will “make every effort” to grow in your faith and that the next decade would be incredibly fruitful for you.