Posted by: pastortomvabeach | April 17, 2012

Thought for the Week April 22, 2012

Now that we’ve discussed grace, faith, and repentance, we should have some Biblical understanding of how we come into relationship with God through Jesus Christ and what a great gift that relationship is to us. We simply just receive everything God gives! We don’t work for it, earn it, pay for it, or in any way “get” it. He gives it to us! Wow!

I don’t know if you noticed but last Sunday, it seemed like the Holy Spirit was powerfully present during our worship service. I had prayed early that morning that the Lord would interrupt “our” plans and show Himself to us. Then, at the beginning of the service, Pastor Doug invited everyone to pray for the same thing (note: he and I did not discuss this beforehand). Pastor Doug, myself, and several others sensed God’s powerful presence and that He was doing something special.

Well, that’s something we would like to see happen every week. On Monday, the Daily Boost, a daily email thought from the Pentecostal Evangel hit exactly the same note so I thought I would diverge from the current discussing for one week to share Hal Donaldson’s thoughts so we might all keep this before the Lord. The following is the Daily Boost from Monday, April 16, entitled Is Revival Waning?, in its entirety.

“People want to know: Are churches in the United States still experiencing revival or renewal? They want to know if altars are still filled with new converts and if tears of repentance are still seen on the faces of believers. Some inquire out of curiosity, because much of the media attention has faded. But others ask out of disappointment, because, on the surface, the Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to be moving as powerfully in their churches. They wonder if revival has waned everywhere.

“It’s unfortunate that we tend to measure the work of the Spirit by what is occurring in a church across town or one 2,000 miles away. The Holy Spirit is at work in every rural community and every urban center. Countless thousands are coming to Christ and receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. There is unprecedented interdenominational cooperation and a thriving prayer movement. Congregations are reaching out to the lost in innovative and compassionate ways. Without question, churches are experiencing the presence and power of God.

“But some ask if this deserves to be labeled “revival.” Quite frankly, how we tag an outpouring of the Spirit is insignificant. Let someone else affix the labels and debate the nuances. There are more important questions that deserve our attention: What can we do to experience greater intimacy with God? What steps can we take to see the Holy Spirit move in a greater way in our church and family? And what can we do to reach more people for Christ?

“The Holy Spirit is not slothful or inactive. He is with us, beckoning us to seek more of Jesus. But, regrettably, we inhibit the work of the Spirit in our lives and churches when our hunger and humility fade.

“Is revival waning? There is a more timely and personal question we should ask ourselves: Is there anything in my life preventing me from becoming more like Jesus? If so, let me encourage you to make an altar where you are and allow tears of repentance to flow from your heart. Your humility and confession may be the beginning of a fresh outpouring in your life…and in your church.”

Hal Donaldson served as editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for 13 years, and leads Convoy of Hope in Springfield, Missouri.

This struck me as very insightful. So many of us seek outward indications of “revival” when what needs to be consistently revived and renewed is on our inside. We believe that if all of us, at Christian Chapel, will love God, love others, and serve the world, that we will all be more Christ-like because we will be growing in love for God and love for others. And if we are keeping first things first, as Jesus said, Seek FIRST the kingdom of God (love God) and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), then He will take care of everything else – all these things will be added to you – even visiting our services and bringing revival we can see and touch.

The question is just what Hal Donaldson posed, what is keeping me from being more like Jesus? What needs to be revived in me, so my (your) church experiences revival that is real and powerful? What if we let the Holy Spirit show us the answers and then let Him work in us? Do you think our services would be more filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and power? Just a thought.

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