Posted by: pastortomvabeach | January 25, 2017

Thought for the Week January 29, 2017

We have encouraged members of our church to fast and pray this week, specifically, for a real spiritual revival. We joined together on Sunday to seek the Lord according to II Chronicles 7:14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. We attempted (attempted not succeeded) to get people together on Facebook Live on Monday and Tuesday to pray but somehow the technology defeated us or the enemy put his hooks into the technology. Despite it not working, several of our members did pray during that hour. We intend to test our skills prior to the next appointed time and try it again. We will be meeting tonight (I’m writing this on Wednesday) to pray in our worship center.

Why do we need revival? If you read Acts 2:42-47, you notice that the first few years the church was alive it was marked by at some specific characteristics: All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…fellowship…sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper) …and prayer…deep sense of awe came over them all…the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders…all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had… They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, shared meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people…each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Some of these seem to be missing in the 21st century church in America: the strong commitment to community, the constant demonstration of Holy Spirit power, the overflowing joy, the good will given by those outside the church, and the daily growth of the church through salvation.

I can’t help but think that these are all somehow connected and all relate to our less than fervent love for Jesus, our neglect of spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible study, our lackadaisical attitude towards meeting together with the body of Christ, and our apparent lack of need for real faith except in times of crisis when every cries out to the Lord. Our faith and the practice of it have become an add-on that is important when it won’t interfere with something else. Lastly, sin has become not something to be abhorred and avoided but something we can play around with or even add to our lifestyle as long as we confess it once in a while rather than repenting and leaving it altogether. Friends, I would say that means we need to be revived!

Someone wrote that we have gotten everything turned around backwards in the way we do ministry today. We look at fads, cultural directions, and generational mores and think if we can design ministries around them, that spiritual fruit will come and people will come to Christ. He suggested that the biblical way is to move in the power of the Spirit, produce spiritual fruit, and then create ministries to support and nurture that fruit. As I think about that I am reminded of Paul’s statement in I Corinthians 2:2-5, I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified…my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.

We need to be turned back to the main thing – Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified, to live out of love for Him, to pursue true holiness, to walk daily in faith expecting the power of the Holy Spirit to move through us in spiritual fruit and empower our message, the gospel. If we begin to see His power and fruit working in us, I guarantee that the world around us will see it and we will not be starting ministries to attract them, we’ll be starting ministries to shepherd them.

Friends, this week I am asking God to revive me, to give me again that sense of real awe and faith knowing who it is who lives in me, to show me my apathy, neglect, tolerance of sin, and unfaithfulness, so that I can walk in true Holy Spirit power. I’m asking Him to do that for our church. Will you not only pray but submit to the conviction that God puts in your hearts as you pray? Will you admit your need for revival and ask Him to give that to you? Will you be ready to take whatever steps are necessary to accommodate His entrance into you life in power? If we will all do that as individuals, then this local body will get revived! I’m ready for that. What about you? Just a thought that needs to be considered a lot.

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