Posts Tagged ‘revival’

  

“Suddenly…the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…” (Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ NLT)

In 1984, Ray Stevens used comic storytelling to frame what occurs when a young adolescent boy catches a squirrel (while visiting his grandmother in Pascagoula, Mississippi), brings it into church, where several self-righteous members – all with sinful secrets to hide – are prominent members … and the squirrel breaks loose from a box the boy has kept it in. As the squirrel wreaks havoc, several members admit to their fellow congregation members their faults, and by song’s end they all make a vow to change! A squirrel-inspired revival! (Watch the video on YouTube! Hilarious!)

I grew up in church. I learned God’s word and worshipped with His people. But then one day, while visiting another church as a teenager, I experienced something different: His presence! I never knew such a thing existed! I saw and heard things that I didn’t understand, making it a little frightening. But just as quickly, I had a realization: If this is God, then it’s okay and is probably something to desire for. And so I did, and it has made all the difference in me. 

God doesn’t need a squirrel to draw you into His presence! What He looks for is a hungry heart. When He finds it, He reaches out with something real and tangible, which should be in every church. Come today and feel His presence for yourself! It will make all the difference! You are loved! 

  

Today, if only you would hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Psalm‬ ‭95‬:‭7-8‬ NIV)

Rev. Samuel Agnew was one of several pastors that served the South as a chaplain during the Civil War. He shared in a journal entry from March 27, 1864, of a spiritual drought he felt was taking place among the soldiers:

“There is a lamentable torpor among the [soldiers] in reference to their souls. They hear and attend the sanctuary but seem unaffected by the preacher’s word…More members were absent than ordinarily, and some who were present did not commune. There is a spiritual drought in that community. May God bless my labors…”

Is it possible to love God and come to Church, yet still miss God? Absolutely! A spiritual drought can occur when we simply ignore God. In Psalm 95, the psalmist instructs the people to worship God, but to be careful not to harden your heart afterwards. It doesn’t matter how much “outflow” we are producing for God; if there’s no “inflow” of His presence, we lose!

Take time this week to allow God’s presence to “rain” on your soul. His voice ends all spiritual droughts in your life! Worship cannot happen until inspiration commences! You are loved today! 

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Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” (Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭7‬ NLT)

Nipton, CA, was originally founded on February 9, 1905, with the coming of the first train on the newly constructed San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. It served as a cattle-loading station for several local ranches; the town and depot also supplied numerous mines in the area, becoming a social center for the sparse population of the region on the northern edge of the Mojave Desert.

In its final rigor mortis-stage of existence, doomed to become another Western ghost town, one man’s dream is turning it around. Gerald Freeman, 81, a geologist/gold prospector, purchased the town in 1984, and has worked to revive its historic charm. Using solar energy and other natural resources, he has made the town self-sufficient, giving the town another chance to make a difference and live again.

Wherever God has allowed you to live, quit griping! Let your life be so influential that it makes a difference, even in your community. Then as the town or area is blessed by your sacrificial work, God gets the glory! Let your life make a greater-felt difference! You are loved today!

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One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.’ So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap.” (Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭22-23‬ NLT)

Hope International President Peter Greer is sounding an alarm about a different danger in doing good: spiritual burnout. In a cbn.com interview, he shared his belief as to the high drop out rate of Christian workers worldwide. “We have thrown ourselves into causes of social justice,” he said. “We have thrown ourselves into missions and we have been burned out as a result.”

Where there is high stress and output without regenerating input, things get dangerous. While this scripture stands out for Jesus calming the storm, learn the first lesson first: Jesus calmed Himself with an opportunity for rest. He knew to replenish His own needs before taking on more loads.

As you prepare to come to Church tomorrow, take time to rest. For some of us that don’t get Sunday off due to Church work, take time today for rest and refueling. There will ALWAYS be work that needs to be done to save the world. But if you don’t take care of yourself, you risk becoming a sidelined piece of damaged goods instead of God’s powerful hand to mankind! You are loved today! Get some rest!

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Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles‬ ‭7‬:‭14‬ NLT)

At the dawn of the 20th century, General William Booth of the Salvation Army prophesied that the Church would experience the following points of departure if revival did not occur:
– Christianity without Christ
– Forgiveness without repentance
– Salvation without regeneration
– Religion without the Holy Spirit
– Politics without God
– Heaven without Hell

Time has unfortunately proven General Booth to be correct. And yet, in spite of the spiritual losses, the Bible tells us in this scripture how to get things revived to right places:
* Pray without ceasing!
* Practice holiness in our living!
* Love one another!
* Be diligent in reaching out!
* Be generous in our giving!
* Experience the power of the Holy Spirit!

While doing right by God may never be popular, neither will popularity make us right with God! Choose to live on God’s terms, knowing that His outcomes will be better than your own! You are loved today! Experience revival in your life!