Monday, June 14

Honestly, The Answer is Still REVIVAL!

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity (Hosea 14:1).
Things are looking really bad on all fronts-politically, economically and religiously. But I hardly need to tell you that! What I would do is make another appeal to all of our hearts, . . . all, that is, who know and love Jesus Christ. Times are not just urgent because the world does not see the centrality of Jesus Christ in creation and salvation, but even more so because these doctrines do not find supremacy of place in many Christian's lives. And the fact that we do not really feel such an urgency is reason enough for the church to pray fervently for it! I would repeat with C. H. Spurgeon:
Oh! men and brethren, what would this heart feel if I could but believe that there were some among you who would go home and pray for a revival – men whose faith is large enough, and their love fiery enough to lead them from this moment to exercise unceasing intercessions that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations.
I am gladdened in heart that our church is increasingly taking prayer seriously. And while we meet on Sundays and several times during the week, it still seems as though we must do more, and perhaps do it better. Just last night, one of our missionaries to Japan, Tomoo and Kaiori Koike (along with their daughter, Yuki) remarked excitedly that they so very much appreciated the fact that our church prays. Our church prays! Now that may sound almost too obvious to even bother mentioning. But any more I do not think so. Prayer meetings used to comprise a major spot in the church's life. Generally, that is no longer true. The Koike's said as much from their experience. Now, as happy as I am that we DO pray, there is so much room for improvement, not the least of which within myself. Last night, as we gave ourselves to prayer, I urged that we each make praying a priority in our private lives. Without this, our corporate cries will project an uncertain hollowness. We need a revival of prayer!  

Andrew Bonar believed that the church needs to hear the voice of God directly before they will ever experience the blessings associated with revival:
Revivals begin with God’s own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!
But, Oh, what miraculously happens when God does come down in power! Would to God that we could see God's presence in our midst in these days of an effete ecumenism and wholesale disregard for God's Word! Great things could happen. God has exercised tremendous power in the past. Just witness the following from the revival in Ireland:
In the Irish Revival of 1859, people became so weak that they could not get back to their homes. Men and women would fall by the wayside and would be found hours later pleading with God to save their souls. They felt that they were slipping into hell and that nothing else in life mattered but to get right with God... To them eternity meant everything. Nothing else was of any consequence. They felt that if God did not have mercy on them and save them, they were doomed for all time to come.
This is what God CAN do. Stories like the above can be multiplied from the history of the church. Take this one example for an inducement to greater faith! Oh, Lord, come down!

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