ACTS 3:17-21 – “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”
THEME OF THE DAY: SEND REVIVAL, LORD, AND TO ME FIRST. In reading today’s scripture, pay attention to the commands “repent” and “turn back” and the results if a people obey – sins blotted out, and times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. What is being described in a simple statement is revival, or a renewed life and heart.
Brian Edwards, in his excellent book Revival! A People Saturated with God, quoted two authorities on revivals that provide a clear description of revival. Edwin Orr defined it as “A movement of the Holy Spirit bringing about a revival of New Testament Christianity in the church of Christ and its related community.” Duncan Campbell, who experienced great revivals in the Western Isles of Scotland between 1949 and 1952, wrote this about revival as an eyewitness – “In writing of the movement, I would like first to state what I mean by revival as witnessed in the Hebrides. I do not mean a time of religious entertainment, with crowds gathering to enjoy an evening of bright gospel singing; I do not mean sensational or spectacular advertising – in a God-sent revival you do not need to spend money on advertising. I do not mean high pressure methods to get men to an inquiry room. Revival is a going of God among His people, and an awareness of God laying hold of the community. It is a community saturated with God.”
As we look across our land, and particularly our churches, the signs we need times of refreshing from the Lord are abundant. We could spend hours talking about the need, but the questions must be asked, “Why are we not seeing transforming revivals in our lives and churches? Why are we not witnessing conversions of sinners among us? Why are we not watching a nation being saturated with the love and Gospel of Christ? Why are we experiencing low levels of commitment to local churches? Why are many Christian homes lacking family worship and regular discipleship?”
To answer those questions, let’s briefly look at the history of revivals and how they came about. This isn’t to say we generate a method of bringing about revival, but here are the three common means God has used. First, revival is a sovereign act of God. He sends revival at His choosing, we cannot generate them but He does use means through His people and two are persistent, consistent, fervent, even pleading prayer individually and as churches. God seems to always attach prayer to revival. Another means is the recovery of doctrinal preaching that come from scripture exposition. The 1st Great Awakening began with Jonathan Edwards preaching on the doctrine of justification by faith.
So, we need it individually and corporately. May we seek the Lord for it with fervent prayer for His Presence and the recovery of strong preaching in our pulpits across the land. Maybe He will bless us with revival.
PRAYER: “Father, I need to be renewed, I need to be revived, I need to recover the first love of Jesus that made all my life about Him.”
QUOTE: “If we read John 3:16 and it doesn’t humble us, produce thanksgiving and awe in us, we need to be revived. We are lukewarm.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,