I’m really looking forward to August and our season of revival. And I believe that – if you and I really want to get the most out of this – we must rid our minds of all thoughts of “revival” that do not come from the Word of God.
We’re not talking about a nightly series of evangelistic services.
We’re not talking about a special guest preacher.
We’re not talking about a visiting choir director or a “pack a pew” night.
Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You (Psalm 85:6)?
Merriam-Webster defines revival as “renewed attention.”
J.I. Packer defined revival like this: “God’s quickening visitation of His people, touching their hearts and deepening His work of grace in their lives.”
“God, would you grab our attention again?”
If I understand church history at all, the greatest revivals ever known had at their center one thing: repentance. This is what you and I most need. It can’t be programmed, but it can be sought.
As far as I know, the Bible doesn’t include any one passage that completely describes every dimension of “revival.” But Isaiah 6:1-8 might serve us well as at least a helpful place to start a discussion about it. Considering that text as a bit of an outline, here are some of the things that I want us to experience at First Baptist Paducah:
1. a fresh VISIT from the one true and living God (vs. 1a)
2. a sound VISION of the Lord in all His glory (vs. 1b – 4)
3. a VICTORY over the sinful chains that bind us (vs. 5)
4. a new VIEW of the gospel claims that free us (vs. 6-7)
5. a VALIDATION of the Spirit’s call to mission (vs. 8a)
6. a VIVACIOUS response to the grace of Christ (vs. 8b)
It just doesn’t get any better than that!
So please bear with me (and with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ) as we amend our schedules and our expectations for four important weeks: August 3, August 10, August 17, and August 24, 2014.
I’ll close with these words from Charles Spurgeon …
“Of the Samaritans our Lord said, ‘Ye worship ye know not what,’ let him not have to say to us, ‘Ye know not what ye ask.’ The word ‘revive’ wears its meaning upon its forehead; it is … to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired; to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished … While a true revival in its essence belongs only to God’s people, it always brings with it a blessing for the other sheep who are not yet of the fold. If you drop a stone into a lake the ring widens continually, till the farthest corner of the lake feels the influence.”