03 October 2009

He Who has Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

Yesterday I was talking with a lovely pastor of 70 years. A man who is faithfully dedicated to the Word of God for all these years. So I had to ask this veteran preacher, how things were going in the church he was shepherding, and this is what he said "we not starting any fires anytime soon" His face looked so discouraged and tired. This is something I would have never expected from a man of God who has been preaching for 70 years. I thought he was going to say "things are wonderful! The church is on fire for the Lord", but that the furtherest from the truth. Sadly, I was looking upon a man as if I was looking into the eyes of the weeping prophet Jeremiah. My heart went out for this lovely man as he shared with me his burden This lovely pastor is absolutely right! We have lost the fire in our churches, our communities, and most of all our homes. What is the church (universally, locally) doing for the Kingdom of God? Besides: playing church, squabbling about incidentals, backbiting, complaining, prayerlessness, lack of Biblical doctrinal teaching, passion for the Gospel being proclaimed in their community..... and the list is endless. So I ask every Christian what are you doing to start fires,; because this lovely pastor wasn't referring to causing problems in the church or community, or pretending that your better then everyone else mentality. What he meant was, the church has lost its passion, desire, and fire for the Lord Jesus Christ. As John said you have lost your first love!... So many Christian's have this old saying "if God would only bring another revival, things would be different". Let me ask you a question Christian: Why do you think we deserve a revival? What are we (you, me) doing in our Christian lives that screams the passion for the glory of God to this lost and broken world? See revival begins in our own hearts; our homes, communities, nations, our countries. When we start treasuring Christ above everything else, then maybe well deserve a revival. Maybe! Just maybe, we will be able to start a fire in our own communities, or better yet in our local church.


What is Revival?


1. An increase hunger for a delight in God’s Word (Ps 119: 107) I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to Your Word!


2. Involves a disdain for sin and renewed desire for obedience to God (Ps 119:37) Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways.

3. Brings increased commitment to and interest in personal prayer. (Ps 80:18) Then we shall not turn back from You; give us life, and we will call upon Your Name!


4. It’s God gladly at the center of my Life, experienced and enjoyed (Lam 3:24) The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in Him."


5. It’s getting back on the right path again (1John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Revival is not, an emotional extravagance where people are caught up in the moment and fall down out of control, it’s not a long line of anxious sinners waiting for a turn at the microphone to reveal their most secret sinful something. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says "Does it grieve you my friends, that the name of God is being taken in vain and desecrated? Does it grieve you that we are living in a godless age... But, we are living in such an age and the main reason we should be praying about revival is that we are anxious to see God's name vindicated and His glory manifested. We should be anxious to see something happening that will arrest the nations, all the peoples, and cause them to stop and to think again". Here are some examples of revivals in history:
 
1. The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) the beginning of the church.


2. The Corinthian church (2 Cor 7: 8-9) many came to the Lord in genuine sorrow for there wickedness.

3. Jonathan Edwards and The First Great Awakening (1734) A village mourned over the death of 2 young people, and over a period of 6 months half the village was converted by the Power of God. And from there Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Wesley the church grew rapidly in new England between 1740 and 1742 with more than 300,000 new and revived Christians turning to the Lord in faith and repentance. One Historian called this time "The most glorious and extensive revival our country has ever known".
 
4. Clean Hands and Pure Hearts Revival in Scotland (1949) began with 2 ladies praying for their own lives and in the Hebrides Islands of Scotland. One morning a young man read the scriptures (Ps 24:3-5) Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of His salvation.
After he read he asked the question? Are my hands clean Lord, is my heart pure? He and his fellow intercessors fell on their faces in the barn , and their lives were revived as they got their hands and hearts clean before the Lord. By Sunday the next week the whole island was filled with God consciousness. And Churches were filled to overflowing getting right with God.
 
5. Nineveh a nation once known for there wickedness humbled themselves from the greatest to the least. Repented and believed in God. (verse 10) When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. The Word of God shows us the greatest revival of all times and its written the pages of scripture. We as Christians get to see first hand of what true revival is, 600,000 souls turning from their wickedness and believed in God. All by a disobedient prophet who spoke 8 words that the Lord told him say to a despicable nation (much like the present situation we live in today) The Word of God is so powerful it can transform the wickedest of hearts. Why I know, because it transformed my despicable heart. Peter said "The Lord is not slack (not lazy, delay) concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.

So where is our REVIVAL? Steve Lawson says " if churches today are to see more people come to Christ, then more BIBLICAL PREACHING is needed, not less. God has always been pleased to use the foolishness of preaching His word to bring about the conversion of lost sinners. He did so in Jonah’s day and He will do so now IF CHURCHES will return to solid, straightforward biblical preaching". The Lord sends true revival when we have humble and contrite hearts (brokenhearted for sin; deeply affected with grief and sorrow for having offended God), even in all Israel’s sin and backsliding, God’s grace will prevail, even in all Nineveh’s wickedness, God’s grace will prevail, even in our sinful and disobedient behavior, God’s grace will prevail, to revive the spirit - literally, ‘to make alive.’ The sense is, He imparts spiritual life and comfort. He is to us, what refreshing rains and genial suns and dews are to a drooping plant.

1. Would you like to see a revival in the church of Jesus Christ?
2. Do you sincerely desire revival within yourself (because it starts individually)
3. Are you constantly on your knee’s praying to a Holy God to revive this nation we live in?
4. Is serious bible study and prayer a priority in your life?
5. Are my hands clean Lord, is my heart pure?

How's your fire going?

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