Summary: All believers need times of renewal and revival. How can we get there? 1. Take a new look at God’s world. (vs. 1-6) 2. Take a new look at God’s Word. (vs. 7-11) 3. Take a new look at God’s will. (vs. 12-14)
Getting Ready for Revival
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Sept. 21, 2008
*On Sept. 27, 1998, Philip Ozersky went to a baseball game and saw his life changed in a big time way. All it took was one swing of the bat, and Philip caught not just a baseball, but a gold mine.
*Lots of fans have caught home runs, but this was no ordinary home run. Lots of batters have hit home runs, but this was no ordinary batter. On that day, Mark McGuire came to the plate and hit his record-breaking 70th home run.
*The ball flew over Philip’s head, hit a wall and bounced into his lap. Before you could say: “I am rich,” this 26-year-old research scientist became an instant millionaire. On Jan. 13, 1999, an anonymous bidder paid a record $2.7 million for this ball, almost 22 times the previous record. (1)
*What a day! What joy! What unexpected treasure. What a change in his life! -- But Christians, it cannot touch the things God wants to do in our lives. God wants to pour down His infinite riches into our lives. God wants to revive our souls.
*You may be thinking, “I’d rather have the ball.” -- But that just shows how much you need revival, -- or how much you need the Lord.
*Our revival meetings with Greg Wilton start in 4 weeks. And we are praying for true, spiritual revival. But what does that mean?
*In the Old Testament revival means “to have life, sustain life, live forever or be restored to life or health.” The word picture is a person or military force completely surrounded by the enemy, with no way to escape. In the moment of greatest despair, God intervenes and rescues them completely.
*In the New Testament the best word picture for revival is a Christian waking up out of a deep sleep. God uses this same word over 40 times to talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But God also uses this word to speak to a Christian who has fallen asleep in his devotion to the Lord. God wants to wake us up! So in Rom 13:11 Paul tells Christians, “It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (2)
*Another great New Testament word for revival is “renewal.” This word is talking about “a renovation, a complete change for the better.” As we see in Rom 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
*Do we need this renewal? David Dewitt says, “I’ve heard some people say that they are just fine and don’t need any spiritual renewal. Let me ask you a few questions:
-Are there still areas where you can grow? Then you need renewal.
-Are there areas of your life that you still struggle with? Then you need renewal.
-Can you remember a time when you were closer to God than you are right now? Then you need renewal.” (3)
*All believers need times of renewal and revival. -- How can we get there?
1. First: Take a new look at God’s world.
*Here in Psalm 19:1-6, David encourages us to take a new look at God’s world. In vs. 1 David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” And what a declaration! “Day unto day utters speech.” The idea is that the information gushes out. The knowledge of God’s glory pours out like a fountain all over the world.
*The sun (s-u-n) in vs. 4 is a reflection of the glory of the S-o-n in Heaven. And in vs. 5, Jesus is the real Bridegroom looking forward to His Heavenly marriage. Jesus is the strong man rejoicing as He runs a race He is sure to win.
*The glory of God is on display every day in the heavens. We just need to look up and get the message! -- Because the message of God’s glory will build up our faith, and revive our souls.
*We all need to see the glory of God. -- As Mike Yaconelli once said: “The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality, or school prayer.
-The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment.
-The Good News is no longer (seen as) good news, it is okay news.
-Christianity is no longer (seen as) life changing, it is life enhancing. (4)
*We need the message of the glory, power and wisdom of the Lord. We need the message that our God is the only true God! -- Awesome, almighty, the great Creator, Designer, and Keeper of this universe.
*God is in control -- And His name is Jesus Christ! The Word of God says that: “By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Col 1:16)