Summary: Obedience to God’s word will lead to revival.
June 24, 2007
Text: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Subject: God’s Word
Title: Going Farther With God
How important is God’s word to you? On a scale of 1-10 where would God’s word be in your life? I can’t say for sure, but I would guess that most of you would say that the Bible ranks pretty high in your life – a 10 or at least a 9 for sure. Am I right? The reason I ask this question is that I want to ask you, “is the Bible a 10 in your head or in your heart?” that question raises another question, “Do you believe the Bible to be inerrant? Are there any inconsistencies in the Bible?” in a book by James Marsden, Reforming Fundamentalism we learn that 85% of the students in one of America’s largest evangelical seminaries stated that they do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. Beyond that, a poll of 10,000 U.S.A. clergymen (of whom 74% replied) by sociologist Jeffery Hadden in 1987 clearly reveals the effects of this significant change of belief through the passage of time. When asked if they believed that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in faith, history, and secular matters:
95% of Episcopalians said "No."
87% of Methodists said "No."
82% of Presbyterians said "No."
77% of American Lutherans said "No."
67% of American Baptists said "No
This sad commentary speaks for itself.
The Gideon, January, 1994, pp. 12-13
And the church continues to cry out for revival. So let me ask you again. How important is the Bible to you?
We know that the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword.
We know that we can hide God’s word in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him.
We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Do you believe those things about the Bible?
I want to encourage you today in the Word of God and help you understand that God wants you to go beyond knowing with your heads, but He wants to take you farther with Him by allowing the word to settle into your heart. Revival is the heartfelt cry of the church today, but without faith in God’s revealed word and application of that word to your life revival will never come.
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
It is obedience to the Word that will lead you to revival.
I want to relate this to you today by the example given in King David’s life.
I. PRAYER. You know what the Bible says about prayer. Pray without ceasing. Pray the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into the field. Pray for those who persecute you. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. David was a man of prayer. His prayers are related to us in the Psalms. David was a man after God’s own heart.
We know that if we want to see revival it is going to take prayer. So let me ask you. How is your prayer life? Are you consistent in your prayer life? Do you see prayer as an important cog in the wheel to revival? One way to pray for revival is to pray God’s promises. Psalm 85:1-4; 12
1 You showed favor to your land, O LORD;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, O God our Savior,
12 The LORD will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
Also prayer that intercedes for others will bring results. Jesus prayed for the lost believing that there would be many who would come to faith through Him. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message… And don’t give up praying.
II. PASSION. When David heard Goliath for the first time cursing God and defying the armies of Israel his response was this, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Do you have a passion for the Word of God? If you don’t you won’t have a passion for revival. What can I say or what can I do to stir up passion for the word in you? All I can do is preach the word to you but the Holy Spirit can move upon you and give you a hunger and passion for the word. But when it comes right down to it, you have to respond to what the Spirit is doing within you. Paul wrote to Timothy, “6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” I know how I respond when I see someone else being blessed in the Spirit. I know what happens inside of me when someone is saved or baptized in the Holy Spirit. It moves me. So if you allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you; if you set self to the side and allow Him to have His way; Revival is your personal responsibility. And it requires passion on your part; Passion for the word and passion for people and passion for serving God.