Summary: This is a sermon on the need for an awakening from Isaiah 63:15-64:4.
Today, three (3) pastors gather together to preach essentially the same sermon.
Wes Hilliard, pastor of Heritage United Methodist Church of Van Buren, AR,
Ronnie Gilmore, pastor Butterfield Assembly of God Church, also of Van Buren, AR
We speak on the need of a spiritual awakening.
We’re simply calling this ONE VOICE.
It’s our hope that this simple act will invite other churches to join us in the years to come.
This is not a slick marketing ploy to gain greater favor with the community.
Instead, our desire is for the churches in the River Valley to be revived.
Our hope is to be flooded by a river of God’s grace.
Our desire is to see God open the windows of heaven and send us a flood of His grace like the flood He sent upon the earth in Noah’s day.
Only instead of water, we would see torrents of His grace.
His grace would cover the tops of the loftiest trees on the earth.
Oh, that His grace would cover the most extreme sins in our land!
As we approach our Community Thanksgiving service this upcoming Wednesday at Fine Arts Center, these three pastors (including myself) seek to see God move in a fresh and powerful way in the River Valley.
When our eyes scan the American horizon, the skies for biblical Christianity look dark in many respects.
The tide of God’s grace is out to sea.
A quiet communion with God and the delight of knowing Him in His fullness (Psalm 16:11; 63:1-4) is neglected.
We need heavenly rain.
God’s church languishes rather than flourishes in our day.
And we are helpless to do anything about this.
We are like sailboats without wind.
Or coals without fire.
We are useless without the animating power of God.
The last time God has moved in global revival was between 1904 and 1910.
While Americans experienced a significant revival in the 1970s called the “Jesus Movement,”
biblical Christianity has declined significantly in the past four (4) decades.
We now have an entire generation (both Gen X er’s and Millennials) who has never experienced a revival.
Revival is a time where God invades His people.
Revival is a time when God hits the fast forward button.
It’s a time when He gives saving health to His people.
It is a time of when sluggish believers are awakened.
It’s a time when some Christians question if they can claim the name of Christ as they begin to understand their deep sinfulness.
But this act of humility is a strong sign that God’s grace is present with them.
It’s a time when preachers experience new power to explain the Scriptures.
It’s time when Christians pray for their neighbors.
So these three (3) pastors join our voices together in order to communicate the need for God Himself to revive us.
Today’s Big Idea:
Join Me in a Call to Pray to Revive His People and Elevate His Name
Let’s stand in order to read from Isaiah 63.
“Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and beautiful habitation. Where are your zeal and your might? The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion are held back from me. 16 For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. 17 O Lord, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage. 18 Your holy people held possession for a little while; our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary. 19 We have become like those over whom you have never ruled, like those who are not called by your name.
Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence— 2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3 When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4 From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.”
Isaiah 63:15 - 64:4 (ESV)
The nation of Israel had been God’s chosen to people through the period of time covered by the Old Testament.
The nation has splintered into two (2) nations when Isaiah wrote these words.
Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
Isaiah probably spoke these words to the southern nation of Judah after they have been conquered by the superpower of Babylon.