Summary: We need to follow the example of Ezra and Nehemiah who returned to Jerusalem by the direction of the Lord to rebuild, restore, rejuvenate the Temple, Worship to God and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The key is to reconnect with God in worship and prayer.
Series: Renew 2021
Thesis: We need to be renewed by connecting or re-connecting with the Lord this year in 2021. To do this requires a renewed mind, a renewed soul and a renewed passion for Jesus.
Key theme Scriptures Verse for the year:
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” - Isaiah 40:30-31
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” - Romans 12:2
“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” - 2 Corinthians 4:16
2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
1 Corinthians 3:16, 17: 16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”
Our theme for 2021 is Re-new we accomplish this by:
1. Renewing the mind
2. Refreshing the soul
3. Reigniting a passion for Jesus
When we decide to go after these (RE’s) another (RE) occurs – the word is revival – what is a revival? – it’s an extraordinary event moved by the power of the Holy Spirit to get people to repent and come to the Lord. It takes place within the church, within individuals lives, family lives and within the community. Revival is a great spiritual awakening and will change people, families, churches and communities – it’s a divine move of God:
Orr opens his book “The Second Evangelical Awakening” speaking about revival and great historical spiritual awakenings and makes this observation, “In the middle of the nineteenth century, religious life in the United States of America was in decline. There were many reasons for the decline, political and social as well as religious. Political strife provoked tremendous interest everywhere. The slavery question was of paramount importance, and men’s passions and energies were being diverted into the channels of contention on either side of the controversy.”
The populace pursued money, wealth and greed and left God in the dust but then all that changed with the economy crashing!
Orr adds this quote from a religious leader’s observation of the people in that day: “Bishop Candler added his word: ‘And now that the wheels of industry stood still, and the noisy cries of greed were hushed, men stopped to hear the voice of the Spirit calling them to repentance. And they heeded the call.”
But this was the scenario in which God decided to move upon a nation which had drifted from Him! Sound familiar?
Orr notes what happened when God moved: “The work (the spiritual awakening) is taking within its range persons of all classes. Men of low degree, and men of high estate for wealth and position; old men and maidens, and even little children, are seen humbly kneeling together pleading for grace. The mayor of the city, with other persons of like position, are not ashamed to be seen bowed at the altar of prayer beside the humble servant...”
The other significant move of revival in the Second Great Awakening was it came from the laity not the pastors. It is somewhat significant that Hamilton’s “gust of Divine power” reportedly sweeping throughout the entire community “took its rise in the rise of the laity” and was entirely spontaneous. This rise to leadership on the part of the laymen became typical of the great movement that followed.”
He notes, “Spiritual awakenings are exceedingly infectious, and proximity in time and place adds to the stimulation of desire for similar blessing.”
The Revival spread – prayer meeting springing up all over in the middle of the day during the week – people praying for a hour or two.
He adds, “On July 1, 1857, a quiet and zealous business-man named Jeremiah Lanphier took up an appointment as a City Missionary in downtown New York.”
Here is his story, “Burdened by the need, Jeremiah Lanphier decided to invite others to join him in a noonday prayer-meeting, to be held once a week on Wednesdays. He therefore distributed a handbill: “How Often Shall I Pray? “As often as the language of prayer is in my heart; as often as I see my need of help; as often as I feel the power of temptation; as often as I am made sensible of any spiritual declension, or feel the aggression of a worldly, earthly spirit. “In prayer we leave the business of time for that of eternity, and intercourse with men for intercourse with God.”