Summary: God has the desire to renew the hearts of those who would seek His face
Returning for Renewal
September 2, 2007
In 1904 a young ministerial student named Evan Roberts, began to feel that God was sending an urgent message that He was going to pour out a mighty spirit of revival on Wales, which is now a part of Great Britain.
Roberts soon returned to his home church to preach the message of revival but his pastor was reluctant to allow him to speak. In a compromise, the pastor announced that Roberts would be speaking following the regular prayer meeting and any who wished to stay were welcome. Only 17 people stayed to hear Evan speak and most of them were teenagers and young adults.
When Roberts was finished speaking all 17 young people were at the altar on their knees crying out to God. They prayed until 2am that night and it was the beginning of one of the greatest movements of God in all history. By the end of the week, over 60 people were won to Christ and over the course of the next year and a half revival swept through the nation of Wales. Over 1,000,000 people were led to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
The revival was so great that the national culture changed dramatically.
• A rage of bankruptcies took place - All of the taverns and liquor stores went out of business
• Work at the coal mines was brought to a near standstill - The mules who pulled the wagons were so accustomed to hearing foul language from the workers that after the men were saved the mules no longer recognized their voices or commands
• The entire police force was dismissed for almost 18 months due to a complete lack of crime
• One of the few court cases that was actually brought before a judge was unusual. The defendant came into the court and admitted his guilt, the judge led the man to Christ and the jury closed the case by singing a hymn.
Our church has fallen on desperate times, but not because of attendance, money or lack of involvement. We are in desperate times because we desperately need a movement of God almighty and no one seems to realize it!
This morning I want to look at what happens when God’s people turn back to Him. If you have your Bibles open them to Hosea 6:1-3
1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth." Hosea 6:1-3
An Invitation to Return
"Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
The invitation to return
Hosea opens this message with the word come as an open invitation to all of the people of Israel. It is important that Hosea ministered during a spiritually turbulent time in the nation of Israel. The kingdom of David was divided into two separate nations: the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Hosea was a prophet to the northern kingdom
The invitation was to live in the ways of God. It was an invitation to come back to the ways that the people knew were right.
The call to return
When Hosea uses the words “let us”, he speaks in clear terms here to communicate that those who needed to return to the LORD were not alone. In some way all of us are in need of renewal. We all have room to grow spiritually and to be refreshed by the power and presence of God.
More importantly Hosea tells the people to return to the LORD. Idolatry had become a standard practice in Israel and the people were worshipping idols instead of God. We have a difficult time understanding this. The people dropped their convictions and left their beliefs behind. How many times have you given up a conviction for convenience? How many times have you changed what you believe to gain some sort of benefit?
Idolatry is not only about worshipping pagan gods but it is also about no longer following God. How many times have you fallen to the worship of
* Drugs * Sex * Possessions * Alcohol * Relationships
Does God bring hardships upon us? Hosea is not saying that God Himself is the cause of our torn lives. Our turning away from God is the cause. Hosea said that God had both torn and injured them. He is not saying that God was being malicious or hateful. What Hosea is saying is that the people brought their situation upon themselves. God will sacrifice things in this mortal life to get your attention. He will use any means necessary to draw you back to Him. Sometimes this means that He takes people to the bottom before they will look to Him. The people had brought disaster upon themselves because they walked away from God.