Summary: The 4 elements (strands) that make up the chord that gives us revival within our churches and in our hearts are - Giving - Prayer - Fasting- Communion
I am going to dedicate 2006 to doing everything I can do to allow revival in this church and within the church body. It won’t be any old revival, either. It will be a revival for our Lord, Jesus Christ, and it will reach out into our community to do things this church has never seen before! But to allow revival, we must understand what revival is made from. For todays’ message, I will use the analogy of a rope.
What is a rope used for? It is used to keep things together, or united, isn’t it? Have you ever noticed how strong a rope is? It is strong because it is made up of several strands, woven together. When the rope is pulled and put under pressure, it becomes taut, and each strand is brought closer to the other strands, and start to rely on each other, and in so doing - they become as one.
Christianity is made up of several elements too. Today, I am going to cover four of these elements (or strands). When these strands are woven together properly, we become very strong in the Lord, and so is a church that uses this rope. And Christians who use these elements in their personal lives become those who are able to create a revival for Jesus Christ from within the church.
These four strands are;
· Fasting, and
Most Christians have a wrong perception of what each one of these really mean, and most of us do not understand just how important these are in our personal walk with the Lord.
A wealthy older man recently married a lovely young lady. He asked her if he lost all his money, would she still love him, and she said she would still love him, but she would also miss him.
Let’s start by talking about …
When a person hears about giving to a church, the fist, and sometimes only, thought they have is money, and that immediately strikes a bad chord with many. Before we make our minds up on what we are supposed to do in this area, let’s see what God wants us to do.
MALACHI 3:7-11 [Christian Standard Version]
‘Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,’ says the Lord of Hosts. But you ask: ‘How can we return?’
‘Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!’ You ask, ‘How do we rob you?’
By not making the payments of 10% and the contributions. You are suffering under a curse, yet you – the whole nation – are still robbing Me. Bring them to Me,’ says the Lord of Hosts. ‘See if will not open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.
I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your ground, and your vine in your field will not be barren,’ says the Lord of Hosts.
In verse 7, it tells us to return to God, and He will return to us. What does that mean? It means that we have the responsibility of going to God first. And once we go to Him, He will respond by coming to us.
I think the one thing that hinders God from doing that is actually brought about by us; specifically our inability to obey. In verse 7, it tells us that we have not obeyed God. It goes on to give an example of how we disobey Him. He said for us to give, and we don’t give. And since we have disobeyed Him, we hinder His ability to give us His blessings.
A man died and went to Heaven. St. Peter is showing him around and as they walk down the street paved with gold, they pass many beautiful and great buildings and St. Peter explained what each building was. They finally passed a big beautiful building and the man asked what that one was. St. Peter told him he didn’t want to know and tried to hurry him past the building, but the man was adamant and insisted on knowing what that building was for.
St. Peter became sad and told the man to follow him as he walked up the beautiful steps and opened the door. As they went in, the man saw thousands upon thousands of beautiful gifts, all wrapped in heavenly papers and bows. The sight was almost too beautiful to look at. The man asked St. Peter who they belonged to, and St. Peter told him they could have belonged to him.
The man asked what he meant, and St. Peter told him that they were gifts that God wanted to give to him, but they man never gave God the key. “What key?” asked the man. St. Peter responded with tears in his eyes, and said, “Why, the key to your heart, of course.”