Summary: What is it that seperates the powerful church’s from those who just merely exist?
Turn this evening to Amos 8:11-12 (READ)
The days are coming, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I will send a famine through the land. Not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea, and wonder from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.
There is a starvation that exists in the church today. Here, and elsewhere. Part of the problem comes from the pulpit where we pastors are guilty of trying to keep conflict in the congregations at a minimum but I think in order to pacify a minority we have not only driven people from the church doors to have their needs meet elsewhere, but we have in an attempt to keep peace forfeited the purity of the Gospel. Lord forgive us for listening too often to the people, and not enough to You.
But shepherds are not the only ones who have brought about this famine, we who sit in the pews Sunday after Sunday, who withhold our support and labor in the church also have a measure of guilt upon our hands. We who desire pleasurable pabulum on Sunday morning, wanting to be catered to and not offended by what the preacher has to say.
Sadly we try to justify ourselves, we take offense to someone who questions our lack of hunger and desire to see God move. We do our part. We worship, we listen, and we go home to return again next week.
Listen to me church. Worship from unclean lips is actually an abomination to God. praise that flows from hearts full of adultery, lust or pride is a stench in God’s nostrils. Christian hands held high by sin are nothing more than arrogant flauntings of rebellion.
Have we become like the children of Israel who in Numbers 11:6 said, "Our appetite is gone. There is nothing except this manna?" I wonder church, could it possibly be that we are bored with sitting at the precious table of the Lord?
How many of you have heard the statement, You are what you eat? It’s true. What you feed your mind you will become in time.
Jesus said in John 6:53-59 "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remain in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."
Last week we watched a video from Brownsville. The worship leader said what was taking place in Brownsville was not just for there, but was spreading out across the land. Another of the pastors said it was possible for the revival, the great outpouring which will happen in the last days before the Lord comes, to pass over churches that were not prepared to receive it. I know we live in a time where there is a famine of the Word, where people are not feasting and hungry for God in their lives, but I also know from watching the people at Brownsville, and from talking with others who have been touched by this revival and others that are currently breaking out, that there is a priesthood of believers who are rising up in this hour who desire to be the servants of the Living God. I know there is in this hour a separation taking place where anointed preachers are taking this remnant the Lord has given to them to shepherd and leading them into the fullness of Christ. Believers who are consumed with a love for the Lord, who have been stripped of all their pride and worldly ambitions, who have within their souls a burning zeal for the holiness of God. Right now, in this church, the numbers are small, but I want you to know they are beginning to sprout and grow. People who have no other food but Jesus because they know there is no other source of life. People who love according to the truth, believers who are fearless in their desire to bring others into the Kingdom and living a Kingdom led life.
Rising up in this hour are people who denounce sin without apology, who tear down idols and strongholds, doing this to bring freedom to their brothers and sisters so as to produce in them a hunger for the reality of Christ Jesus and then discipling them so as they too can feast on Him.