Summary: This sermon is on the subject of spiritual renewal and was preached as preparation for a Lay Renewal Weekend and to call for commitment of the church to participate in the spiritual event.
This is the Revelation of God to the Church concerning Jesus Christ. A revelation is an unveiling, it is a making known of that which has been hidden. This unveiling is that which God gave unto John that his servants might be shown the things which must come to pass. It’s in light of the consummation of the ages and the final revelation of Jesus Christ that we need to know “What the Spirit is Saying To The Churches.” John bore record, he wrote down, he gave the testimony of all that he saw concerning Jesus Christ. And so he wrote in Revelation 1:3, “Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy.” Herein is the challenge to Calvary Baptist Church today. Hear the word from God – hear what Jesus is saying to this church. The vision John gives is that of Jesus walking among the church on earth. He is here today, walking among this church and He has a word for us.
Revelation 2:7 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” So, “What is the Spirit saying to the Church about Spiritual Renewal?” For over a month now we’ve been talking about, praying about and being consulted about entering into a Lay Renewal Weekend. My goal in the message this morning is for the Spirit to bring us to a point of agreement and commitment to plan, prepare, pray for and participate in a Lay Renewal Weekend so that we may better hear what the Spirit is saying to Calvary Baptist Church.
To know what the Spirit is saying to us about a Spiritual Renewal Weekend, we all need to know what it is and what it will do for God’s people. So first and foremost a Spiritual Renewal Weekend is:
I. A Renewal of Our Journey With Jesus
It’s a journey in the Holy Spirit that begins when a person becomes a born again believer in Jesus Christ. It begins when you become a Christian. From that moment, wherever you are, you should live your commitment sensitively listening to the Spirit, consistently following Jesus and naturally doing the will of God. And that journey which begins at your spiritual birth continues throughout your life. It never ends. From that point your total life experience is involved with Jesus Christ living within you as a believer. And as you live out this relationship with God in Christ, His life in you becomes a witness both verbally and through personal ministry to all persons with whom you become associated.
Of course, once the journey has begun there’s a process of maturing. That is, a growing realization of God’s plan and purpose for your life in Christ. The problem often is however, a Christian reaches a plateau in their spiritual growth and stagnation sets in. You begin to see yourself as self-sufficient. And at that point it’s hard for you to admit even to yourself that your journey has halted. Now, I didn’t say it ended – but it has hit a road block. And at this point, your lifestyle becomes shaped not by God, but by that which surrounds you – by the pressures in your life and the stresses upon your life.
Now the truth is, it may be that everyone else in your life believes you are Okay, but really you’re not. You may even be deceived to think you’re Okay, but deep down inside you know something is not right, not normal, is not like it once was. It’s precisely at this point that you need a renewal experience to draw you back into a fresh encounter with Jesus Christ so the journey towards Christian maturity and growth in Christlikeness can continue. The fact is, every point along the journey of one’s lifestyle relationship with Jesus is dynamic, it’s changing, it’s growing. It’s not static, but a continuing renewal process. A spiritual renewal weekend will facilitate the continuation of the Journey with Jesus. Secondly, A Spiritual Renewal Weekend is a:
II. Re-Awakening of The Church to God’s Purpose
A Spiritual Renewal Weekend gets a church started thinking about what it means to be on mission with God. In a spiritual sense, it gives us a process to hear and respond to God. It becomes a strategy to turn our attention in the right direction. It allows us to put the past behind us and to look forward with purpose and passion. God is always at work in us and around us to accomplish His purposes in His world. In order to do so, He personally communicates His will to His people inviting each church to join Him in what He is doing.
So a Spiritual Renewal Weekend offers a church the process to hear and respond to God. It provides a foundation and a launching pad for joining God in His activity in specific ways. God already knows what He’s purposing to do through those He calls to Himself. And He’s waiting for us to adjust our lives to His purposes so He can work powerfully through us to redeem a lost and dying world through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. When we hear God’s call and respond appropriately, there will be no limit to what God can and will do through Calvary Baptist Church.