Summary: A message on revival preparation.
WHY DO WE NEED REVIVAL?
INTRO: ILLUS: MENDING THE BELL Many are unaware that the Declaration of Independence did not come into being until a day of fasting and prayer had been observed. Appointed by the Continental Congress, it was kept by all the colonies on May 17, 1776. At that time in our history, God and the Bible were given more reverence and recognition than they are today. When the nation was finally born, our forefathers rang the Liberty Bell with great enthusiasm, and a legend says that it cracked as they zealously proclaimed their freedom. Years later the White Chapel Foundry of London offered to recast the huge carillon, but their proposal was of course refused. Apparently the symbolic value of the damaged bell, which recalls the religious and patriotic fervor of those early days, is something that Americans still wish to preserve. This in itself is good; but in view of our nation’s moral decline, the crack may also suggest a break in our basic ideals and a serious defect in our spiritual attitudes.
We need revival today. Why do we need revival? There are Three reasons. We need revival because it Opens our Eyes to Needs Around Us. Motivates Us to do God’s Work, and Brings Us Closer to God.
I. REVIVAL OPENS OUR EYES TO NEEDS AROUND US.
Te disciples had just returned from the city where they had purchased food. Their thoughts were on food. They were not sensitive to what Jesus had been doing. Jesus rebukes them for not being aware of needs other than their own. He rebukes them for not witnessing while going into town. They had been with Jesus for a long time and had been trained to witness.
The Samaritan woman, on the other hand, was sensitive to the needs of others. She went back to her village to tell the people about Jesus.
ILLUS: “WHEELBARROW” CHRISTIANS At the entrance of one of the great manufacturing plants in America is a sign that reads, “If you are like a wheelbarrow - going no farther than you are pushed - you need not apply for work here!” In spiritual endeavor, too, one must always manifest personal initiative and zeal and be willing to go the second mile.
There are many spiritual needs around us, both inside and outside the church. But because we are seeking food for ourselves, we do not see them. Jesus is rebuking us about the white fields of harvest. Revival opens our eyes to these needs.
II. REVIVAL MOTIVATES US TO DO GOD’S WORK.
Verse 39 tells of the results of the Samaritan woman having her eyes opened. She was excited about what Jesus had done and wanted to share it with her neighbors. She didn’t have any friends, so it was not easy for her to get the attention of the people.
ILLUS: GOD’S GRACE BRIDGES THE GAP Think for a moment of the Golden Gate Bridge which crosses the San Francisco Bay. Anyone who has seen it cannot help but be awed by its immensity. But suppose you were driving through the desert in southern California and you beheld that magnificent structure spanning the dried-up bed of “Three Frogs Creek” on the outskirts of “Turtle Soup Junction.” What a ridiculous sight that would be! Likewise, the Lord never displays His power and grace in such a disproportionate manner, but always fashions His provision according to the difficulty of the hour. He does not impart strength until it is needed.