Revival Begins With ME

Revival Begins With ME!
James 4:17

AUDIO: Listen to the audio version of this post HERE  (Note: The audio file for this post was uploaded to SoundCloud).

James 4:17 (NLT)
17  Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

Is there a REAL desire for revival inside the Christian church today? I am including a few quoted passages from Matthew Fretwell via ChurchCentral.com, regarding the desire of the Christian for revival:

The majority of evangelical Americans desire a call back to God. However, what is the motivation—is it for national spirituality, for political change, for Bibles or prayer in schools, or for church growth?

Whatever the motivation—is this what revival has become to us?

When we look at the major reforms and revivals throughout history, the one common theme is death to self… True revival means that souls are no longer yearning for earthly desires, but yielding to the Spirit of Godfull control—and that is utterly frightening to some people.

…A professor shared a story about a young man. In his evangelism course, the man jumped up—on fire for the gospel—exclaiming, “Professor, I’m going to change the world for Christ!”

The professor calmly walked over. He picked up a piece of white chalk and began to draw a circle around the enthusiastic believer.

“Change everything inside the circle—then go and change the world,” remarked the Professor. If revival is to come—anywhere—it must begin with me.

That must be. It’s not just a catch phrase, but the reality. All of us must change. We must seek real, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-illuminated, gospel transformation.

If we are to seek revival, then we must say, “Revival begins with me.

What about you—do you truly want revival?

However, how can we truly seek revival if we are afraid to speak up and stand up for Christ?  The following is quoted from the book, Seeking a Revival Culture: Essays on Fortifying an Anemic Church, by Allen M. Baker, and is in reference to Peter’s denial of Christ:

How could this happen to Peter? …His pride, made manifest in his desire for self-preservation, is what got him.

Be sure of this–the seeds of denial are in you… You must therefore be vigilant to guard your heart against pride for it can make shipwreck of your very best intentions. Peter did not plan on denying Christ, and neither do you. But you have denied Him, haven’t you? How so? …First, you deny Jesus by outright, explicit refusal to speak to others about [Jesus] when given opportunity. You have friends, family members, neighbors, et al who need to hear about Jesus, and you remain in the guilty silence of self-preservation. Aren’t you saying to your friends that you really don’t care whether or not they go to hell!

Second, you deny Jesus by outright, explicit refusal to speak for Jesus to others. You are standing around the water cooler, and talk begins about the gay agenda, how Christians are hateful and mean spirited; and others are saying that the Bible is a book filled with hate because it condemns homosexuality. You stand there and say nothing. Or take the abortion issue. People are talking about how cruel and narrow minded Christians are for being against abortion and you say nothing.

Third, you deny Jesus when you act and speak one way at church, but quite another at work or with friends on the first tee. You are denying Jesus by your hypocrisy.

Well, what are you to do? You must acknowledge your guilty silence and hypocrisy as sin. Are you working off the root sin of pride, fearing for your own reputation? …You must then repent, calling your behavior what it is–sin…

Here is the beauty of the gospel, dear people. You are so much like Peter. In your pride and smugness you promise great things for Jesus but fail miserably, each and every day. He never grows tired, however, of restoring you when you repent… Cast yourself daily on the Lord Jesus, believing in His presence and power. Then and only then will you be an effective witness for Christ.

Matthew 15:8(MSG) says:

8  These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
but their heart isn’t in it.
They act like they’re worshiping me,
but they don’t mean it.

So, the real question becomes:  Where is your heart and what is its desire?

Have we marginalized the Messiah’s Message as mundane?
Do we declare with our lips but deny with our heart?
Do we gossip with the gals/guys rather than giving it to (and glorifying) God?
Do we seek entertainment over edification?
Do we offer compromise before commitment?
Are we too busy, with too many plans, too much going on with too many people to please… to truly WANT revival?

-Dan Rivera
5/15/2017

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