May. 31, 2020
Background: It is my practice, by leadership of the Lord, to preach and teach through the books of the Bible, helping us to see the big picture of God as I am capable. However, this season has lead me to take a few weeks to set up the Revival that God has called for. New Home, as your pastor, I have made the statement that we would go into revival when God sent one. I arrogantly made the statement last October as we began to approach the 2020 budget that we would probably not have one this year. Boy did I miss the mark! Who would have known that this year we would endure a season of church closures, postponed services, VBS cancellations, social distancing, and a host of other challenges that have faced not only the gathered body of Christ, but every nation throughout the world? Add to the COVID-19 pandemic all the other things that are taking place, (the great social injustices (yes, George Floyd), rioting, and disregard for human life) and church, we find ourselves in a great trial. Nothing like the trial that is to come when we stand before Christ, for some of it will be a glorious reunion, for others not so much. From the onset of this season in March, as we made the heart-breaking decision to postpone our corporate gatherings until the storm passed by, I have been convinced that God was doing a work to draw man unto Himself. I am just as much convinced that the season of Revival is here. We must realize the spiritual condition of not only the world, but to look within the church, and even your own heart, and see the need for God to breathe life into our dead bodies once again. It is easy to look at the T.V. or out the window and see the desperate condition of the "unsaved" of the world to those who may be outside of the church, ignorant to the Gospel. I urge you, do not check out on me. Ask God to reveal your condition. Awaken us to the depravity of our own heart and create within us a clean heart; One of flesh and not stone. Father, revive us again.
Dictionary.com defines "revive" this way: (verb) - to return to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, or a flourishing condition. (noun) - (pertaining to religion) - It is an evangelistic service or a series of services for the purpose of effecting a religious awakening.
1.) Return to life: Life must be lost. (Lazarus, come out. John 11:43)
2.) Return to consciousness: Return to the loss of awareness. (Woe is me! In Isaiah 6, Isaiah was made aware of his need.)
3.) Vigor/Strength: Ability to press on, recovery after a battle. (Job, Paul. 2 Corinthians 11 and 12 with emphasis on 12:9-10) After a list of Paul's trials, "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Isaiah 40:31, "... but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint."
4.) Flourishing condition: more than adequate, lavish living. (Isaiah 32:15-16; Titus 3:3-7) "For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating on another, But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Read/Pray: Ezekiel 37
1.) There was a message sent by God through man.
a. Verses 1-4 Ezekiel was led around, looking at all the death. Very dry bones. He questioned, "Can these bones live?" Ezekiel as honest as he knew answered, "O Lord God, you know." God responded, "Prophecy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord."
i. I urge you to hear the Spirit of God as He speaks to you this morning.
ii. I pray that God gives you and me the ears to hear.
1. Dry bones cannot hear, less the Spirit of God gives them ears.
2.) The bones are clearly dead.
a. Verses 2-7 very dry, lacking flesh and muscle, rattling.
i. Ephesians 2 "And you were dead."
1. Unable to come to life.
ii. Receiving the wages of your sins. Romans 6:23 "The wages of sin is death."
3.) The Breath of God brings life.
a. Just as life began in one man, Adam by the breath of God.
i. Genesis 2:7, "Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life...."
ii. Ephesians 2:1 establishes that we are dead in our trespasses and sins. Lacking the breath of God.
b. Ephesians 2:4 is the New Testament version of Ezekiel 37 of dead things coming to life.
i. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by Grace you have been saved!
Some of us are tired and in need of God to restore vigor/strength.
Some of us are unconscious and need awakening, or reminded of who we are in Christ.
Some of us are dead and need to be brought to life. I pray that as the Spirit draws us, we respond. As we approach this great season of revival, with one in June and another in July, that we begin to seek God, repent of our rebellion and wickedness, cry out to Him for restoration and reconciliation, and receive the breath of God that brings dead things to life. Pray with me.