Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Where is Jesus in the Church?

cropped-girl-praying1.jpgThe state of the Church breaks my heart. Yes it does.  I weep over it, and I believe so does Jesus.

The deadness, the formality, the coldness.  Where is the life?  Where is the joy?  Where is my Jesus?

I don’t seem Him in it.

I don’t see Him in the dry formality, I don’t see Him in the ritual, the “way we’ve always done it.”

Why do people’s faces look sad and somber in church?  Why do we feel we have to pretend to be serious to be spiritual?

Jesus where are You?

Not there.

 

The thing is, we know it.  We know it’s not right, that something is missing. We know that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t so we could sit and be bored in Church for two hours every Sunday morning.  We feel it.  Something in our spirit says this is not the way it was in the early Church, there is something more.  What are we missing?

 

So, we try to fix it in our human-ness.

Entertainment, rock concerts, frenzied behavior, yelling, emotional manipulation.  Get people to cry, yes, if that brings emotion, ANYTHING but that dead dryness.  Oh God, anything but that.

Entertainment for true joy.

Emotional manipulation for true broken-ness

Frenzied behavior for the real work of the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus where are You?

Not there.

 

After awhile, the yelling makes us tired, the emotive manipulation falls on dead ears, and, after all, we are not changed.

That didn’t work either.  Oh  God, what next?

Look at pubs, worldly concerts, sporting events.  They are full of happy, excited people.  There are crowds.  They must know something we don’t.  We must learn from them.

Advertising, marketing surveys, seeker-sensitive churches.  Things not to mention:

  • the cross
  • sin
  • the Blood
  • God’s holiness
  • never ever use the word “sinner”
  • hell
  • judgment (shriek)

(But make sure you use the word “unpack” in your sermon at least 5 times.)

 

Jesus where are YOU?

Not there.

 

Something wrong. something missing.  something different than the Church in Acts.

Spirituality.  Candles, liturgies, labyrinths, darkness.  Ooooh, we get goosebumps again.  This is it! we feel again, we are not dead, not bored, we are spiritual.

We feel.

JESUS where are YOU?

Not there.

 

Don’t we see?  don’t we know where He is?

He is outside the Church.

He is outside the door.

Long ago He was asked to leave.  Oh yes, we use His Name, but we don’t really want Him.  We want to be comfortable, we want convenience at all costs.  We don’t want our formality and rituals confronted or thrown away.  We want to feel good, positive emotions. We don’t want to be convicted.  We want to feel intellectual and deep and have wonderful spiritual experiences.  We want lots of people around us because that shows we are on the right track.

But we don’t want HIM.

 

Him – the goodness, the holiness, the righteousness, the kindness, the love, the truth, the mercy, the conviction, the call to the lost, the call to obedience, the faithfulness to Him that is required, the cost of the cross of Christ…

 

Jesus is a gentleman, He will not stay where He is not welcome.

 

There is only one way back to Him.

Let us cast off everything else and fall on our knees before Him.

There is only one thing that is required:

BROKENNESS

Utter broken-ness.

Let us fall on our faces before our Lord and weep for the state of our own hearts, for the Church, for the lost around us.  Let our hearts be broken.  It is only when our hearts are broken before the Lord that LIFE, the real life of the Holy Spirit enters in.

 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the deadness any more.  I have had enough of formality and boredom.  I have had enough of human solutions to the problem.  I can’t handle any more extraneous rubbish – I WANT HOLY GHOST REVIVAL!  This world needs men and women who have the fire of the Holy Ghost.

 

Lord, send Your Spirit.  Revive us again. We need You Lord.  I repent of my hardness of heart Lord. My heart breaks for the state of the Church Lord.  My heart breaks for those around me on their way to Hell.  Enough Lord !  Rend the heavens and come down!!!  In Jesus’s Name, Amen

 


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Rousing the Bride

Now arise My precious Darling,sleeping woman

Wake up you sleepy-head.

It’s time to uncurl from these blankets

To get up out of bed.

 

My Bride, it is morning

The day is far spent

Come rise My love-

Away with Me-

For the time that is left.

 

Open your eyes,

And see the sun

Look – there it is arising

If you look

You will see

Just beyond the horizon

 

I want you to see My love

For whom it is

I came to die.

It is something that will wake you,

But you need to decide,

 

Will you open

Or keep closed shut

Those dear, drowsy eyes?

For to see

Is to share the pain

Of an intercessor’s sighs

 

Out there is a road

It is long and it is dusty

The people there are many

And on their way to destruction

 

All along that road are ones

For whom I go searching:

The lost,

The broken,

The abandoned,

The sinner

And the bloody

 

I came so that they have life

And I’m going to them now

My Bride, I want you with Me

Show them

To My Father’s house

 

Come with Me My love

Raise up that heavy head!

To the road I am going

Oh will you leave

This comfy bed?

 

Cold out there?

Yes it is, that’s for certain.

All along that wide road

You will be buffeted,

Perhaps even broken.

 

But child-

Don’t you see?

We’ll be together

Side-by-side,

You’ll be with Me

Where I am,

Together to abide.

 

Come now,

Beloved Bride,

Stick out your toe.

Those covers-

Will you toss them aside?

 

My Dove,

They’re waiting,

Let them see your beauty shine

For lo, I am with you always

Place your hand in Mine.

 

The Bride-groom is rousing His Bride from her comfortable bed of luxury.  Let us respond to His call and pray for an awakening.

May God bless my brothers and sisters in our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen

 


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Prophets and Revival : Leonard Ravenhill Quotation

“Ahhh the prophets were men who walked with God, they felt like God, they saw like God, they wept like God, they yearned like God…..leonard r

….And in the richest most comfortable country in the whole world….we stink in the nostrils of Almighty God tonight….

….But ohhh what a difference when a man gets a heart that craves for revival, that longs that God will make bare His arm that all nations will have to acknowledge…”

 

This man has to be the most anointed man I have ever heard preach.  Oh for more like him ! Holy Ghost anguish descends upon grown men as he preaches.  What does it sound like when Holy Ghost anguish comes upon grown men? “To some of you I am sure this is chaos but its music in the ears of Jesus…” (LR)

Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKLlcwd_nqE

leonardravenhill

 

 

 

 


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Address on Revival

By Duncan Campbell

The Attitude Of The Church

I am disturbed by the attitude of the Church in general toward aggressive evangelism or revival.

By evangelism I do not mean just an effort to get people back into the Church; this effort, while commendable, does not get us very far. What I mean is something much more: it is the getting of men and women into vital, saving and covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, and so supernaturally altered that holiness will characterize their whole being: body, soul and spirit.

It seems to me that the time has surely come when we must, with open mind and true heart, face ourselves with unqualified honesty and ask the question: “Am I alive to my responsibility as a laborer in God’s vineyard?” I, personally, have constantly to remind myself that I can be a very busy man, yet a very idle minister. How easy it is to live more or less in the enjoyment of God’s free grace, and yet not realize that we are called to fulfill a divinely appointed purpose. Our commission is to declare the whole counsel of God in the midst of men: “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” — that, brethren, is our privilege and our task.

And yet we must confess that too often the great things of God have not been the predominating things: the lesser things of life have been allowed to absorb our interest, and the lure of the lesser loyalty has blurred our vision and robbed us of our passion to win souls for Jesus Christ.

What, then, is the essential to recovery and revival?

Surely a whole-hearted desire to be right with God, to stand before Him in an adjusted relationship. I am convinced that if we are to see the hand of God at work, we must give to our lives the propulsion of a sacred vow, and with Hezekiah of old say: “Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel.” Brethren, the new truths that grip us this morning must find expression and embodiment in a new dedication — that is, if we are to be men whom God can trust with revival.


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Pentecost (and a Hard Question for You)

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I would like to share something of urgency, which God has put on my heart today.  Firstly though I need to do a little background on the Feast of Pentecost, which, so happens, is today.

Today (from sundown May 14-15) is the national observance of the Feast of Pentecost, or Shavuot, in Israel. Shavuot is considered to be the time when God gave Moses the Torah on Mount Sinai after the exodus from Egypt.  The giving of the Torah to Moses was by God Himself coming down to meet with him on the Mount in a cloud, accompanied by smoke and fire and a blast of God’s trumpet. This was to establish His covenant with His people and so Shavuot is celebrated as the biblical birth date of the nation of Israel.

The basic theme of Shavuot is “the harvest” and of giving thanks to God.  Passover marked the beginning of the Spring harvest and on the Feast of First fruits the first fruits of a sheaf of barley was required to be presented before the Lord, as a wave offering in thanksgiving for the harvest.  From the next day, seven weeks were counted until wheat harvest.  This is why Pentecost is also called the “Feast of Weeks”.

Why is this relevant to us?  Because God works by His prophetic calendar. In the year AD 30, on the day of Pentecost, something else of great importance was birthed.  At Passover Christ had died as the Lamb of God, at Feast of First Fruits He rose again, then 50 days after His resurrection, on the Day of Pentecost, the Church was born.

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Acts 2:1-4

God once again used fire, wind and other demonstrations of the Holy Ghost to establish a covenant with His people.  This was also a time of great harvest, with many thousands of people being saved and brought into the Church at once.

So this leads to what the Holy Spirit has impressed on my heart this afternoon.  Over the centuries since the Church was born at Pentecost there have been other times of great harvest and the ingathering of souls.  As Peter said, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17, 18) Times of the outpouring of God’s Spirit have been recorded through history.  There was the Great Awakening traced to the Moravians in 1727, there was Whitefield in 1742, John Wesley in the 18th century, Finney in the 1830’s, DL Moody in the late 19th century, the Welsh revival in 1904, Asuza Street in 1906 – just to name a few.

But will God do it again? Will there be another time of a great outpouring of His Spirt, of revival, before the end of the age?  It is my wholehearted belief that it will be so.

(It is not my intention here to prove that God will once again bring revival.  I can recommend the following books if you would like to pursue this question further.  One is Leonard Ravenhill’s “Why Revival Tarries”, the other is “In the Day of Thy Power” by Arthur Wallis.)

The scripture that God impressed upon me today was this:

“And he said, ‘Thus says the Lord, make this valley full of ditches.  For thus says the Lord, you shall not see wind, neither shall you see rain, yet that valley shall be filled with water…” 2 Kings 3:16, 17

God required Judah and Israel to prepare for the coming outpouring of the water which He was to send by making the valley full of ditches.  This was so when the water came it would fall into these catchment areas and not simply run-off and be lost and wasted.  This is what God is speaking to His Church even in this day.   It is no secret that water can be a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Bible.  He is saying to prepare for the coming outpouring of the Spirit – by making ditches in the valley to catch the water as it flows through.

I guess the Israelites must have dug into the desert floor with some sort of spade instruments.  It can’t have been an easy task to make a valley “full of ditches”.  But while it was probably hard, it wasn’t impossible, and they did do it.

How do we make ditches today?  We need to dig into the hardness of human hearts with the instrument of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The hardness will be confronted with the power of the gospel and pride will be broken down when met with the Word of God.

Jesus said in Matthew 9:38 “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few, Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

God needs labourers to go out into the harvest once again and gather in the lost.   God needs us to warn them that without Him, they will die.  I am not being melodramatic.  One thing God impressed upon me today is His urgency to have sinners turn to Him.  He says :

“Say unto them, ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Ezekial 33:11

This is serious.  If we truly believe that we are in the last days and if we truly believe that Jesus is coming back as the Lion of the tribe of Judah to judge the world in a Day of wrath, then we need to warn people.  It is God’s heart that none should perish.   But He has entrusted to us the precious task of preaching the gospel, of warning, of being watchmen.  And He actually, really expects us to do it.

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.”  Ezekiel 33:7-9

This is not a call for an elite set of evangelists, or for someone with a special anointing, this is a call for every Christian.  Jesus Himself said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

I am sorry if this makes you uncomfortable or if it bursts your happy bubble, but God’s heart breaks for the lost every single day.  And ours should too.

Of course, the very first thing that occurs when we are confronted by a hard truth, me included, is our sense of inadequacy.  That I am unfit for the task, that I am too weak, too female, or too imperfect hits me most of the time.  But God says we are not inadequate, we are not incapable.  He has called us for this very reason and He will put His words in our mouths.

Listen to this:  Ninevah turned from their sin when Jonah got over himself and warned them of their impending judgment.

They turned.

And they lived.

God is calling for someone to “make this valley full of ditches” in these last days.

Will it be you?

“The fact is, Christians are more to blame for not being revived, than sinners are for not being converted.  And if Christians are not awakened, they may know assuredly that God will visit them with His judgments.  How often God visited the Jewish church with judgments because they would not repent and be revived at the call of His prophets.”  Charles Finney