Revival Comes Not Through Good Works, but by Awakening

During a preaching series on revival, Pastor Saeed Abedini explained that God’s grace cannot be earned through good works or church attendance, but only through an awakening of hearts.

“Revival is not measured by how many hours of service we give to our church or ministry. Revival is measured by the movement of God’s Spirit and the outpouring of His grace,” Abedini wrote in a Facebook message as part of a series on the topic of Revival that he has been posting throughout the week.

“Many people seek to cover their inner guilt through good works, which never resolve the reason for their separation from God. Some serve out of pride or evil motives,” he added.

“Some serve merely to work their way into a position of power or to have a closer relationship with a certain church member.”

He explained, however, that revival has little to do with how many members attend church or follow certain teachings, or how much they participate in good works, even if that involves “aggressive witnessing” that leads a number of people to the faith.

The pastor defined Revival as an “awakening of the heart toward God,” adding that it “first and foremost starts in the heart.”

“Revival is a stirring of passion for God and heavenly priorities,” he continued.

“In true revival, not only is the heart awakened but empowered with a godly passion to love and serve the living God.”

As to how revival is evidenced, Abedini said it is when a person “delights to spend time with his Lord in worship and praise.”

“It’s a fact that you and I will naturally spend time with those we love. In the same way, the one who is truly in love with God finds delight in worship, sheer pleasure in His presence, praising Him,” he added.

“Revival is about loving God and loving people and is seen in the fruit of actions toward that end,” the pastor said.

He also argued that there is no place for competitiveness or jealousy in true revival.

“When the Holy Spirit is doing a great work in and through other pastors or churches, true believers celebrate,” he stated.

Abedini, who spent three and a half years in Iranian prison held hostage for his Christian faith before being released in January to return home to his family in Boise, Idaho, has spoken out about the importance of revival on several occasions.

In March the pastor said he visited Liberty University where he spoke with American Christian students, and pointed out some are lacking in “true revival,” compared to their Iranian counterparts.

“New believers in Iran pray at least five hours a day and they are ready to give their life to keep their faith. And when you ask them if they have revival, they say, ‘No! We don’t know the Bible very well, we don’t evangelize enough and we don’t preach. We can’t find a church to go to and we feel very bad about it.’ In them, I see revival,” he wrote at the time.

“American Christians have so much and are such good people but we still need revival in our hearts. The fall on your knees and pray, kind of revival. So I see, those who think they have revival, really don’t. And those who don’t think they have revival, do,” he added.


What Will You Do With Jesus?

John 10:22-30

Jesus is the most important and controversial person in all of history; His name stirs up virulent hatred in some people and radical devotion in others.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. As a result, every person on earth must decide what to do with Him. He didn’t leave us the option of ignoring Him or washing our hands of the matter. There are really just two choices: Believe Him or reject Him. Rejection will result in judgment and eternal separation from God (John 3:18), but eternal life is promised to whoever trusts in Him.

Believers must also decide what they will do with Jesus after salvation. Faith in Him isn’t just the way to eternal life in heaven; it is also to be our way of life here and now. If we believe in Jesus, we will:

Follow Him. Christ’s sheep hear His voice and submit to His leadership.

Worship Him. As we grow in our love for and trust in the Savior, our natural response will be to adore and praise Him.

Share Him. We should want everyone to know this wonderful God who rescued us and transformed our lives.

Look for His coming. To be with Jesus face to face is our greatest hope and joy. This life is only a breath compared to the time we’ll be with Him in eternity.

If you have never made a decision about Jesus, the best time to do so is right now. And if you already are His follower, look for ways to demonstrate your faith in Him today. Train yourself to be on the lookout for opportunities to obey Him, worship Him, and share the good news with others.

The First Day of the Week

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” (Acts 20:7)

Given the fact that everything about God’s Word was specifically inspired by its Author, it is appropriate that this important phrase, “the first day of the week,” occurs exactly eight times in the Bible. The first six of these (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19) all stress the fact that it was on this day that the greatest event in history (since the creation) had taken place. The creation of the universe had taken place on the first day of the week, and now its Creator had conquered sin and death itself on that day. In the Bible, of course, the number “seven” represents completeness, so “eight” represents a new beginning—a new creation, a resurrection.

The last two references tell us just how the early Christians remembered this day. Our text verse tells us this was a day on which the disciples assembled together, had a preaching service, and then “broke bread.” This was not a special assembly called just for Paul, for he had already been waiting there six days (see previous verse). This was about 25 years after the resurrection itself, and the Jewish believers were evidently still observing the seventh day as a rest day, but then they also observed the first day of the week as the time to commemorate the Lord’s death in “breaking of bread” to celebrate His resurrection, and especially to hear the preaching of His Word. The final reference tells us one other vital thing they did: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” (1 Corinthians 16:2). The first day of the week should always be a time of remembering Him in these joyful ways, for He is our living Lord and Savior. HMM

The Wrath of God

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in= unrighteousness. —Romans 1:18

There is a strong tendency among religious teachers these days to disassociate anger from the divine character and to defend God by explaining away the Scriptures that relate it to Him. This is understandable, but in the light of the full revelation of God it is inexcusable….

Whatever is stated clearly but once in the Holy Scriptures may be accepted as sufficiently well established to invite the faith of all believers; and when we discover that the Spirit speaks of the wrath of God about 300 times in the Bible we may as well make up our minds either to accept the doctrine or reject the Scriptures outright….

To understand God’s wrath we must view it in the light of His holiness. God is holy and has made holiness to be the moral condition necessary to the health of His universe….

Since God’s first concern for His universe is its moral health, that is, its holiness, whatever is contrary to this is necessarily under His eternal displeasure….

The holiness of God, the wrath of God and the health of the creation are inseparably united. Not only is it right for God to display anger against sin, but I find it impossible to understand how He could do otherwise.

Lord, deal with me in grace as I fall before You in repentance and worship. Amen.

Are You Not Ready for Heaven?

My meditation of him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord. (Psalm 104:34)

I can safely say on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven!

Now, I can almost hear someone saying, “Is Tozer getting away from justification by faith?”

I assure you that Martin Luther never believed in justification by faith more strongly than I do. But nowadays there is a deadly, automatic quality about getting saved.

This bothers me greatly: “Sinner, just put a nickel’s worth of faith in the slot, pull down the lever and take out the little card of salvation.” Tuck it in your wallet and off you go—a justified believer!

But really, my brother or sister, we are brought to God and to faith and to salvation that we might worship. We do not come to God that we might be automatic Christians stamped out with a die!

God has provided His salvation that we might be, individually and personally, vibrant children of God, loving God with all our heart and worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness!

Love to Christ smooths the path of duty

Love to Christ smooths the path of duty, and wings the feet to travel it: it makes the life of sincere devotion.

Love has a clear eye; but it can see only one thing,—it is blind to every interest but that of its Lord; it seeth things in the light of his glory, and weigheth actions in the scales of his honor; it counts royalty but drudgery if it cannot reign for Christ, but it delights in servitudeas much as in honor, if it can thereby advance the Master’s kingdom; its end sweetens all its means; its object lightens its toil, and removes its weariness.