Revive Us Again

Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Psalm 85:6

When reports of the 1857 American revival reached overseas, the Presbyterian Synod of Ireland sent two men to investigate. They returned with stories that created great hunger for revival among the Irish. In answer to that hunger, a revival broke out and 1859 became known as “God’s Year of Grace” across the Irish nation.

“One after another were gloriously saved in homes and in schoolhouses. People opened the windows so that those outside and around the buildings could hear the prayer and praise inside. Careless sinners broke down and wept like children. Drunkards were awed into solemn silence. Often people did not go to bed for two or three nights. Passersby heard people crying aloud for mercy inside their houses, calling out to God in prayer, or singing hymns and songs. Business almost came to a standstill… Prayer meetings in private homes were held at all hours of the day and night… The faces of the new converts beamed with such joy that the newly saved were easily identified.”1

Oh, that God would send such a revival to our lands today! Let’s make this our daily prayer: “Lord, revive us again!”

Revival starts with a handful of praying people who develop an insatiable burden to plead with heaven for revival, as in Psalm 85:6: “Will You not revive us again…?” David Jeremiah

Faith Barriers

Exodus 3:10-22, Exodus 4:1-17

God enables us to carry out His plan for our life. When we fall short of accomplishing the goals He has set for us, it is not because He in some way failed to provide the necessary equipping. Instead, failure is usually the result of an obstacle within our heart—an attitude that short-circuits our faith. As a result, the flow of God’s power is hindered, and we cannot become the person He desires us to be.

Moses is a dramatic illustration of the disruptive potential of faith barriers. Called to one of the greatest missions in all of Scripture, the future leader responded with excuses for why he should not obey.

Excuses for disobedience haven’t changed much since Moses’ encounter with the burning bush. He tried to hide behind the same faith barriers that believers cite today: poor self-image (Ex. 3:11-12), ignorance about God (Ex. 3:13-21), self-doubt (Ex. 4:1-9), feelings of inadequacy (Ex 4:10-11), and fear of failure (Ex. 4:12-13). Each time he protested that the Lord had asked the wrong person—a slow-tongued shepherd of slavery lineage, who murdered a man and became a fugitive—God responded with a firm, persuasive rebuttal.

The theme of God’s answers is something all believers need to understand, just as Moses finally did—namely, that when we are called to serve, our strength, skill, and wisdom do not matter. Rather, it is the Lord who does the work through us. He doesn’t seek out the most qualified person for a particular job but instead calls men and women who are willing to surrender themselves to Him. When His strength works through their weakness, it is obvious that only God could have achieved the result.

Meditation in the Morning

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (Psalm 5:3)

Bible study, meditation on the Word, and prayer are necessities for a healthy Christian life and are good to practice at any time of the day or night, according to the constraints of time and responsibilities of each individual. Other things being equal, however, the best time of all is in the early morning. A believer who awakens each morning to the voice of the Lord in His Word will, in turn, be ready to speak words of blessing to others through the day (Isaiah 50:4). And as we, in turn, look up to Him each morning in prayer, He will hear and direct our steps through the day.

This was the example set by the Lord Jesus Himself: “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35). If even Jesus Christ needed such a quiet time early in the morning set aside to fellowship with His Father, we also would do well to follow.

Note the prayer of David: “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee” (Psalm 143:8). We urgently need to know the way we should walk each day, for it is so easy to get turned aside into our own ways, and the obvious time to pray for guidance is at the very beginning of every day.

One should not make a legalistic ritual of prayer and Bible meditation, of course, for it should come from a heart of love whenever and wherever it can be done, whether morning or evening. However it may work for each person, may God help us to say with the psalmist: “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97). HMM

As Much like God as Possible

But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. —Matthew 20:26-27

From these words we may properly conclude (and the context strongly supports the conclusion) that there is nothing wrong with the desire to be great provided (1) we seek the right kind of greatness; (2) we allow God to decide what is greatness; (3) we are willing to pay the full price that greatness demands; and (4) we are content to wait for the judgment of God to settle the whole matter of who is great at last….

No one whose heart has had a vision of God, however brief or imperfect that vision may have been, will ever consent to think of himself or anyone else as being great. The sight of God, when He appears in awesome majesty to the wondering eyes of the soul, will bring the worshiper to his knees… and fill him with such an overwhelming sense of divine greatness that he must spontaneously cry “Only God is great!”…

Obviously there are two kinds of greatness recognized in the Scriptures—an absolute, uncreated greatness belonging to God alone, and a relative and finite greatness achieved by or bestowed upon certain friends of God… who by obedience and self-denial sought to become as much like God as possible.

Lord, help me to emulate You, the model of true greatness, today. Amen.

Realities of Heaven

Let not your heart be troubled… I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:1-2)

Much of the secularism and rationalism of our times dismisses the Christian view and teaching about heaven as “nothing more than hopeful thinking.”

But the Christian’s promised hope of future blessedness is founded upon the fullest and plainest revelations of the Old and New Testaments. That it accords with the most sacred yearnings of the human breast does not weaken it, but serves rather to confirm the truth of it, since the One who made the heart might be expected also to make provision for the fulfillment of its deepest longings.

God’s promises are made to the Christian believer, who generally has difficulty picturing himself as inheriting such bliss as the Scriptures describe. The reason is not hard to discover, for the most godly Christian is the one who knows himself best, and no one who knows himself will believe that he deserves anything better than hell. But even justice is on his side, for it is written, “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

God is glorified by our serving him in our proper vocations

God is glorified by our serving him in our proper vocations. Every lawful trade may be sanctified by the gospel to noblest ends. Turn to the Bible, and you will find the most menial forms of labor connected either with most daring deeds of faith, or with persons whose lives have been illustrious for holiness. Therefore be not discontented with your calling. Whatever God has made your position, or your work, abide in that, unless you are quite sure that he calls you to something else. Let your first care be to glorify God to the utmost of your power where you are. Fill your present sphere to his praise, and if he needs you in another he will show it you.