What Revival Is 4

What Revival is.  It is the removal of sin.  Too many people are going around trying to live under their sin.  In other words they do not want to do anything about their sin.  They like their sin and they want to keep participating in whatever it is.  People run to the doctor for medication to cover the effects of their sin.  They hope this will allow them to cope with their sin.  The only remedy for sin is Jesus’ blood.

Look at Palm 51:2, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”  Also look at Psalm 51:9, ” Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.”  When we break free of our sin we are free to live as God wants us to live.  Far too many people are all about my, me and mine.  They want to live life like the old song says, “I did it my way.”  That will not work when it comes to revival.  That will hold back revival, truthfully.  We have to meet God’s conditions and then we can have revival.

The problem is that we love our sin and we want to continue in it. If we are going to have revival this cannot happen.  Sin is a poison.  It affects every aspect of our lives.  If we let it go then it will take over our lives.  We become a slave to sin.  Jesus wants us to be free of sin.  He wants us to be free to have revival.

So, how are you doing?

What Revival Is 3

Revival is requesting forgiveness.  When we experience true revival we will find that we are not the person that we should be.  I mean we will see ourselves like God sees us.  This can be a frightening place.  Yet, if we go there we can get forgiveness.  Then it is like we have not done what we have asked forgiveness for.

Look at Psalm 51:6-8, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”  I have heard a few Pastors say that David was a great sinner; but, he was also a great repenter.  He took advantage of repentance.  Even as weak and sinful as David was he experienced real revival.

We have to get to the place that we will set aside our pride and come before God and ask for forgiveness.  The great hing is that I can do that.  God extends His mercy to us and all we must do is access is ask for it.  Far too often our pride keeps us from even asking.  We think we can handle it.  We cannot handle it.  Only Jesus can handle it because He alone is our Sin Bearer.  We need to run to Him and beg for forgiveness.

So, how are you doing?

The Cover Up

The other day I was making two double batches of my homemade BBQ sauce.  Someone had requested some of both the honey hickory and the honey mesquite.  When I finished the second batch I tuned off the burner.  Then I removed the lid from the stainless steel pot.  Then I moved the pot to a cooler burner.  When I removed the lid; before moving the pot, the BBQ sauce boiled violently for a couple seconds.  A splatter about the size of a dime hit my right arm.  It hurt badly!

I wiped my arm off and it turned a little red.  Then it began to blister and hurt terribly.  I ran cold water over it in an attempt to stop the burning and cool things down.  For several days I put medicine on it and it is healing.  Upon going to Church on Sunday my suit coat rubbed against this area of my arm.  It hurt horrible.

I began to think.  The suit coat was covering the burn mark.  Unfortunately, the thing that was hiding the burn from sight was the one thing that was irritating it.  Then my mind ran to Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

We need to quit covering up our sin with whatever we can find.  We need to confess our sin to God and forsake it.  Then we can move on and live in freedom. The problem is that too man of us love the pleasure of sin and we don’t want to forsake it at all.  Yet, this is what is bringing an irritation into our lives whether we realize it or not.  It is time to quit covering up and get it out in the open before God and get forgiveness and freedom.

So, how are you doing?

Consider Him 8

I am guessing that most of us have heard the old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  There is a lot of truth to that; unless, you are hard of hearing like I am.  Then, it might get it and it might not.

As a parent you know when your child cries if it is just for attention or if there is really something wrong.  Mothers are highly skilled in this area.  Fathers just look for the trail of blood.

There is one cry that has impact for all time and eternity.  Today let’s “Consider Him in His Cry”.  As Jesus was nailed to a Roman cross and dying for sin He never committed He said some things that need to be considered.

Look at Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”  This is ultimate forgiveness!  There have been a couple times in my life that God has poured out great grace on me and I was able to forgive someone that had wronged me.  I thank God for that.  Consider what Jesus is saying here.  He is confirming that we are sinners and sinners sin.  Because of this we need forgiveness.  Jesus was the only one to provide such forgiveness.  “Consider Him in His Cry” as He said, “Father, forgive them,”.  Maybe it would be a good exercise to replace the word “them” with your name or my name.

So, how are you doing?

Falling Down And Getting Back Up 6

Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

This next principle is a tough one too for sure.  After we take the first step to go to the person we have offended or injured this should help the next step come easier.  I don’t say that it will.  Remember there is an adversary that wants to put thoughts into your mind and tell you that you cannot do this.  I say you can with God’s help.

The next principle is to Request their forgiveness.  This is a big piece of humble pie.  Nobody likes to eat humble pie; but, because of our own sinfulness we often have to suck it up, swallow our pride and eat our piece of humble pie.  Humble pie has the worst taste; but, the greatest after taste.  I think you understand what I mean by that.

It is not easy to humble one’s self and admit wrong doing?  I mean, it shows we are not perfect.  It shows we might not have it all together.  Really…  What it shows is that we are human and we all make mistakes.  We are sinners!  Remember this is why Jesus came and died.  He knows we need a Saviour.

Don’t continue to live under the sin that has you burdened down.  Confess it, forsake it and make it right with the person offended.  Once you have requested forgiveness it is up to them to forgive you.  They might not forgive you.  If this happens you can live your life knowing that you tried to make it right.

So, how are you doing?

Falling Down And Getting Back Up 4

Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Today we will look at the third principle of falling down and getting back up.  Today’s principle is Request God’s forgiveness.  Look at I John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  The idea of confession is to say the same thing about our sin that God says about it.  It is not that we are letting God in on our sinfulness.  He knows.

There are many reasons that people do not request God’s forgiveness.  One is shame.  They are ashamed to admit to God what they have done.  The thing is that the sooner you confess it and forsake it the sooner you can move on in life.  Don’t expect to go anywhere or do anything for God with known sin in your life.  It will not work.  Once the confession is made and God immediately forgives you then you can move on like it never happened.

So, how are you doing?

 

From The Heart

Today I would like to just sit down at “The Pastor’s Table” with a cup of hot tea or coffee with you and share something with you.  A couple days ago I had the pleasure of taking my wife grocery shopping.  In the day we now live I find it important to take her and to protect her from some evildoer that might seek to take advantage of her.  This is a big part of my role and responsibility as her husband.  It is a role I take very seriously and with much pride.  I have the same role and responsibility over our son.  This is intensified when you factor in that he is one of God’s special children.

As my wife shopped, our son and I sat in the vehicle waiting for her to return.  When i backed in I noticed that the vehicle in the next parking space next to the passenger’s side of our vehicle was parked almost right on the line between the two spots.  I just centered up in my spot (maybe getting a little closer to the line than I would normally have gotten).  After sitting there for a few minutes music began to come screaming loudly from this vehicle.  Music that I personally cannot stand.  No it was not rap or rock and roll.  Inside this vehicle were at least three teenagers about thirteen or so and maybe they were younger.  They acted about three years old if you ask me.

They made one fatal mistake.  The one sitting by the window on our side began to mock our son as he jumped and squirmed and gyrated like a complete idiot.  Now, to say I was angry would be the understatement of the ages.  I could feel myself beginning to boil.  I was so angry that I had visions in my mind of putting my hand through the window of their vehicle and pulling the “intellectual midget” out of the vehicle and beating him senseless.  Then it dawned on me that this was not a proper Christian; let alone, a proper pastoral approach.  So, I asked God for forgiveness and I started a staring contest with the little, future felon of America.  I even pulled out of the parking spot at a crawl staring a hole in the little dirt bag as we slow rolled toward home.

Then something dawned on me.  Look at Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”  Now, this poor child could not have heard a “soft answer” due to the volume of the sickening music he was trying to share with the entire state of Indiana.  Yet, I received the message that the LORD was speaking to me.  My response was totally wrong.  “But; LORD, he mocked my son!”  I thought to myself and Him.  There I drove and was deeply convicted and still deeply angry.  Yes, I finally settled down and asked for forgiveness.  The great part is that I received forgiveness.  Now look at the next verse He shared with me in Proverbs 15:23, “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”  Ah, yes.  Conviction is a wonderful thing.  Don’t sit there on your own throne of judgement and look down your boney nose at me; because, you know if it were you that you would have responded nearly like that.

So, how are you doing?

Thanksgiving 18

As I sit to write this post the winds are blowing fiercely outside.  I can hear the vinyl siding shaking in the wind.  Storms are; unfortunately, a part of life.  Sometimes these storms are of our own creating.

When  storm comes into our life we seem to want to sit down on God so to speak.  We want to quit.  There is not room in God’s army for quitting.  The mission before us is so insurmountable that we must all grab a line and pull with everything we have.

Yet, when we do quit there is always forgiveness if we will humble ourselves and ask.  Then we can get back into the saddle so to speak and go on for God.  Our God is a God of second chances.  I am so thankful for this truth.  Look at Jonah 3:1, “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,”  This is one of the most encouraging verses in all of the Word of God.  God gave Jonah a second chance and He will give you and I a second chance.  All we have to do is turn from the sin that separates us from our Father and then He will give us a second chance.

So, how are you doing?

Thanksgiving 7

There is a post floating around the popular social media site facebook that talks about people that complain all the time and then for the month of November they daily post things they are thankful for.  I have to admit to laughing when I first read that.  Then I began to think about the tragedy of this.

One thing I am thankful for is forgiveness.  It is horrible to walk around being filled with unforgiveness.  I know first hand.  Twenty-five years ago something took place in my life that was tragic and I was filled with unforgiveness for a few years.  Then one day I realized the truth of Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

It took me some time; but, I was able to get victory over the unforgiveness.  Praise the LORD!  I hope that you are not struggling with unforgiveness.  If you are take it to the LORD and let Him help you with it.  He will.

So, how are you doing?

Prayer

Today will be the first installment of our men’s Bible study.  This will be a thirteen week “Journey Into Powerful Praying”.  Because of this the subject of prayer is and will be on my mind for some time now.

Yesterday afternoon I stumbled across a southern gospel music program.  The artist was The Dill Family and they were singing a song titled, “Only The First Time”.  This was a great song.  I truly enjoyed it.  The message of the song is found in the chorus that says in part, “When you kneel before Him it’s only the first time.  He’s forgotten the last time…”  My ears perked right up as I listened intently.  This was a powerful song and what a thought!

If we keep short account with God by praying and confessing our sins right along as we go then the truth of this song is right on target.  When God forgives our sin He forgets it.  The enemy will keep bringing up our past sin to keep us in bondage; but, our Father will not bring them up again after He has forgiven them.  Glory to God!  We can be free from the guilt!

Take a look at Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”  One old Preacher said it this way, “God casts our sins into the deepest part of the sea and posts a sign, ‘No Fishing!'”  Amen!  Now it is up to you and I to keep our sin confessed and forsake it.

So, how are you doing?