Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31- Revival

July 31, 2011

Scripture Readings:
2 Chronicles 29:1-36; Romans 14:1-23;
Psalm 24:1-10; Proverbs 20:12

Revival awakens in our hearts an increased awareness of the presence of God, 
a new love for God, a new hatred for sin, and hunger for His Word.
 ~Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

2 Chronicles 29:1-36

In the 1700's in both England and America, a series of spiritual revivals transformed the Christian and non-Christian worlds through the power of passionate preaching of God's Word.  John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and George Whitfield brought about the Methodist revival in England.  America had two Great Awakenings.  The First Great Awakening swept through the Protestant community in America and was responsible for bringing Christianity to the slaves.  The Second Great Awakening began in 1800 and reached out to unbelievers.  Revival always serves to increase spiritual interests and renew the life of the body of Christ on earth. Today, Hezekiah leads a spiritual revival in the Southern Kingdom of Judah by restoring the Temple and re-instituting the proper worship of God.
John and Charles Wesley

The book of 2 Kings (18) gives us an account of Hezekiah's reign and details many of the things that Hezekiah had to tear down and destroy, like the pagan shrines and Asherah poles.  The book of 2 Chronicles focuses on the positive things that good King Hezekiah reinstates.  Evil King Ahaz had nailed shut the doors of the Temple of the Lord.  Hezekiah reopens the doors and encourages the Levites to purify themselves, according to the Laws of Moses.  After their purification and dedication of the Temple, the Levites inform Hezekiah that the Temple is ready to be used.  Hezekiah leads the city officials in offering sacrifices at the newly opened Temple.  Afterwards, Hezekiah has songs of praise lifted up to the Lord by the Levite musicians.  The entire assembly worships God with Hezekiah and bows down offering joyous praise to the Lord.

Hezekiah announces that the Temple is open for public sacrifices, and the response is better than a Baptist altar call.  The people respond enthusiastically and many animals are sacrificed, as people acknowledge their sins before God and look forward to a future Messiah. 

The Bible has many accounts of the acts of good King Hezekiah.  It is with pleasure that God recounts the life and actions of a man who led others in spiritual revival.  It should be noted that revival always focuses on the truth of God's Word, obedience to His Word, and the worship of God in spirit and truth, as a result of conviction by God's Word.

Have you ever experienced personal revival in your spirit through listening to God's Word?  How about from reading and studying God's Word?

Romans 14:1-23

If you are a sanctified Christian, one quality you will possess is the ability to accept Christians who are weaker in their faith.  Not all Christians understand the lessons of God and the truth of the Bible in the same way.  Christianity is a journey and a process.  Some people are further along in their journey and further down the path.

Those mature Christians are to not judge the more immature Christians, who may need to place rules upon themselves in order to live with good consciences before God.  Examples given by the Apostle Paul are that certain people feel they are sinning when they eat certain foods or drink certain drinks. We are not to judge them.  Paul clarifies that all foods are acceptable.  This is about people's own consciences.  Also, Paul distinguishes that certain people feel that certain days should be set aside for worship.  Paul indicates that we are not under the Sabbath anymore, because everyday is our Sabbath rest in Christ, but if a person feels a strong conviction about this, the more mature Christian is to honor the weaker Christian's needs. This produces harmony.  Harmony is a sign of sanctification.

Judgement is left to God, alone.  Christians are not to condemn the attempts of other Christians to please God with their behavior.  Paul reminds us that we will each give an account to God of our lives.  Whoa.  Think about that, friends!

Here is the key lesson by Paul:  The Kingdom of God is not about what we eat and drink, it is about living a life of goodness and peace through the power of God's Holy Spirit.

Just as God records the events where Hezekiah built up others through obeying God's Word, we are to build up our Christian brothers and sisters by obeying God's command to love one another.  This may include foregoing eating or drinking something that you know is acceptable, just in order to prevent a weaker Christian from stumbling.  This is truly putting other people ahead of yourself.

Paul finishes by reminding us that all things we do should be done with a good conscience. 

Do you put other people ahead of yourself in the ways that Paul suggests?  Have you ever not drunk something like alcohol in order to prevent someone from stumbling? Did you know that God does not require one Sabbath day anymore?  Everyday is our Sabbath rest in Jesus.  Does this concept cause you to stumble?

Psalm 24

Read this psalm and contemplate who can stand in the presence of God.  This psalm causes us to realize that it is only with Christ's help that we can stand in God's Holy presence.

Proverbs 20:12

Being able to see and hear (God's Word) is a blessing from God.

What did you learn today?  Please share.


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

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