Re·viv·al – improvement, activation, reawakening, restoration!
All of these words live in the definitions of what “revival” is all about when it is underway. They are words that characterize the movement of God to speak to our hearts about the life of faith before us as a congregation and as individual Christ Followers:
- The “improvement” of our understanding and/or grappling with scripture.
- An “activation” of believers into renewed commitment to service in God’s kingdom.
- A “reawakening” of spiritual insight and/or awareness to help us engage the day in which we live.
- The “restoration” of the unity of the Body of Christ as we support one another in the arduous journey of discipleship and the relationships that accompany the journey.
What have you heard God saying during these days of revival?
With the messages from scripture, God has brought us a renewed focus on what the church is as well as challenge for what the church is to do. This focus and challenge are at the “heart of the matter” for life in the church these days.
The Hope Giver sermon (Luke 19) brought our attention to Zacchaeus’ interaction with Jesus and underlined:
- The church is to be a place where hope is found because here we lift up Jesus, the hope giver.
- The challenge for us, then, is to make ways to connect with the hopeless who live around us, near and far.
The Prison and the Key sermon (Romans 7) found us struggling with Paul’s confession of sin and underlined:
- The church is to be a place where we’re not afraid of the sin of others because their sin is no different from our own.
- The challenge for us, then, is to lift up Jesus who is the only one who wins victory over sin.
The Need sermon (John 14) helped us to consider the greatest need of all time, viz. to know God, and underlined for us:
- The church is to be a place where we intentionally ask questions, study together, and reflect upon “who God is.”
- The challenge for us, then, is to lift up Jesus in our community because he’s the only one who is able to answer all the questions we can ask about “who God is.”
The Barns sermon (Luke 12) brought us to the reality that we are to use the time we have to make good on our commitments and underlined for us:
- The church is to be a place where we embrace “our time” as the very time God has called us to join him in the work of his kingdom.
- The challenge for us, then, is for every member of our church to embrace Jesus’ calling on their lives to serve where they are – everyone has a ministry in the church and a mission beyond the walls of the church building.
Yes, at “the heart of the matter” we come to realize that as Christ Followers it is to us to be the ones who lift up Jesus – the hope giver, the key that frees us, the missing piece, the ultimate valuable – and thus be the people he made us to be.
Perhaps, that is why we heard a musical refrain over these days…..Give me Jesus!
Perhaps, it is this refrain that will sing on in our hearts as our assurance for the days before us (with a bit of a Bluegrass feel) …..whatever comes, Jesus is already there!
What have YOU heard God saying during these days of revival?
Take the time to tell us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Tara Beth Warrick — Clouds were too good not to stop and take a look!