In November I arrived back to the US from a 4 year term of missions in Brasil to what I thought would be a post-election depression that would worry me about the spiritual state of the union. How could God be working in our nation when things are so bad?
Since then I have been believing that the time is ripe for a revival and that the pieces are in place.
Passion- the college age kids have a lot of passion. Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio no doubt have part in this age group seeking God through vibrant worship. A Liberty convocation service where 8000 students worshiped God really inspired me. My youngest brother is that age and is searching diligently for God's power.
Doctrine- There are great seminaries and colleges doing a good job of equipping Pastors. Even music is starting to revolve more around doctrine.
Christ centered preaching- Tim Keller is listened to by many preachers around the world and is a great example of how to point others to Christ through sermons.
God's love- Christians are figuring out that God's word revolves much more around love than it does rules.
The Holy Spirit- This new generation is seeking the Holy Spirit. Baptists are generally scared by the Holy Spirit because of the possibility of erroneous doctrine, but the college age kids want to see God's power worked out through His Spirit.
"God's not dead; He's surely alive; He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion." Our God isn't going anywhere. He wins in the end. He is calling people and people groups to Himself and the church is excited about it. Missions movements are happening all over the world and will continue to happen as long as the church shows a passion to reach the lost.
But I am not sure that we will see a revival until we are more serious about prayer. The hunger is growing, but we need more dependence on God through prayer.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013
"If I wished to humble anyone, I should question him about his prayers." CH Vaughn. My prayer life can attest to this. I constantly need boosts to my prayer life and they often come. Through trials, through decisions, through good sermons, through good worship, and other circumstances. Recently my prayer life got a boost after a couple of prayer meetings. I was in Michigan for Christmas and my cousin organized a prayer meeting at my home church. The youth praise team did a bunch of music and then we broke off and prayed. The service lasted two and a half hours and seemed much shorter. It was great to have worship right beside prayer. They go together. Worship is prayer; or at least it should be. The second service was at my brother's Joe and Jeff's church. They did an all-nighter from 10PM to 7AM. They did sing some, but mainly did some devotionals and broke it off for prayer. I didn't think I would last too long, but the time flew and I left after 4AM really blessed. What this has done for me is boost my prayer and worship life. In our return to the USA we have found the country as a whole in sad shape spiritually. However, there seems to be a generation that is excited about God and unity through prayer. I heard about a college/church (not Baptist) that actually has a 24/7 prayer service. I think they rotate every 2 hours and they always have something going on. They are praying for revival. That is amazing and I hope that this spreads because prayer works! So we are going to do a prayer meeting here in Chattanooga at Brainerd Crossroads on February 22nd from 9PM to 4AM. We are calling it a Spiritual Renewal Prayer Service. We have three area Pastors that will be speakers (Jeremy Wallace, JC Groves, Rusty Mckie), one police officer (Jeremiah Cook) and one missionary (David Carrel). We will have music from some area music leaders. I am excited about the spiritual boost this meeting can give me. I guess that may be selfish, but on the unselfish side; you are invited. Message me for more info or if you would like to help and please RSVP so I know how many snacks to get.
Friday, February 1, 2013
It is easy to hide our struggles; to pretend we do not have issues or problems with which we are dealing. It stems from our false perceptions of people's response. Sadly, bottling up our problems only causes more problems. When we share with others, we release all the pressure built up from keeping things within. Today for lunch, a new friend shared some issues in his life and I told him I was in the same boat. Many times people are in the same boat and usually it is comforting knowing someone is sailing with you. You are not alone. I find much encouragement in that. We miss so much potential growth when we do not share our life with others. James says to confess your faults one to another and you will be healed. When we bottle up our faults, we show how prideful we really are to not let others see any weak areas. But God uses us most when we are weak; for when we are weak, then He shows His strength.