Monday, October 23, 2006

Brought back to life

It's late on Monday, October 23rd, as I begin to write this post. I imagine that it will be a couple of days before it actually gets posted. Beginning on Thursday we had our fall Revival at Hopedale Baptist Church in Ozark, MO. It was a great honor and privilege to be asked to preach at my home church. My church family is simply the best. As much as I enjoy going to other churches to preach or participate in an outreach activity, I always miss being at Hopedale.

At first glance, one might not think that Hopedale is the kind of church that is in need of "revival." We are seeing people trust in Jesus as Savior. We are having people join the church. We have teams of members that visit our guests. Our Sunday School is rapidly outgrowing the available space. Sunday morning worship services are growing and people are genuinely maturing in their faith. So one may ask--Why revival? Isn't revival for churches that are dead and need to be brought back to life?

Revival isn't for churches. Revival is for individuals. And it isn't the spiritually dead that are in need of revival. The spiritually dead need to be given eternal life through faith in Jesus. It is the spiritually dormant, the spiritually sleeping that need to be "revived." I guess you could say that it's a kind of "wake-up" call.

I'm sure that we could all use a wake up call from time to time. The thoughts that I shared with my Hopedale family began at--well began at the beginning. I wanted to remind ourselves of the One in whom we have placed our faith, Jesus. I wanted to go to the gospels and look at the things that He taught us. There are so many things that Jesus taught us about how to live so I think it's best to start with these two: Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." He also told us that we are to "make disciples of all nations, teaching them what I have commanded..."

At the end of The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that whoever does these things and teaches them to others will be great in the kingdom. He'll be like the wise man that built is house on the rock. I guess that means that we need to know His commands, live His commands, and teach His commands. For most of us that means it's time to hit the books--or in this case, The Book. Time to take a refresher course on the things that Jesus taught. I would encourage each of you to spend some time reading (or re-reading) through the gospels this week. It is good for us to remind ourselves often of the teachings of Jesus.

Well, it is now early morning on the 24th and I've just finished reading this post. I'm going to let you have a chance to read it now. My hope is that when you've finished it, you'll go get your Bible and read through the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapters 5,6 and 7.

Live well,

1 comment:

dale said...

Hi John,

Thanks for your prayers for us way down here in NZ! Take care!