Monday, May 31, 2010

 

Memorial Day, by Edgar Guest

I love the poetry of Edgar Guest, and this poem in honor of Memorial Day seems rather appropriate today. Let me know what you think!

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.

Into God's valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o'er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

 

Jesus Jumpstarts a Life, John 5:1-17

Hello all:

I teach an Adult Bible Community at Thomas Road Baptist Church called the G.A.P. (for Graduates and Professionals), and each week I post the outlines and discussion questions from my lessons on the G.A.P. page on Facebook. A while back I started posting these notes on the blog too. So, here is the outline and questions for our meeting on May 30, 2010. The lesson is on John 5:1-17 and looks at Jesus' encounter with the sick man at the pool of Bethesda. If you have any questions or would like to add a comment or two, that would be great!

Jesus Jumpstarts a Life
John 5:1-17

Introduction
The reluctant lawnmower
Did the jumpstart or the prayer work?

The reluctant “preacher”
How God’s “call” jumpstarted my education

The reluctant witness
Where do we find it difficult to get “started” to do what God commands?
Where do we need a “jumpstart”?

John 5—the man at the pool of Bethesda
Jesus finds a life that needs a “jumpstart”

When Jesus jumpstarts a life, it is never the same

1. The Condition
John 5:1-5

The Man’s Condition
a. The Pool of Bethesda and the Possibility of Healing

b. The Man
38 years sick—crippled? Cancer? Tuberculosis? Multiple Sclerosis?
We don’t know—but he couldn’t walk apparently

c. Crippled people today
In what ways are people crippled, lame, incapacitated today?
What paralyzes us from doing what we should do?
What hinders us?

When Jesus jumpstarts a life, condition doesn’t matter

2. The Question
John 5:6

a. Jesus’ Question
Jesus found out that the man had been sick for a while
He may have discovered that the man came to the pool on a regular basis to get his “healing” or his “quick fix” for his situation.
He knew that the man had a need, he was desperate and incapable of healing himself

b. Jesus didn’t call all the people at the pool to healing—it was not a “healing service”

c. Jesus asks a strange question: “Do you want to be well?”
Is Jesus being cruel? Is this a rhetorical question?
I think that Jesus is asking the man to involve himself in the process. He is asking the man if he really wants to change. Many of us are comfortable in our “lame” conditions. We don’t want or desire a real conversion. I may require a change of lifestyle.
In this man’s situation, if he is healed, then he would have to find something else on which to focus. He would no longer have his “condition” as an excuse to be immobile or inactive. He may have been a beggar before, but with healing he would have to work.
Could it be that the man was “comfortable” with his helplessness and the “attention” it gained him?

d. Jesus’ Question to Us
How do we respond? What is Jesus asking us today?
Do you want to be “well”? Do you want to be free from whatever is keeping you immobile?
Are we ready to leave our dependency on our “condition” to be “cured” or “freed” to follow God?
What is it you want? What immobilizes you? Do we like the attention our “immobility” gives us?

When Jesus jumpstarts a life, he doesn’t avoid the hard questions

3. The Response
John 5:7-9

The Response: This man apparently wants to be healed by his response, but he gives an odd response

a. Placing the blame
The man responds at first by placing the blame on others
“It isn’t my fault, Jesus, no one will help me!”
“My needs aren’t being met!”

b. Pointing out the inability
He acknowledges he is incapable
He also points out that he has (in a sense) given up
“I’ve tried everything, and nothing works!”

c. How about us?
What do we blame for our lack of “healing” or change?
Where have we given up because “nothing seems to work”?

d. The Command: Look how Jesus responds to someone who have given up (Ray Stedman)
He asks an impossible thing: “Get up”
He removes the possibility of a relapse: “Take up your bed”
He expects continued success: “Walk”

When Jesus jumpstarts a life, he expects obedience

4. The Result
John 5:10-13

a. The Result of the man’s obedience was immediate
The man was healed
The impossible happened—the man got up, grabbed his bed, and walked
He didn’t spend too much time thanking Jesus apparently
He didn’t even ask Jesus his identity
Do we acknowledge God when he does something notable?

b. The man was questioned
The Jews didn’t like him “working on the Sabbath
They had a tradition against healing and carrying things on the Sabbath
What traditions keep us from being open about God and his works?
What traditions keep us quiet?

c. The man was quiet
He had no idea who to thank/blame for his current situation

When Jesus jumpstarts a life, he sometimes resists tradition

5. The Finale
John 5:14-17

a. Jesus finds him
Are there any sweeter words here? “Jesus found him.”
What could be change in our lives if “Jesus found” us?

b. Jesus warns him
Don’t take your blessing for granted
Don’t be apathetic about God’s mercy
Don’t walk in sin

c. The man talks about Jesus
He immediately informs the Jews—Why?
To protect himself?
To give Jesus praise?

d. The Jews want to stop Jesus

e. Jesus keeps working
He is even healing folks today
Not just physical healing, but the healing of changed lives/souls

When Jesus jumpstarts a life, he works to make that life effective for God

Application
Have we experienced Jesus transforming power? Has he “jumpstarted” our lives? If so, how should we respond?

We must obey his command to “Get up”: He tells us all to go and make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). We may experience obstacles or our own inadequacies, but the command is still real. This week, “get up” and tell one person what Jesus has done to jumpstart your life.

We must make plans to avoid a relapse, we must “take up our bed.” Whatever causes hindrance to obedience in your life, this week make a plan to respond to it. Be brutally honest with yourself. Get accountable to others. Do not leave yourself an excuse.

We must continue in what God has done (“Walk”): Plan on success. Start praying today for one person with whom to share God’s love. Make time this week to be with God and ask his help to overcome your barriers. Tell someone else your plan. Then do it.

This week focus on the transforming power of Jesus and not your immobility or your incapacity. Spend time listening to God by reading his word and praying. Let his Spirit guide you. Then share the story of your success with another follower of Christ.

When Jesus jumpstarts a life, nothing is the same.

Discussion
1. What do you think of the man at the pool? Is he portrayed as a positive character? How would he have felt when Jesus came to speak to him? Why did Jesus choose him out of all the people in the crowd? What does this say about God's relationship to us?

2. Considering the dialogue and actions of the invalid throughout this chapter, what is his attitude toward those with him at the well, the Jews chastising him for carrying his mat on the Sabbath, and Christ?

3. What barriers keep us from obeying God and living transformed lives?
How does Jesus break down those barriers? What does he ask us to do?

4. Where does your life need a “jumpstart”?

5. In what ways have you experienced Jesus’ transforming power? Healing? Salvation? Freedom?

6. Who are the people in your area of influence who need a fresh touch, a “jumpstart,” from Jesus? How can you help them?

7. What would the world look like if we all lived transformed lives of obedience? What has God called us to do?


Thanks for reading!

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

 

When Jesus Comes to Church, Mark 3:1-6

Hello all:

I teach an Adult Bible Community at Thomas Road Baptist Church called the G.A.P. (for Graduates and Professionals), and each week I post the outlines and discussion questions from my lessons on the G.A.P. page on Facebook. A while back I started posting these notes on the blog too. So, here is the outline and questions for our meeting on May 16, 2010. The lesson is on Mark 3:1-6 and looks at Jesus' encounter with the man with the withered hand at the synagogue. In this lesson I consider what would happen if Jesus came to our assembly and what would happen at that point. If you have any questions or would like to add a comment or two, that would be great!

When Jesus Comes to Church
Mark 3:1-6

Introduction

Growing up at First Baptist Church
“Don’t run in God’s House”
Prompted me to look for God
I always wondered why God never seemed to be at home

As I got older, I realized that I was a bit naïve
God wasn’t physically there
Have you ever wondered, though, what would happen if Jesus actually came to church?

Mark 3:1-6—Jesus goes to Synagogue (kind of like going to church)—four things happen when Jesus comes to church
1. Jesus looks for a problem/need to meet
2. Jesus issues a call
3. Jesus offers a command
4. Jesus expects a response

1. The Problem: A Withered Hand
Mark 3:1-2; 5a: When Jesus comes to church, he looks for a need/problem to address

The withered hand
Was this man a plant or not?
Luke 6 tells us it was the right hand that was withered
Means that the man would be hindered from doing business
Means that the man would be considered a sinner
Means that obstacles (social and religious) would be placed before this man

Put yourself in the man’s place
You can’t hold a regular job, have normal relationships, etc.
The religious leaders think of you primarily as a sermon example of how God judges sinners or they attack you for your “deformity”
You can’t even greet people normally without opening yourself to rebuke or attack

How are we like this man?
What are our withered hands?
What obstacles (real or perceived) keep us from doing what is right?

A withered hand wasn’t the only problem/need Jesus faced at this meeting

Another Problem: Hard Hearts

The hard hearts
The Pharisees were watching to see if Jesus would break the law
They were more concerned for their religious tradition than for the needs of others
They were more interested in “outing” Jesus or catching him in a mistake than in doing the right thing

They had hard hearts, but they were just as hindered as the man with the withered hand
Their hard hearts kept them from seeing the needs of others
Their hard hearts kept them focused on doctrinal correctness instead of obedience
Their hard hearts kept them from doing what was right
Their hard hearts grieved Jesus

How are we like the Pharisees here?
Do we focus on doctrine alone or do we put into practice what we know?
Do we consider the needs of others as more important than our own standing or reputation?
Do we look for opportunities to accuse instead of circumstances to serve?

When Jesus comes to church, he looks for needs to address
What need/problem stands in your way of working with Jesus?

2. The Call
Mark 3:3-4: When Jesus comes to church, he issues a call to act

The man’s perspective
“Oh, great! I get to be a sermon illustration!”
“Here it comes, another lesson on how sinful I must be with my hand as exhibit A.”
“Why is he picking on me?”
“Oh well, I might as well go forward”

What has God called us to do? Why are we hesitating? Are we afraid he might make an “example” out of us?

Jesus’ purpose
The call was given to illicit a response: faith responds to God’s Word
The call was given to do the right thing
Jesus intended to do good, not harm
He wanted to show the benefit of the Sabbath, not the legality of it

The Pharisees’ response
They were silent
Not all silence is golden—silence can sometimes kill (or at least wound)
How does our silence wound others?

When Jesus comes to church, he issues a call to act
Will we be silent?
Or will we take a stand?

3. The Command
Mark 3:5a: When Jesus comes to church, he gives a command

Jesus’ anger and grief
Jesus was angry at their silence
He was grieved at their lack of concern for doing God’s works

The command: “Stretch out your hand”
The man’s perspective
Why is everyone picking on me?
Why does he ask such impossible things?
How am I supposed to do what I’ve never done?

Comparison time
How are we like this man again?
What impossible task has God given you? What has he called you to do that you are sure you simply cannot do?
What should your response be?

Jesus’ expectation(?)
He intended to do good, to save a life
He expected something positive to happen
He expected God to act in response to the man’s act of faith

When Jesus comes to church, he gives a command to do the impossible

4. The Response
Mark 3:5b-6: When Jesus comes to church, he looks for a response

The man attempts the impossible
Against all odds, the man attempted to stretch out his crippled and unusable hand
Against all odds, he did the impossible
By acting in faith on Jesus’ words, the man was able to accomplish the command he was given

Faith responds to God’s Word by acting on it
Faith says, “If God wants it done, he will give me what I need to do it!”
Faith acts and God moves

The Pharisees conspire
When things don’t turn out their way, they decide to attack Jesus
They missed a great miracle!
They acted in disappointment or anger instead of faith

When Jesus comes to church, he expects a response
Will we attempt the impossible?
Or will we simply conspire against God’s plan?

Application
What would you do if Jesus actually came to G.A.P. and stood here?

How would you respond to his “impossible” command?

If we expect to be known as followers of Christ, as his disciples, then we must be ready to ignore our obstacles (real or perceived) to act in faith on his command
We must be ready to do the “impossible”
Only by acting in faith can we see withered hands or hard hearts changed

This week:
a. Set aside time to get alone with God: Ask Jesus to give you guidance by the Spirit of Truth into the commands God has given you, the call that God has offered you. Look in God’s Word for direction
b. Spend some time (10-15 minutes a day) asking God to show you any areas where a withered hand or a hard heart has kept you from obeying his command: Then, repent and do it
c. Set aside some time to act on what you know God has called you to do: serve someone, share your faith, offer a word of encouragement, go the extra mile, or simply love as Jesus has loved you
d. Stretch out your withered hand—attempt the impossible at God’s command and see what happens

When Jesus comes, be prepared to respond with faithful obedience
Only radical and abandoned faith will result in true transformation


Thanks for reading!

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

 

What's Our Brand? What is our Reputation? 2 Chronicles 7:12-16

Hello all:

I teach an Adult Bible Community at Thomas Road Baptist Church called the G.A.P. (for Graduates and Professionals), and each week I post the outlines and discussion questions from my lessons on the G.A.P. page on Facebook. A while back I started posting these notes on the blog too. So, here is the outline and questions for our meeting on May 9, 2010. The lesson is on 2 Chronicles 7:12-16 and continues the focus on revival from last week's lesson. In this lesson I consider what kind of people we would be if we reflected the brand God presents to Solomon in this passage. If you have any questions or would like to add a comment or two, that would be great!

What’s Our Brand?
What is our Reputation?

2 Chronicles 7:12-16

Introduction
Mascots and Brands
What was your high school mascot?
College?
What does your mascot say about your school?

Brands are all the rage today, everybody is “branding” or trying to brand their item, school, reputation, or business

Although modern concepts of brands and branding may not have been around in biblical times, there are similar ideas
Our passage today, in fact, indicates that God has a particular brand in mind for his people
He outlines for us what kind of people we will be, what kind of reputation we will have, if we want to participate in his brand

2 Chronicles 7:12-16
Background—Solomon’s Temple
What brand does God reveal here?
If we follow the advice of this passage, what will our reputation be?

1. We Will Be God’s People

We are known by the company we keep
“If my people” is the first phrase of this famous passage (2 Chron. 7:14, cf. 12, 16, God chose them)

If we are not God’s people, we need to become his by faith in Jesus and what he accomplished

If we are Christ followers, we have an intimate connection to God through what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf—Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:6-7; 1 John 3:1-2
It is a connection that identifies us—it should change the way we live, the way we interact with others, even the way we work or relate to others—a child should be like the parent

Our brand reveals our relationship
Are we branded by our Father’s image?

2. We Will Be Humble

We are known by the lives we live
If we are Christ followers, then our lives should be characterized by his attitude—an attitude of humility (Phil. 2:5-8)

This is a challenge to be dependent—we have to acknowledge that we cannot accomplish God’s purposes on our own, we have to have his help (Phil. 2:3-4)

You can’t be proud and humble at the same time because God hates pride but honors humility (Prov. 8:13; 16:18-19; 1 Peter 5:5; James 4:6)

Humility means to “bend the knee” or “to place one’s self under the authority of another”

Our brand reveals our character
Are we branded by humility or pride?

3. We Will Engage in Prayer

We are known by the prayers we pray (2 Chron. 7:12, 14)

What motivates us to pray?

“The church is dying on its feet because it won’t live on its knees.” Leonard Ravenhill

Do we pray around issues, offer wish lists, or spend our time on our own issues? (James 4:3)

James 5:16-18—where are the Elijah’s of God?

Story of D. L. Moody and Mary Adelard (Thanks to Alan Carr, who posted this story on-line):
Dwight L. Moody, a famous evangelist from Chicago went on vacation to England. He wasn’t planning to do any preaching; he was on a sabbatical. But he met a preacher there who said, "Mr. Moody you’re so well known, would you come and speak at our church?" So he went to preach the next Sunday morning.
That afternoon Moody wrote in his journal that they were the deadest crowd he had ever seen and that the only thing worse than preaching to those people was that he had promised to go back that night and preach again. But he went back that night, and about halfway through the sermon something happened.
The people started to come to life, and he felt compelled to ask if anyone there would like to become a Christian and a lot of people stood up. He didn’t know what to do. So he said, "Maybe you don’t understand what I am asking. So when we are dismissed if you want to become a Christian come over to this little room and meet with me." When the service was over, he went to the room and it was packed. Moody said to the minister, "What does this mean?" He said, "I don’t know. But I think you need to preach again tomorrow night."
The next day Moody got on a train and went to Ireland to continue his vacation. But when he got off the train there was a memo that said, "Come back. Revival has broken out." So Moody got back on the train, went back to that church and preached 10 straight nights. And 400 responded to the invitation.
Moody couldn’t understand. Those people were dead, and something changed it. What happened was that an 80 some year old invalid widow named Mary Ann Adelard had read one of his sermons in the newspaper and had started praying every day that God would bring D. L. Moody to her church. That is revival praying.

Effectual, fervent prayer is what we need
Where is our passion to pray?

Our brand effects our prayers
Are we branded by a reputation of prayer?

4. We Will Pursue God

We are known by the things we pursue, by our passions

Our passage reminds us that we should seek God’s face—it is a challenge to be devoted to the things of God

Revival does not come to folks who seek revival, it comes to those who seek God
Where do we spend most of our time?
What is our number one priority?

In our society of e-mails, tweets, and cell phones, we have lost a sense of the need for face-to-face communication
Are we pursuing a face-to-face time with God?
Or are we merely looking for “nice things” from our Father?
Is God our cosmic “e-Bay” where we bid for what we want?

John 1:1-3—Jesus was “face-to-face” with God

Our brand reveals our relationships
Are we pursuing face time with God?

5. We Will Repent

We are known by the things we refuse or turn away from

This passage challenges us to be different

Repentance is 180 degrees
It is going the opposite direction
It is a complete change of life
It is what Jesus preached

We need to search our heart and see if we have put anything in God’s place, in the place of a face-to-face relationship with God
What comes first? What do we put in God’s way?
Job, relationships, money, position, a bad habit, a pet sin, etc.

Our brand reveals our genuine, heartfelt desires
Are we branded by a desire to do things God’s way?
Are we marked by repentance?

6. We Will Experience Revival

If we follow the suggestions of our text today, we will be marked by the brand of revival
God will hear our prayers (2 Chron. 7:12, 14-16; 1 John 5:14-15)
God will forgive and heal us
This forgiveness and healing is not just individual, but it is national
What ills in this world will not be changed by a touch from God?

God will pay attention to us (“my eyes will be open and my ears attentive”)
We will have our Father’s full attention
The Father will hear our prayers
He will empower us to do his works

God will dwell with us
John 1:14-18
Like Solomon’s Temple, God will make his presence known and change us

Will we let God determine our brand?


How Should We Respond?

My heart’s desire
I pray that G.A.P. will be a brand that gives God’s name a good and praise worthy reputation
I hope G.A.P. will be known as God’s people, humble, praying, pursuing God, repenting when needed, and full of God’s presence and reviving Spirit

What can we do to get there?

This week
a. Take time to focus on God’s business—set aside a specific amount of time (at least 10 minutes a day) to get in God’s presence and seek his face—do business with God
b. Ask yourself the hard questions—Do I give priority to the things of God? What am I putting in the way of pursuing God? Where do I need to repent or learn humility?
Let God be your obsession
c. Take some time this week to pray for your friends, your church, your leaders—be specific in your prayers
d. Put others first—seek opportunities to show God’s love or grace to others

Remember, we are known by our brand
What do people know about G.A.P. from you?
What do people know about God from your life?


Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

 

When God Comes: So You Say You Want a Real Revival? Isaiah 64:1-9

Hello all:

I teach an Adult Bible Community at Thomas Road Baptist Church called the G.A.P. (for Graduates and Professionals), and each week I post the outlines and discussion questions from my lessons on the G.A.P. page on Facebook. A while back I started posting these notes on the blog too. So, here is the outline and questions for our meeting on May 2, 2010. The lesson is on Isaiah 64:1-9 and discusses what happens when God comes into our midst. Isaiah cries out here for God to come and rend the heavens, but he acknowledges that nothing is the same when God shows up. If you have any questions or would like to add a comment or two, that would be great!

When God Comes
So, You Say You Want a Real Revival?

Isaiah 64:1-9

Introduction
Changing lesson topics and serendipity: I had worked all week on a different topic, and then last night I felt compelled to change a bit

Talent show at Arts and Fun: My family and I attended the Arts and Fun end of the year show, and a couple of young ladies did an interpretive dance to the song, “I can only imagine.” This is one of my favorite songs, and it reminds me of what things will be like when we see God face-to-face. It also brought to mind the verse in 1 Corinthians that says, “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard.” As I used my software to look up that verse, I realized that it was actually a quote from Isaiah 64. I went to Isaiah 64 and decided that God may be directing my path to this passage. I changed my lesson to share a burden I have had on my heart for a few months.

A burden on my heart
For some time now I have been burdened to pray for revival
It seems like something is bubbling just out of reach, like something is about to happen
How does it feel just before lightning strikes?

I am asking for God to come--to come and rend the heavens! Isaiah 64 gives us an idea of what will happen when God comes.

Isaiah 64—When God comes
1. Things are changed
2. Sins are exposed
3. Repentance helps

1. Things Are Changed
Isaiah 64:1-5a

This is a prayer, more specifically, a lament
a. Isaiah is concerned because of the recent exile of the people of Israel
b. He is concerned that God has “forgotten” his people and his promise
c. Chapters before 64 are not very “hopeful”
d. Things look really bad
e. Then Isaiah cries out to God this prayer: “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!”

What would happen if we prayed this prayer and God answered?

When God comes, things are changed

2. Things Are Shaken

Note how Isaiah understood God’s coming
The mountains quaked in his presence
a. Even things as solid as bedrock were moved
b. God’s holy presence caused a stir (“fear” anyone?)

Things come to a boil
a. Spirits are stirred
b. Stuff “bubbles” up
c. Heat is applied

Enemies and nations tremble
a. Things change on an international and national level

When God comes, things are shaken

3. Things are Remembered


Isaiah points out what God has done

Awesome things we did not expect
a. Where has God caught you by surprise?
b. Have we boxed God up so that he “cannot” surprise us anymore?
c. What do we expect from God? What if he did something we did not expect?

Ears have not heard, eyes have not seen what God will accomplish for those who “wait on him”
a. “Waiting” here contains a sense of “longing”
b. “Longing” is desire in waiting
c. What do you “long” for God to do?
d. Are you trying to “make it happen” for God so he won’t have to do it?

When God comes, his works are remembered
a. We remember God’s deeds on our behalf, and we rejoice in his righteous deeds and his holiness
b. When God shows up, we don’t focus on what we have to offer him, we focus on what he has done

As we remember his works, we know our condition

4. Sin Is Exposed
Isaiah 64:5b-9

God’s coming in this passage is also described as a “Day of the Lord” moment by Isaiah
a. This coming brings not only deliverance but also distress as God’s holiness exposes sin
b. Like a white garment with a faint stain held to the brightest light, our sins are more clearly evident when held up to God’s light (John 1:4-5; 9-12; 3:20-21)

God’s presence reveals our sin
a. If we cry for God to rend the heavens and come down, we must be prepared to also deal with our sinful condition
b. Our attempts to be righteous on our own initiative are polluted garments, filthy rags
c. We become like dried leaves blown away by our own sin

When God comes, our sin is exposed

5. Sin is Confessed

What are the sins of which we are guilty? Isaiah lists a few:
a. Lack of urgency to pray
b. Lack of a pursuit of God, to lay hold of him
c. We refuse to repent
d. We refuse to pursue a life that exhibits his character

As a result, God has hidden his face from us, he has given us up to our iniquities

When God comes, sin is confessed

6. Repentance Helps

When our sin is exposed and confessed, an attitude of repentance is needed
a. Repentance is not feeling “sorry” we sinned
b. Not feeling sorry we “got caught”
c. Repentance is turning away from the sin and turning to God
d. It is 180 degrees, not merely looking away or feeling bad

Repentance requires me to place myself at God’s disposal, not to put God at my disposal
a. He is the potter
b. I am the clay
c. Clay doesn’t have a say, it is simply malleable in the Maker’s hands

When God comes, he will get his way

What Do You Expect?
2 Chronicles 7:14 (cf. vv. 12-16)

“If my people”
a. Revival (the coming of God) is not dependant upon the actions of the lost
b. Revival (the coming of God) will only happen when God’s people repent and ask

The Background
a. Solomon built a big temple
b. Solomon asked God to come
c. God showed up, and people were stunned
d. God promised to show up wherever repentance was a way of life

When God comes, healing follows

Now What? How do we respond to these things?
What do we need besides a touch from God?
What ills attack our lives, our nation, or our church that the coming of God won’t repair?

Some things to do this week:

a. Make time to cry out to God
Remember his works
Remember his holiness
Repent where needed

b. Make time to pray
Set aside at least 10 minutes a day to simply ask God to come and heal our land
Be specific in your own life, in the life of this church, in this nation
Don’t hold out

c. Make time to share with others what God is doing
Find one person this week and share with them what God has done
Pray for that person

When God comes, things are changed forever
I don’t know about you, but I really want that!


Thanks for reading!

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