Why read about revivals?

“I know of nothing, in my own experience, that has been more exhilarating and helpful, and that acted more frequently as a tonic to me, than the history of revivals.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

It seems to me the more I read about God moving the more I expect him to do it. The more I read of God breaking through the greater my faith becomes for it to happen again now. The more I realise God uses all shapes and sizes of humanity the more I realise he is calling me to sacrifice in prayer and dedicated service to the great and glorious Kingdom of God.

You know I think Martyn Lloyd Jones is right!

Smith Wigglesworth

One of the iconic Christian figures of the last century was Smith Wigglesworth a man renowned as being founded on, and in full submission to, the Scriptures, who was full of the Holy Spirit, and through whom the Lord performed many many amazing miracles. When you read about revival his name is never far away. Before I saw this I had never seen video of him – I was surprised to see a lighter side to him revealed here as much of what I have read seems to reveal a more intense personality.

 

 

Revival in the Hebrides

Recently I have been doing some research about revival – in my heart I know I need it day by day – I watched this video and was torn between laughter and crying such was my joy in what god had done and my desire that it should be renewed in my day (Habakkuk 3 TM),

God, I’ve heard what our ancestors say about you,
and I’m stopped in my tracks, down on my knees.
Do among us what you did among them.
Work among us as you worked among them.
And as you bring judgment, as you surely must,
remember mercy.

I need revival

(Every day) I need revival – no matter how aware I am of Christ I know there is more, so much more, that the Spirit of God is beckoning me towards.

This quote is from this site and was originally in An Urgent Appeal compiled by various Christian leaders,

Fundamentally, revival is an awakening to all that Christ already is for us…In revival God does not make new things. Rather, He makes things new. He does this by reintroducing us to Christ, who stands at the epicenter of His renewing purpose among the nations…In revival God accelerates, intensifies, deepens, and extends the newness that Christ secured for us.

Why be normal?

It’s a serious question (and a good one to start the week with). Why compromise all that God has called you to be and do in order to be subject to the values and vision of a world which runs headlong towards destruction without any knowledge, or acknowledgement, of its God?

For example Jesus said,

“You are the salt of the earth”

It was not a choice that we are given to make it is a stated fact. (And by the way read the end of the verse, Matt 5:13, to see how powerful it is when a Christian loses their saltiness.) As a follower of Jesus Christ you are the salt of this world – so act like it not like some spiritual replica of what the world thinks success looks like. It is time to sacrifice, time to give extra, time to go the extra mile, time to discipline your life so that Jesus is glorified through it, time to leave self pity and self indulgence – it is time to follow Jesus. Stop spiritualising your own self centredness and start following Jesus.

You are not normal, stop trying to be.

Thinking a way out

In the West most people are birthed into capitalism and rarely think a way out of it.

I watched this video and it made me think – I like to think, to challenge the boundaries I have made within the land of Richard, to dear down a few follies and put up lasting structures of value. I strongly believe that my Christian faith must impact my political and sociological thinking, though having said that I don’t necessarily agree with the politics of the video – but I do like the fact that it took me once more to the Gospel and to the cross of Christ and made me ask whether, and how, they have affected my search for justice.

270612 My Post-capitalist Utopia Rebecca Walker FINAL from Mary Griffiths Clarke on Vimeo.

The best one-liners

It’s Friday – time for some end of the week laughter. The BBC reports that at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival held in Scotland (which is not the same as England) a vote for the funniest one line joke was held. The following were voted the top 10.

  • 1. Stewart Francis – “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.”
  • 2. Tim Vine – “Last night me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily I was the one facing the telly. “
  • 3. Will Marsh – “I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister.”
  • 4. Rob Beckett – “You know you’re working class when your TV is bigger than your book case.”
  • 5. Chris Turner – “I’m good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet… I don’t know Y.”
  • 6. Tim Vine – “I took part in the sun tanning Olympics – I just got Bronze.”
  • 7. George Ryegold – “Pornography is often frowned upon, but that’s only because I’m concentrating.”
  • 8. Stewart Francis – “I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting!”
  • 9. Lou Sanders – “I waited an hour for my starter so I complained: ‘It’s not rocket salad.”
  • 10. Nish Kumar – “My mum’s so pessimistic, that if there was an Olympics for pessimism… she wouldn’t fancy her chances.”

Vapid

I love the word vapid!

As a preacher I found reading EM Bounds book, Power Through Prayer. That said it is not an easy read, each paragraph seems to contain something that brings about questioning and challenge. The quote below is found in the chapter entitled, The Letter Killeth, and perfectly describes some preaching I have heard – now I have to question myself as to whether I have ever delivered it.

The preaching that kills may have insight and grasp of principles, may be scholarly and critical in taste, may have every minutia of the derivation and grammar of the letter, may be able to trim the letter into its perfect pattern, and illume it as Plato and Cicero may be illumined, may study it as a lawyer studies his text-books to form his brief or to defend his case, and yet be like a frost, a killing frost. Letter-preaching may be eloquent, enameled with poetry and rhetoric, sprinkled with prayer spiced with sensation, illumined by genius and yet these be but the massive or chaste, costly mountings, the rare and beautiful flowers which coffin the corpse. The preaching which kills may be without scholarship, unmarked by any freshness of thought or feeling, clothed in tasteless generalities or vapid specialties, with style irregular, slovenly, savoring neither of closet nor of study, graced neither by thought, expression, or prayer. Under such preaching how wide and utter the desolation! how profound the spiritual death!

I am Judas

I had a thought this morning – it is not a pleasant one – I am Judas, and I am not sure I really want to choose anything other than that.

Let me quickly explain, Mark 14:3-11,

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

The woman – notice she is not even named yet her action is enshrined in the Bible, beware of looking for public recognition! – is incredible in her worship. Jesus describes her action as beautiful – she came, she gave her very best, she worshipped holding nothing back, she had a purity of heart that motivated her to act

I am Judas. I stand, watch and think this is not the way it should be – surely Jesus knows that. I am the one who stands and judges others when they act extravagantly towards God. when they give their best and don’t look back, when their worship is so wholehearted that they don’t notice me standing and condemning them with my harsh judgmental heart. I would tell the woman giving her two copper coins (all she had to live on) that she should keep one for her living expenses and give the other – after all God expects us to use our common sense in such things.

Well maybe I am not quite Judas but the potential is there within my heart.

Lord purify my heart.