revival

Do Not Aim at Sensation and Effect

“Do not aim at sensation and ‘effect’ [when preaching]. Flowing tears and streaming eyes, sobs and outcries, crowded after-meetings and all kinds of confusions may occur, and may be borne with as concomitants of genuine feeling; but pray do not plan their production.

“It very often happens that the converts that are born in excitement die when the excitement is over. They are like certain insects that are the product of an exceedingly warm day, and die when the sun goes down. Certain converts are like salamanders, in the fire; but they expire at a reasonable temperature. I delight not in religion which needs or creates a hot head. Give me the godliness which flourishes upon Calvary rather than upon Vesuvius . The utmost zeal for Christ is consistent common-sense and reason: raving, ranting, and fanaticism are products of another zeal which is not according to knowledge. We would prepare men for the chamber of communion, and not for the padded room at Bedlam. No one is more sorry than I that such a caution as this should be needful; but remembering the vagaries of certain revivalists, I cannot say less, and I might say a great deal more.”

(Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Winner, pp. 20-21)

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Readying Ourselves for Revival?

Dr. Hershael York will be joining us at Boone’s Creek Baptist Church in Lexington for our revival services on February 7-10 at 7:00 p.m. each night (please see the enclosed flyer for all the particulars). God has used Dr. York in mighty ways through preaching, pastoring, writing, and mentoring young men for ministry work. I would like to encourage you to :

  • Begin now by praying for yourselves, that your sails would be ready to move where the Spirit blows (John 3:5-8).
  • Begin praying for your church! It’s been said that when George Whitefield began preaching in England and America and when revival hit, he did not preach on having revival—he preached the pure gospel, and revival came. Revival is about falling in love with Christ and His Good News all over again.
  • Begin praying for who you may invite. Try this: pray and ask God for him to give you ten times. Now, don’t overspiritualize this exercise: if a name comes across your mind, write that name down—that’s a name that God sent to you! Write those ten names down, then invite them to come. Better yet, offer to bring them!
  • Begin praying about the follow up! During these special times, God impresses on our hearts many things, and as a result we make a lot of commitments to God and to one another. Yet, with those high expectations, Satan may bring discouragement when the issues of life confront us. Don’t be alarmed by this. God has promised to give us gospel-strength in the midst of those trials—not remove them from us (John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 12:9-12).

Many of you have seen revival services and preachers come and go. Praise God that He sends His men to His church to revive His people in His Word by His Spirit for His glory (did you get that?). Be encouraged! This is not simply an event—it’s a time of focus, revival, renewal, and motivation to be salt and light in this world.

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40 Days of Prayer for Our Revival Services with Hershael York

York From February 7-10, 2010, Dr. Hershael York will be leading our revival services here at Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky.  Dr. York serves as pastor of the Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, and is also a professor of preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

I’m continually reminded of G. Campbell Morgan’s comment on revival:  “Revival cannot be organized, but we can set out sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.”

Take a look at the short study I did on Psalm 85 (“A Recipe for Revival”).  Won’t you join us for a glorious 40 days of prayer for revival in our midst?

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Olford on Revival

“Revival restrains the righteous anger of God, restores the conscious awareness of God, and reveals the gracious activity of God” (Stephen Olford)

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When the Spirit of God Begins To Move (Sinclair Ferguson)

(I recently came across this in Ferguson’s work, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life, and had to share this with you.)

Many years ago, I witnessed revival in its most microcosmic form in a sudden, unexpected, and remarkable work of God’s Spirit on a friend. The work was so dramatic, the effect so radical, that news of it spread quickly to different parts of the country. People were asking, “Just what exactly happened?”

Five things seemed to have happened, and they were still fresh in the memory two and a half decades later:

  1. A painful exposure of the particular sin of unbelief occurred. Listening to preaching was a staple of my friend’s spiritual diet, but what came with overpowering force was a sense that God’s Word had actually been despised inwardly. God’s own Word, preaching in the power of the Spirit, stripped away the mask of inner pride and outward reputation for spirituality. There was a fearful exposure of sin.
  2. A powerful desire arose to be free from all sin. A new affection came, as if unbidden, into the heart. Indeed, a desire seemed to be given actually to have sin increasingly revealed and exposed in order that it might be confessed, pardoned, and cleansed. Disturbing though it was, there was a sweetness of grace in the pain.
  3. The love of Christ now seemed marvelous beyond measure. A love for Him flowed from a heart that could not get enough of Christ, ransacking Scripture to discover more and more about Him.
  4. A new love for God’s Word was born—for reading it, for hearing it expounded and applied, and especially for knowing every expression of God’s will, so that it might be obeyed.
  5. A compassionate love for others now flowed. It came from this double sense of sin and need on the one hand and grace and forgiveness on the other. Christian witness ceased to be a burden and became the expression of Spirit-wrought and powerful new affections.

________

From Matt:

I do not know about you, reading over this and then writing it here makes my heart long for this work to happen among us. Does this describe you? This is not simply for the super-saints—this is what God has in store for true followers of Him. May we set our sails and be ready when God decides to move among us—and may we be joyfully obedient in the meantime.

Categories: church, revival, worship | Leave a comment

When the Spirit of God Begins To Move (Sinclair Ferguson)

(I recently came across this in Ferguson’s work, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life, and had to share this with you.)

Many years ago, I witnessed revival in its most microcosmic form in a sudden, unexpected, and remarkable work of God’s Spirit on a friend. The work was so dramatic, the effect so radical, that news of it spread quickly to different parts of the country. People were asking, “Just what exactly happened?”

Five things seemed to have happened, and they were still fresh in the memory two and a half decades later:

  1. A painful exposure of the particular sin of unbelief occurred. Listening to preaching was a staple of my friend’s spiritual diet, but what came with overpowering force was a sense that God’s Word had actually been despised inwardly. God’s own Word, preaching in the power of the Spirit, stripped away the mask of inner pride and outward reputation for spirituality. There was a fearful exposure of sin.
  2. A powerful desire arose to be free from all sin. A new affection came, as if unbidden, into the heart. Indeed, a desire seemed to be given actually to have sin increasingly revealed and exposed in order that it might be confessed, pardoned, and cleansed. Disturbing though it was, there was a sweetness of grace in the pain.
  3. The love of Christ now seemed marvelous beyond measure. A love for Him flowed from a heart that could not get enough of Christ, ransacking Scripture to discover more and more about Him.
  4. A new love for God’s Word was born—for reading it, for hearing it expounded and applied, and especially for knowing every expression of God’s will, so that it might be obeyed.
  5. A compassionate love for others now flowed. It came from this double sense of sin and need on the one hand and grace and forgiveness on the other. Christian witness ceased to be a burden and became the expression of Spirit-wrought and powerful new affections.

________

From Matt:

I do not know about you, reading over this and then writing it here makes my heart long for this work to happen among us. Does this describe you? This is not simply for the super-saints—this is what God has in store for true followers of Him. May we set our sails and be ready when God decides to move among us—and may we be joyfully obedient in the meantime.

Categories: church, revival, worship | Leave a comment