Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 

Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:6-7

 

       With all that has been going on in the world (many battling Covid, troops killed in Afghanistan, Hurricane Ida, many battling cancer, and the list goes on and on), it seemed that our revival came at a perfect time.  It was refreshing to replace the troublesome daily news with the good news of the gospel.  Pastor Ray did such an encouraging job of teaching, reviewing, illustrating, and proclaiming the gospel and the truth that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.  As Pastor Ray reiterated several times, if our salvation was based on our efforts, we would have lots of reasons to worry about losing our salvation, but biblical salvation is anchored on the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

       Personally, this revival has been especially encouraging to me.  I love to listen to good preaching and I enjoy learning from preachers who are able to take the word of God and really bring it to life.  This week, I tried to tune into the Word instead of the giftedness of Pastor Ray in communicating the word.  While Pastor Ray illustrates and communicates the Scripture in a powerful and effective way, most importantly, he exalts Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  We were able to leave each night saying, “What a Savior!” 

     This week I have been blessed by the engagement and attendance of the church.  I mentioned it one evening, but I didn’t know what to expect this week.  Some churches enjoy and faithfully attend revival services and others not so much.  I’ve preached revivals where the people were so encouraging and hungry for the Word and I’ve preached revivals where I felt worn out trying to exhort and encourage people who seemed to come out of duty rather than a love for God.  I so appreciate the faithful attendance of the church this week and the positive attitudes at services.  Pastor Ray has been blessed by your encouragement this week.  We want him to go home invigorated in his service to the Lord!       This week I was thinking about how excited we get for some of the things of this world.  Some of us get excited about going to a sporting event or a concert.  Some get excited about going on vacation, or going to an amusement park or the fair.  Some get excited about eating at a nice restaurant or watching a new movie.  Others enjoy shopping, fishing, golfing, or hunting.  All of these things are nice and we should enjoy them.  What a blessing it is to spend some time in God ‘s Word with God’s people and to focus our heart and mind upon the One who created us and gave His life to save us.  While the revival services might come to an end, our invitation to spend time in God’s Word and with God in prayer does not end.  Our gracious God has given us an open invitation to come to Him!        

       Mary Booth said, “How we have prayed for a Revival – we did not care whether it was old-fashioned or not – what we asked for was that it should be such that would cleanse and revive His children and set them on fire to win others.”  I hope that revival gives us a greater passion to reach others with the gospel.  I know I have been reminded that sin necessitated Jesus’ death on the cross.  I’ve confessed some sin to the Lord this week and even taken some steps to “make no provisions for the flesh.”  As we think about God’s grace and His willingness to give us mercy and grace instead of condemnation, we should desire for others to know about the forgiveness of sin that is available through a faith relationship with Jesus Christ. 

     I’m filled with gratitude to God for His great salvation.  I am also thankful to get to serve the Lord with my faith family, Burlington Baptist.  May God bear much fruit from these days of revival may He be glorified by our lives!  To God be all the glory!

 

Bro. Harold