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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Revive Us

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"Revive Us Again!"

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?  Show us Your mercy, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation" (Psalm 85:6,7).

Today is Ascension Day, the day we commemorate Christ's ascension back to His Father after He completed His redemptive work here on earth. In the Christian circles I have been in little emphasis is made on this day but not so among some of the "Plain" communities in our area such as among the Amish and Mennonite who have services this day. The event is recorded in Scripture in Acts 1.

Yesterday I inquired if any reader might know the name of a famous sermon preached by Jonathan Edwards in Enfield, Connecticut in 1741. Many of you correctly responded. The sermon had the catchy title, "Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God", which would not go over very well in many of today's "seeker friendly" churches!

Jonathan EdwardsOn that day Jonathan Edwards stepped behind the pulpit and methodically delivered what many consider the most famous single sermon ever preached in America. Few preachers have not heard of "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God" or read the account of the astounding conviction that came over the assembled listeners that day.

People wept and cried out to God for mercy and many were saved. It wasn't because of Edward's eloquence or his dynamic sermon delivery. Instead Edwards was described as "one who preached powerfully although lamely dependent on his manuscript, who delivered his sermons in a monotone, with his eyes never straying from the back wall of the church.” (I'm also pretty sure he didn't have the benefit of PowerPoint or Sermon Spice videos.)

The next several years our country experienced a sweeping revival known as "The Great Awakening." 
Although not widely spoken of in modern times, in large part due to historical revisionism, the Great Awakening was a movement rooted in devout faith in God and spiritual growth which brought a national identity to Colonial America. Many of the founders were impacted by this Great Awakening.

Webers standing next to stone marking location where Jonathan Edwards preached "Sinners in the hands of an angry God"The meeting house itself where Edwards regularly preached burned down in 1775 and only a small, engraved stone now marks the spot where it stood in Enfield, Connecticut. Brooksyne and I prayed at that spot several years ago and renewed our commitment to serving God in our generation like Jonathan Edwards did in his.

Our land desperately needs a revival like the Great Awakening at the time of Jonathan Edwards. In fact I assert that it is our only hope for national restoration. The appeal of the Psalmist is so needed, "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"

Watchman on the wall logoLast week I attended a conference for pastors that challenged us to be "Watchmen on the Wall" (I plan to write on this theme tomorrow). The messages included a strong call to Biblical integrity and boldness, faithfully proclaiming the whole counsel of God after the example of Paul who told the Ephesian elders, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). We must be more concerned about being Biblically correct than politically correct!  We were reminded of the grave dangers our land faces and the need to wake up. As one veteran preacher stated regarding the dire spiritual condition of our land, "It's late, very late, but it's not too late."

Today, join Brooksyne and me among others with a steadfast heart who declare, "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"  In our day, in our time, may the Lord revive you and me and each faithful follower of Christ.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we long to experience revival so that we will be renewed in mind, in spirit and in purpose. The journey seems long and the continual allurement to that which satisfies only for a season can turn our hearts away from the living waters that forever quenches our thirsty soul. Rekindle us with fire from above as You satisfy the longings of our soul and empassion us with the desire to reach the lost.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Stone marking location where Jonathan Edwards preached "Sinners in the hands of an angry God"
This small stone marks the location where Jonathan Edwards preached
"Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God".

Click on photo to enlarge

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Revive Us Again"  Video  Hymns of Hope (a newer arrangement). This song has a line dealing with the Ascension.

"Revive Us Again"  Video  Gaither Homecoming series Acapella

"Lord, Have Mercy"  Video  Charles Billingsley (another song sung at the conference I attended last week)

"Glorious Day"  Video Casting Crowns  One of the relatively few hymns that specifically refers to the Ascension.  "Now is ascended my Lord evermore."

"Oh Lord, You're Beautiful"  Video  Keith Green

"Days Of Elijah" Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Sermon Spice" produces video resources to illustrate sermons. Here's an example, a classic skit from Isaac Air Freight titled "Bible Junky".  Video

Watchman on the wall logo"Watchman Pastors" This ministry challenges pastors to take a strong, uncompromising stand for Biblical truth.
Pastor friends:
I urge you to examine this ministry and join me in being a "watchman pastor".
Lay people: Consider sending this message to your pastor with a note asking him to look into this.

If you care to do so you can read Jonathan Edward's sermon here.

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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