This blog will be a sampling of the articles I write for the Centennial monthly newsletter along with anything else I need to get off my mind. Sometimes there will be attempts at humor, and for that I apologize now. Other times, the subjects will be more theological in nature. I do not pretend to be an expert in any field, but I have an opinion on just about everything, and can usually make a pretty good defense if challenged. Enjoy my ramblings and feel free to share them with anyone else who may be blessed by them.
Lately, I have had several people ask me how many people will be attending the area-wide revival called ENCOUNTER at the Rock Ranch on September 12-15, 2016. Some of those people are just curious. Others need to know for logistical reasons like how many Chick-fil-A sandwiches to prepare. My answer is usually the same: "I have no idea."
I can guess, and I usually offer that, too. But, the truth is that I am concerned that the urgency I feel for revival is not shared by most people. I know that many of our pastors and church members have already begun to pray and prepare for revival. They are invested with their time and talents already. Their enthusiasm and passion for God to move matches mine, and I am thankful that we share that vision.
The question then comes regarding how to convey what we feel to all of those around us: lost people, apathetic church members, Christians who are so busy with life that spiritual things become secondary. We can shout from the pulpits of our churches. We can inform people through social media, our church signs, and our bulletins. We can even personally implore people. All of that may influence some, but I believe that the answer is simpler than that.
We must pray. Not the quick sentence we say before we eat, or the sleepy goodnight we say to the Lord as we doze at night. We must dedicate ourselves to praying specifically for the lost and for revival in our own lives. I received an email regarding praying for revival recently. It stated "If Jesus could say to Lazarus, 'Lazarus, come forth', He can say to Revival in America, 'Revival, come forth'. We intend to ask Him." I want us to have that kind of boldness before God. I desire to see God move among our churches long before September. My hope is that by the time ENCOUNTER rolls around, revival has broken out and souls are being saved all over our area. But we must pray.
Revival does not happen without God's people getting real before Him. We must examine our lives for sin and repent. I have witnessed more conflict in churches over the last few months than ever before in my ministry. I believe it is Satan's ploy to distract us from what God wants to accomplish through us. A church in conflict is usually not a church that is winning the lost. We must repent corporately and get past whatever is causing the trouble. Our singular focus must be on the Kingdom of God - glorifying our King and bringing the lost to Him.
I have made a commitment to the Lord to pray daily for the lost people in my life by name and for ENCOUNTER. I hope you will join me. I choose to pray at 9:12 since September 12th is the first day of revival. Perhaps this time works for you as well. Regardless of when you pray, let us boldly approach our Father's throne together for the sake of those who need Jesus.
Join me for "The Most Important Day" on July 30th at 10 AM at First Baptist Barnesville. Jon Reed will share a simple plan for engaging the lost, investing in their lives, and inviting them to ENCOUNTER. This training is for EVERY CHURCH MEMBER, not just pastors and leaders. Encourage your entire church family to be there. It will only take a couple hours of your time, and it will be well worth it.