We are only a few days away now from what is being promoted as 'The Gathering'. If you haven't heard, this is an opportunity for the Church in Hinton to come together for four consecutive Sunday evenings at 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist, Hinton for worship beginning on Sunday, March 20th.
These opportunities are centered around the Church being renewed in her passion for loving God and loving others (Mark 12:30-31). After the circumstances over the last few years that have promoted isolation from each other, the Church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ needs revival so that we are better equipped to connect with and carry on in the mission of living out the benefits of the gospel in our community and world.
Speaking of revival and spiritual renewal, I read something a few weeks ago by the late Billy Graham that applies today. Graham uses Matthew 4:17 in his daily devotional, 'Wisdom for Each Day' Graham writes,"If Christianity is important at all, it is all important. If it is anything at all, then it is everything. It is either the most vital thing in your life, or it isn't worth bothering with.
So don't give the lie to the Christian faith by professing Christ without possessing Him. Don't lock the church door with the key of inconsistency and keep the lost from coming to Christ. Don't hinder revival by your unbelief and prayerlessness. Don't cheat yourself out of spiritual victory by allowing sin to imprison you. Seek God's face and turn from your wicked ways. Then you will hear from heaven and true revival will begin--starting with you.
The Church holds the key to revival. It is within our grasp. Will we rise to the challenge? Will we dare pay the price? The supply of heaven is adequate for the demands of our spiritually starved world. Will we offer that supply to the hungry masses?
May the revival that the world needs begin in you--starting today." end
A few weeks ago, I inquired of those seated in a prayer circle at church as to how long it had been since any of them had witnessed a supernatural movement of God that resulted in the Church first coming together in unity and then going out into the community with the good news of what God had done. There was no recollection of such a supernatural event that moved beyond the four walls of the church facility for any length of time. Sad truth. But that is not all that unusual. In fact, if you were to ask members of other churches in various communities in this area, you would get a similar response. I guess we could blame the whole thing on poor memory or we might use such as an opportunity to reflect on the spiritual poverty that most have come to accept as normal within the Church and repent.
I might ask the same of anyone who is reading this. How long has it been since the gods of your own design have been replaced with God being positioned in His rightful place in your soul, as Lord and Savior? As THE Priority, Jesus will rearrange our priorities. He will rekindle a passion for His purpose and our patterns will reflect His direction in our lives because of our devotion to Him.
May the revival that the Lord's Church needs in 2022 begin with a desire within me and within you to follow God's designs above all remembering He is above all (Ephesians 4:6). And may our response of repentance continue its consuming path of removing 'the trash' that has accumulated in our soul (Hebrews 12:29).
When we come to Christ through repentance (Matthew 4:17), we come together as one, in One and serve others the same love, grace, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness just to name a few. Let the race to renewal begin!
(ref, 'Wisdom for Each Day--Billy Graham--pg 4)