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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #8… WE NEED A PENTECOSTAL REVIVAL! Part 1.

Although the apathy of some Christians and the wickedness of society are discouraging, we should pray and remain confident. William Wilberforce was a great Christian philanthropist and vigorous opponent of the slave trade in England during the early 1800s. As he surveyed the terrible moral and spiritual climate of his day, he did not lose hope.

He wrote,
"My own solid hopes for the well-being of my country depend, not so much on her navies or armies, nor on the wisdom of her rulers, nor on the spirit of her people, as on the persuasion that she still contains many who love and obey the gospel of Christ. I believe that their prayers may yet prevail."

Within a few years after he made this statement, the country he loved experienced one of the greatest revivals in modern times, bringing salvation to thousands and producing widespread social changes. - Source Unknown.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" Acts 2:1-12.

O for a passionate passion for souls,
O for a pity that yearns!
O for the love that loves unto death,

O for a fire that burns!
O for the pure prayer-power that prevails,
That pours itself out for the lost!
Victorious prayer in the Conqueror's Name,
O for a PENTECOST!

- Amy Wilson Carmichael.

I live on the Gold Coast of Australia. It is the Capital for tourism, where 6 million people flood into our area in any given year, visiting our beautiful beaches, Theme Parks (Movie World, Wet & Wild, Sea World, Dream World, and our own, Aussie Outback Spectacular), also our beautiful Hinterland forests which are only 30 minutes from the beaches.
Most of the tourist’s live in luxury high rise accommodation, enjoying the wonderful night life, restaurants and nightclubs, spending billions of Dollars in the process. But none of this affects our Churches or Spiritual life. The Gold Coast is a hedonistic paradise, far removed from the heavenly paradise.

We desperately need a Holy Spirit driven Pentecostal revival here. I don’t mean an Assembly of God revival, a Baptist revival, a Charismatic revival, a Reformed revival, a Roman Catholic revival, a Presbyterian revival, or any other denominational revival; we need a Holy Spirit Pentecostal revival!

What is a true "Pentecostal" revival? The picture of Acts is often a far cry from what we see in many Pentecostal churches. First let's look at what it is not. A Pentecostal revival is not:
A revival of programs
A revival of human personalities
A revival of pomp and circumstance.

A Pentecostal revival is a… Revival Of Passion!
When they came down out of the upper room on the day of Pentecost, they didn't come down whispering, they didn't hide in the shadows, no, they came down with a revived passion. True passion always comes out in the speech and actions of the passionate.

If people do not see and hear Jesus in us, then our passion is lacking. They came out preaching and talking about Jesus, it’s all about Jesus, and He is our Lord, our Healer, our Baptiser and Saviour! On the day of Pentecost, the passion would not be contained or concealed in an upper room, it had to make its way, like a river, into the city, and eventually, all the world.

A few years ago, when Latin America was experiencing phenomenal growth in the Pentecostal churches, Roland Vaughn said the reason was not because of education, or facilities, or finances, or programs; "the reason they are growing," he said, "is because the people have a passion for God."

James, in his Epistle, said true and undefiled religion is to minister to the needs of widows and orphans. True religion has enough compassion to do something about the plight of the outcast of society; true religion has enough passion to care, and to create ministries which will make a change in people's lives.
There is no Christianity without compassion, and there is no "com-passion" without passion.” Christ was often moved with compassion to minister to the masses. Compassion moves us; it motivates and compels us to do something. This is far from the placid figure portrayed in modern media, Jesus was a passionate man, He was also moved with passion to rebuke the religionists, and to clear the temple of money changers.

Paul told Timothy in
2 Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

A passionless church is a church that has left its first love, it is a church that is neither flowing with cool refreshing streams nor the hot therapeutic springs, but is lukewarm, half-hearted, empty, apathetic and complacent. Don't let the passion die; don't lose your first love!

I have but one passion; it is He, He only. - Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf.

Oh that the Spirit would blow across this sinner’s paradise, and fan the flame within the followers of Jesus, implanting in us a passion for the lost, a passion for prayer, a passion to praise, a passion for Jesus in all of His splendour!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to be a mighty warrior for you, and for the extension of your Kingdom, help me to realise that revival begins in me, fuelled by the teachings of Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I ask this in the wonderful Name of Jesus. Amen.
Next Wednesday… Part 2.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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