Tag Archive | Calvary

Revival in the Age of Instant Coffee

Coffee w TAIWWe live in an age where we want everything fast… instantly, as it were.

Like coffee.

Sure, it smells and tastes like coffee. It may even have enough caffeine to give you a good jolt. But to most discerning coffee aficionados, they can smell a cup of instant coffee coming a mile away, and they are NOT happy about it. To them, there is nothing like the taste of a fresh-brewed cup made from freshly-ground coffee beans from some exquisite place, where the air, soil, and atmosphere are perfect for the growing of those sacred beans., Yes sir, the true coffee-snob can tell you what kind of coffee it is, where it was grown, and a variety of facts about the country of origin.

So why do we think God is any less discerning?

Most of us want things fast and on our terms, and in most cases if we are honest, the spiritual life is no exception. The only problem is that anything related to a Spirit-filled life is not dictated by our wills, whims, and calendars, but by the Holy Spirit of God Himself. He has His timetable (“a day is as a thousand years…”), and is not at the mercy of our schedules.

Azusa StreetMost people who run in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles are familiar with the Azusa Street Revival that began in 1906, considered by many to be the beginning of the modern Pentecostal movement. Led by William J. Seymour, the Azusa Street Revival continued for several years, and included Holiness congregants, Baptists, Mennonites, Quakers, Presbyterians, and others. However, many in our country may not be familiar with another outbreak of the Spirit, in Europe, that preceded Azusa Street…

The Awakening in Wales.

In her book, The Awakening in Wales (and some  of the hidden springs), Jessie Penn-Lewis documents the Welsh Revival (1904-1905), a mighty move of the Holy Spirit that took the country of Wales by storm. During that period, approximately 150,000 people gave their lives to Christ, in a country with a population of approximately just over 2 million. Miracles, signs, wonders, and incredible outpourings of the Holy Spirit happened during that time.

So what prompted such radical transformation? What was it that made the Welsh Revival different from the “revival” happening at the church down the street from your house right now? What were the markings of this mighty move of God? In The Awakening in Wales, a few points repeatedly come to the surface…

They prayed and prepared.

Not just days and months.

In the YEARS leading up to 1904, Christians in Wales joined in passionate prayer, believing and asking God for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit. “Prayer-circles” were formed and people met at specific times to pray earnestly and deliberately, for hours on end. People traveled from place to place and spread the “fire” they had gotten in one place or meeting to other towns and villages. Prayer-circles began to spring up simultaneously and spontaneously, not just in Wales, but in other countries as well.

As well as prayer, many who participated did not wait until the events of 1904-1905 to seek after the Spirit of God. Many came to the meetings, having already been filled with the Holy Spirit. Much of this was due to the fervent prayer that went on ahead of time; people seeking after God with no reservations or selfish agendas. They didn’t wait for a meeting or a moment for something to happen; the further outpouring of the Spirit of God at the meetings was a by-product of the months and years of preparation that had already taken place.

There was unity.

In Wales, the people of God came together. Churches set aside denominational labels and walls for the sake of a common goal: A mighty move of the Holy Spirit. In I Corinthians 1:10, Paul appeals to the believers in Corinth…

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Penn_LewisBut the unity was not just between the people of Wales. Jessie Penn-Lewis stated…

“The object-lesson that stands out the clearest, and speaks the loudest, to the Church of God, is the fact that the Spirit of God moved upon the unsaved in converting power as soon as the Christians in a particular church, or specific meeting, were in harmony with God.” ~ from The Awakening in Wales

The people were in unity and harmony with God. And make no mistake about it… being in unity with the King of Kings is all about being in His will, His timing, and His purposes.

The message of the Cross of Calvary was central.

 

“As we recall the conditions preceding the first Pentecost, we cannot forget that CALVARY WAS A TERRIBLE FACT to each one of the little company in the upper room.

There is no Pentecost without a preceding Calvary.” ~ Jessie Penn-Lewis

The message of the Cross, and Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, was the central theme of the Revival. Penn-Lewis went on to say…

“The world has seen before its eyes that the preaching of the Cross is in very truth the dynamic of the Gospel, and is the energy of God to actually and really save men from the bonds of sin. And what is of greater consequence, the Church of God has been rallied, as by a voice from Heaven, to the banner of the Cross.”

Others also explained…

“We have been critics of the Bible when we should have been devotees. We have preached Christ as an ideal of sacrifice, but have left out His atonement for sin. Now, thank God, there is a return to the Book, and to Calvary…

The Revival has brought us back to the Cross of Christ.”

It is the Cross that saves. It is the message of the Cross, and the power of the Holy Spirit that convicts men and women of their sin, and their need for a Savior. The recipe for revival is actually a fairly simple one: Prayer, unity in the Spirit, and the Message of the Cross. The fruit of that was evidenced in the more than 150,000 souls who entered the Kingdom of Heaven through the principality of Wales in 1904-1905.

Seriously.

The revival we speak of is not going to happen until we get serious about seeking God through prayer, fasting, repentance, and unity of the Spirit. God told His people in Jeremiah 29:13…

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

All of our heart means we check our schedules at the door.

All of our heart means we set aside our agendas and our plans.

All of our heart requires singular focus, with a constant eye on the prize.

So are you ready for revival? A REAL revival? A revival that changes the course of a nation, and ushers souls into the Kingdom in droves? A destiny-changing moment in time that is more than an event advertised on a marquee?

I am.

It’s time to put on the “coffee pot”…

Let it brew nice and slow…

Allow the aroma to fill the air…

And take time to prepare something worthy of the King.

The Pardon

Sunlight thru trees-edited“In the year 1829, a Philadelphia man named George Wilson robbed the U.S. mail, killing someone in the process. Wilson was arrested, brought to trial, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. Some friends intervened on his behalf, and were finally able to obtain a pardon from him from President Andrew Jackson.

When Wilson was informed, he refused to accept the pardon.

The sheriff was unwilling to exact the sentence since the president had pardoned Wilson. An appeal was made to President Jackson who, in turn, asked the Supreme Court for a ruling. Chief Justice Marshall ruled that a pardon is a piece of paper, the value of which depends on it’s acceptance by the person implicated. If it is refused, then it is not a pardon.

George Wilson was hanged, although a pardon lay on the sheriff’s desk.” **

During this Easter season, I am reminded of this story. We, too, have a pardon that is there for the taking. However, our pardon is not written in ink by the hand of a president, in order to save us from the hangman’s noose…

Our pardon is written in blood by the nail-scarred hands of Jesus, in order to save us from an eternity of torment — forever separated from Him.

And while this free gift of God is available simply for the asking (because He desires that “none should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9)), so many reject His pardon, missing out on the life of peace, protection, and promise that life in the Presence of God brings.

So what about you? Will you choose a life of hope and purpose, or an existence of uncertainty.

Will you choose the Rock of Ages, or the stone of judgement?

If you want to choose life everlasting, it is here.

HE is here.

All it takes is a simple prayer of faith…

“Jesus… I am a sinner. Please come into my life and save me. I know You died to pay the price for my sins. Thank You for all You did for me on Calvary. I accept Your gift, and ask You to be my Lord and Savior! Thank You Jesus for saving me.”

If you prayed that prayer… CONGRATULATIONS! You are now a part of the Family of God!

If you prayed that prayer, please let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Happy Easter!

** from my book… Isaiah: Light for Days of Darkness

Nothing But The Blood

Through the Looking Glass     The Petersen House in Washington D.C. is the house across the street from Ford’s Theatre where a mortally wounded Abraham Lincoln was taken after being shot by John Wilkes Boothe. A few hours later, Lincoln succumbed to his wounds and, as then-Secretary of War Edwin Stanton observed, passed into the ages.

    For years, his blood-stained pillow remained on display – a testimony to the horrific events of April 14, 1865, and the violent death of one of our greatest presidents.

     A while back, some friends of mine visited the Petersen House only to discover that the pillow had been removed, and placed into storage. The only item that contained the blood of the Great Emancipator had been taken out of public sight, and put into a place where it could, potentially, be forgotten.

     As Christians, we must never let it be forgotten that it is only by the blood — the blood of Jesus — that we have been forgiven. We must never forget the price that was paid when Jesus spilled His blood, and willingly gave up His life out of love for us.

     In this time of history revisionism and self-obsession, as well as being an appropriate reminder during this Holy Week, may this story remind us all that we must never lose sight of the ONLY thing that can save us… the blood of Jesus.