The book of Revelation is written to believers; the very first verse confirms it. 1Rev 1:1 NIV The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. Some say we are close to the time of Jesus’ return. No one knows the day or hour however, we can be sure of one thing: we are closer with each passing day. 2Mt 24:36 NIV But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.3
Mr 13:32 NIV But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Even If Jesus doesn’t return in my life time, I need to be prepared to meet Him.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.4Rev 2:4-5 NIV
Was the Holy Spirit impressing me with the importance of returning to my first love? Have I forsaken my first love?
Honestly, I don’t think my relationship with God has the simplicity it used too and I don’t think I truly rely on Him with the same dependency as I once did.5Mr 10:15 NIV “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”6Lu 18:17 AV “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.“ The fact is, I used to do things, as a new believer, that I don’t do anymore.
My Prayer: God, thank you for calling me back into a deepening relationship with you. I remember, I used to steal away moments, during the course of the day, to delight in your word; back then I wrote down your word and carried it with me everywhere I went. Now that I have your word in a host of translations and commentaries at my finger tips; have I taken it for granted? We used to go on those long walks, now I don’t have the time. Please forgive me, thank you for reminding me of the first things and giving me the grace and desire to return to you, my first love. Amen.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.7Ro 8:13-16 AV
Consider: Doesn’t the very nature of lying deny the truth? Jesus is the truth. 2Joh 14:6 AV Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Jesus said, “If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven”. 3Mt 10:33 AV But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Since Jesus is the only way and if you deny him, who then is your father? 4Joh 8:44 AV Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
My Prayer: Lord, please set a guard over my lips, 5Ps 141:3 NIV Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. stop me before a lie forms on my tongue and teach me to take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ. 62Co 10:5 WEB Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ Let me become more like your son every day. 7Pr 14:10 NIV The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Amen
The rich and famous don’t add credibility to the gospel message any more than the poor and unknown. 8Acts 10:34-35 AV Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Certainly it’s the presence of God that makes the gospel credible? 2Joh 14:23 NIV Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us to be in right relationship with God. Does not the Holy Spirit prepare us for the presence of God? 3Joh 14:26 AV But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Only by cooperating with the Holy Spirit will God dwell in us, his temple. 4Ga 5:16-17 AV This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. When God dwells in us, through Christ Jesus, our lives are a living testimony of the power of the gospel. 5Ga 5:23-24 AV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. History is dotted with men and women who carried the presence of God. 6Ga 5:25 AV If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -Jesus Christ 7Joh 15:4-5 NIV
On some occasions people would have a burning conviction of sin just sitting nearby Smith Wigglesworth because of the presence of God he carried with him at all times. Once he boarded a train in Bradford bound for London and entered a compartment where five other people later had entered. Wigglesworth began to read his Bible and pray in silence as was his custom.
After a period of time the man sitting next to Smith confided with him that a great fear had come over him that he was going to die, so he asked Smith why this had occurred. The other four passengers also felt the same fear, so he then spoke to them about conviction and the way of salvation and they all accepted the Lord.
Charles G. Finney 1792 – 1875
Excerpt from his memoirs, circa 1868
Another circumstance occurred which I must not fail to notice. There was a cotton manufactory on the Oriskany creek, a little above Whitesboro, a place now called New York Mills. It was owned by a Mr. Wolcott, an unconverted man, but a gentleman of high standing and good morals. My brother-in-law. Mr. George Andrews, was at that time superintendent of the factory. I was invited to go and preach at that place, and went up one evening and preached in the village schoolhouse, which was of large size and was crowded to its utmost capacity. The Word, I could see, took powerful effect among the people, especially among the young people who were at work in the factory.
The next morning after breakfast, I went into the factory to look through it. As I went through the factory I observed there was a good deal of agitation among those that were busy at their looms, and their mules, and other implements of work. On passing through one of the apartments where a great number of young women were attending to their spinning or weaving, I observed a couple of them eyeing me, and speaking very earnestly to each other; and I could see that they were a good deal agitated, although they both laughed. I went slowly toward them. They saw me coming, and were evidently much excited. The thread of one of the machines broke, and I observed that the girl’s hands trembled so that she could not mend it. I approached slowly, looking on each side at the machinery as I passed, but observed that this girl grew more and more agitated, and could not proceed with her work. When I came within eight or ten feet of her, I looked solemnly at her. She observed it, and was quite overcome, and sunk down, and burst into tears. That impression caught almost like powder, and in a few moments nearly all in the room were in tears.
This feeling spread through the factory. Mr. Wolcott, the owner of the establishment, was present, and seeing the state of things, he said to the superintendent, “Stop the mill, and let the people attend to religion; for it is more important that our souls should be saved than that this factory run.” The gate was immediately shut down, and the factory stopped–but where should we assemble? The superintendent suggested that the mule room was large; and the mules being run up, we could assemble there. We did so, and a more powerful meeting I scarcely ever saw. It went on with great power. The building was large, and had a great many people in it from the garret to the cellar. The revival went through the mill with astonishing power, and in the course of a few days nearly all in the mill were hopefully converted.
Many have claimed that the Welsh Revival was the greatest revival in history, based on its tremendous power and worldwide impact. The revival’s visible leaders were largely children and teenagers. Evan Roberts, the revivals best known leader was only 26 years old. There were no great speakers or dynamic leaders, only nameless believers, sold out to God and fully obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Many of the world’s most renowned Christian leaders came from all corners of the world to marvel and sit at the feet of these children entirely under the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit.
One of the central themes of the revival was that God wasn’t looking for great eloquence, impressive leadership or great wisdom, He was looking for those who were humble and obedient to the voice of the Spirit, who despised worldly acclaim and desired above all else to exult God only! One truly astonishing feature of this revival was the absence of planning and promotion, everything was done under the spontaneous leading of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was always the main attraction in the revival, speakers and singers were not announced. When the meetings began there was no telling what was going to happen.
My Prayer: God, I want my life to accurately reflect You. I want to be an ambassador of reconciliation, not because of who I am but because of who You are. You have saved me; I desire others to know the depths of Your love and experience Your goodness, Your peace, and the fullness of being loved by You. Amen.