Tuesday, March 21, 2017

REVIVAL SIGN #3: WE ARE DESPERATE FOR BIBLE-TEACHING

Holy Spirit revival creates a raging hunger for the Word of God. These believers in Acts 2 “were devoted to the apostles’ teaching.” - v. 42. Every day, the apostles taught in the temple courts and in homes. And every day, the new Christians showed up to feast on the Word.

Revived Christians have an insatiable appetite for God’s voice. They have an experience similar to Jeremiah’s:

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart …” - Jeremiah 15:16

I was a college student when I first turned to Jesus as my Savior and God. And my new Christian friends insisted that I go to church with them. The pastor’s name was William Still. He was a phenomenon in Scotland. Beginning in the 1940’s his preaching drew large crowds even when other churches were empty. I believe it was a revival that latest for decades. When I heard him explain and apply the Bible, I was gripped by God. It was a devastating experience. I wanted more and more and more. I started reading the Bible AND Bible commentaries. I couldn’t get enough of the Word. And I wasn’t alone - there was a whole church full of people with the same hunger.

There was a mighty revival when the Jews returned from exile in Babylon and the clearest sign was their hunger to heart the Bible:

“And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.” - Nehemiah 8:1-3

Churches in revival cry out, “Bring the Book!” They demand more Bible teaching. But that’s not all they do. When you’re in revival, you will love the Word, believe the Word, and OBEY the Word.

King Josiah was a godly young man who tried to bring Israel back to God. He destroyed pagan worship sites. But he had a huge obstacle to overcome: he had never read the Bible. He was mostly guessing at what the Lord wanted. Then, Hilkiah - the high priest - found a scroll of the Bible buried in a storage room in the temple. It was read to King Josiah. And it sparked a revival in the land:

“Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 31 And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord, the God of their fathers. 1 Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem. And they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 He appointed the priests to their offices and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord.” - 2 Chronicles 34:29-35:2

Will you pray for an outpouring of the Spirit that results in a hunger to hear God’s voice in the Bible and a demand for more Bible teaching along with a commitment to obey whatever it teaches?

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