Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Need Revival

Jonah 3:5

The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

112015 Ray McDonaldRevival is something our church and our nation needs. Revival is something we need. We usually have two revivals a year at our local church – one before Lent begins and one in the summer – usually in August. A revival is a time of reflection and of reviving the soul – calling us back to a more faithful walk with Jesus.

I have been attending revivals since before I could walk. As a pastor – I have held revivals at all of the churches I have been called to serve. Many churches and many pastor no longer hold revivals. The four United Methodist churches in Laurel are trying to hold a joint community revival this summer. Stay tuned for more details. It could be an exciting time in Laurel.

If ever there was a life-changing experience for a community – it is found in the book of Jonah. These verses depicted a Jonah being responsive to God’s call after his large fish experience as he first ran away from God’s call on his life. After Jonah proclaimed the word of God to the people of Nineveh – the whole community repented and turned to God. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Jonah 3:1–10 – 1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

In reading this week I ran across this quote from Shane Idleman – A Christian Post guest contributor – I’m convinced that the majority of the churches in America are seeking to please the masses rather than convict. Judgment is never mentioned; repentance is rarely sought; and sin is often excused. We want to build a church rather than break a heart; be politically correct rather than biblically correct; coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. This leaves people confused and deceived because we teach and live a form of Christianity void of repentance…void of truth.

As much as we are called to love one another – and yes – that is the second greatest commandment – the greatest commandment is to love God with all we have and all we are – Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Jesus said if we love Him – we are to follow His commands. John 14:15 – If you love me, keep my commands.

Being obedient to God is to walk the walk as well as we talk the talk. Being obedient to God is to love others – even as we love ourselves. Revivals should awaken us to true faith and not coddle us in our sins. Revivals should awaken within us a deep desire to walk with Jesus. The church and the world and each of us need revival!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

April 27, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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