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Friday, March 17, 2017

Scriptures and Quotes on Revival



After taking last week off from blogging; I am back with a new post.  At this point last week I was at work on a sermon for Sunday.  Revival was the topic the Lord led me to study; the title of my sermon was Revive Us Again!  Therefore, I thought it might be interesting to consider some Scriptures, as well as some quotes on revival (which may or may not have appeared in my sermon text).  In the future, I may share my sermon; for now, I offer these thoughts.  Many of us are praying for and longing to be revived and refreshed.  Revival starts on the individual level and then spreads.  I encourage you to prayerfully read through this post. 



Image from Pixabay



Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
  (Psalm 51:10-12 KJV)

Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?  Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. 
(Psalm 85:6-7 KJV)

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 
(2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)

O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. 
(Habakkuk 3:2 KJV)

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you… 
(Acts 3:19-20 KJV)



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They tell me a revival is only temporary; so is a bath, but it does you good. 
~Billy Sunday[1]

A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today! 
~Billy Sunday[2]

I believe there is no doctrine more dangerous to the Church today than to convey the impression that a revival is something peculiar in itself and cannot be judged by the same rules of causes and effect as other things. 
~Billy Sunday[3]

When is a revival needed?  When carelessness and unconcern keep the people asleep. 
~Billy Sunday[4]

When may a revival be expected? When the wickedness of the wicked grieves and distresses the Christian. 
~Billy Sunday[5]


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“…revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God.  It’s a church word…  It is not for the nonbeliever.  Revival starts with the church and then affects the world.  The world does not need revival; the church does. The world needs evangelism.”[6] 
~Greg Laurie


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With these Scriptures and quotes in mind, I invite you to pray with me and others for revival—personal and within our churches.  America is clearly in need of a revival before things get worse.  God may bring us a revival or He may choose to not bring revival.  Nevertheless, revival is a sovereign act of God. Many have written a great deal on the topic of revival.  Reading has its place; however, it is in experiencing revival that we are changed, renewed, refreshed, and made clean. 

What Scriptures would you add to this list?  

What is your favorite quote on revival listed above or one that you have read elsewhere?

Please join with me in prayer:

Loving Father, Thank You for the gift of spiritual hunger and desire for more of You.  Encourage us to fan the flame of Your light within us, so that we will continue to burn and shine brightly for You.  We cry out for revival, our dry spiritual bones need reviving; just as those old, dry bones in Ezekiel’s vision came to life through the breath of the Spirit—we seek fresh wind and fresh fire of the Holy Spirit.  Please be gracious to us and revive us once again.  Thank You for the desire You have planted within the hearts of Your children to seek revival from You.  We understand this is a special gift from You for us, Your people.  Prompt us to take what we receive from You and share with those around us—first with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ and then with those around us in evangelism.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,

Kim

Friday, March 3, 2017

Preparing Our Hearts for Easter



Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 
(Psalm 51:10-12 KJV)

On March 1, 2017, Lent started with the observance of Ash Wednesday.  This is a period of time observed by some Protestant denominations, as well as the Catholic Church.  Lent is simply a time of preparation for Easter.  “Traditionally, it is a time when Christians re-examine their spiritual life and try to discern the quality of their relationship with God.  It is a time of deeper dedication to God and seeking ways in which we can help to further God’s kingdom on earth.”[1] For more on Ash Wednesday, please click here:  What is Ash Wednesday?



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During this time, some Christians choose to fast for a particular time or deny themselves a particular food or activity.  For example, some choose to fast from sweets, while others choose to fast from social media.  For some ideas on how to journey through this time, please see:  Ideas for journeying through Lent.  

For a short video describing Lent and Ash Wednesday please click here:  




Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 
(Joel 2:12-13 KJV)

It takes humility to acknowledge this.  Just as Jesus was a humble servant; it takes humility on our part to acknowledge our need for a Savior and to confess and accept forgiveness for our sins.  “Ash Wednesday emphasizes a dual encounter:  we confront our own mortality and confess our sin before God within the community of faith.”[2]

Lent is a time of preparation to journey to Jerusalem with Jesus and His appointment at the cross.  It is a time for us to consider our own life and death, acknowledging that we are mortal beings and will one day return to the dust from which we were created.  Acknowledging this should be a humbling experience—we are finite beings, created for relationship with our Creator through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Our souls are restless until we are united with our Savior, Jesus.


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Trusting God for forgiveness—repenting of your sins and be completely cleansed from the inside out “declutters” our heart, our inmost being.  Allowing the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sins is part of the process for preparing for Easter.

Taking stock of our life and confessing our sins to God is something that needs to be done at times other than Easter; something that should occur daily.  The process, while important, can also be “messy” and a bit painful.  However, God is thorough and gentle in the process. 

Rend your heart; let God examine it.  Confess your sins before God and accept His wonderful forgiveness and mercy.  Remember that sin weighs us down; confession of sin frees us and lightens the weight that bogs us down.  There is no need to be depressed about what we have messed up or what we have done; it is a time to experience the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus’ forgiveness.

What sins do you need to confess?

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 
(Psalm 51:10-12 KJV)

As a part of your preparation process I encourage you to deeply listen to this worship song by Keith Green.  Let the words penetrate deeply into your heart and spirit.  Sing them from your heart and not your mind to the Lord.  Meditate upon the words. Create in Me a Clean Heart.  




How are you journeying through Lent?

Please join with me in prayer:

Forgiving and Loving God, in humility we recognize that from dust we came and to dust we will return.  We return to You, turning from our wicked ways—confessing our sins—seeking Your forgiveness.  Thank you for forgiving our sins, for healing us, and for setting us free.  Assist us to accept Your forgiveness and live as people set free.  Create in us a clean heart—a heart fully and totally devoted to You.  Fill us with a desire for a clean heart.  Thank you for the renewing and refreshing presence of Your Holy Spirit within us.  Prepare us to deeply ponder all that Jesus did for us on His journey to the cross.  In Jesus’ Name we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,

Kim



[1] From Trinity United Methodist Church Newsletter, February 2016 (slightly edited)
[2] From The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992) pg. 321

Friday, February 24, 2017

Jesus Loves Me


Note:  The following post is an edited and updated post from March 14, 2014.  My most sincere prayer is that it will bless you and increase your understanding of just how much Jesus loves you.  Jesus’ love is vastly different from any other love we receive.


Image from Pixabay


The title of this blog post is one of the most beloved and well known hymns to Christians throughout the world, Jesus Loves Me.  In preparing to give a short devotional talk at a local nursing home (in March 2014), the Lord gave me this title and topic—a topic that would be meaningful for those who would be listening (what follows is an expanded version of that devotional talk). 

My goal was to keep my words to a minimum, yet convey some deep truths and comfort many elderly saints.  When doing nursing home services it is a good thing to keep things short and simple, as well as stick with the old hymns that are well-known and loved. 


Created by K. Jolly. All Rights Reserved.

Created by K. Jolly. All Rights Reserved.



A brief internet search led to learning about the background behind this meaningful song.  Please check out the following website to learn more about this beautiful hymn. History of Jesus Loves Me   



Image from Pixabay


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  
(John 3:16 KJV)

Jesus loves me this I know.  What an amazingly simple yet profound truth!  Jesus loves me this I know—simple enough for a young child to grasp and share in great confidence.  Jesus loves me this I know, profound enough to bring grown men and women to tears.  It is also profound enough to be proclaimed by born-again Bible scholars (for example, Karl Barth).

“Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.”


From http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Inspirational-Images/large/Romans_5-8.jpg


But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  
(Romans 5:8 KJV)

Throughout the Bible we read of God’s deep, stubborn, everlasting love for us.  We can see His love in the Old Testament as He freed Israel from oppression in Egypt.  God’s love was apparent even when Israel constantly wandered from God’s plan for them and He disciplined them.  (Similarly, human parents discipline their beloved children.)  In the New Testament, we see His love through Jesus.  He loved us even when we were still sinners.  He loved us so much He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die a horrific criminal’s death on a cross!  That is amazing love!  This is a love that sets us free to truly live—live as we have never lived before—to live more fully and completely. 



Image from Pixabay 


O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
(1 Corinthians 15:55-57 KJV)

In dying and rising again, Jesus gives us the victory over death and the grave.  Now that is LOVE!  We have eternal life that matters when we have Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  That, my beloved, is love.  Therefore, in our life and in our death we can find joy and peace, even when the world around us is crumbling to pieces.

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. 
(Zephaniah 3:17 KJV)

God loves you so much.  He rejoices over you with joy.  He sings over you with joy.  You are God’s beloved child!  His heart is for you, not against you.  Knowing and experiencing this should change how we see and interact with the world and with those around us.


WordCloud created by K. Jolly. All Rights Reserved.


Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 
(1 John 4:7-12 KJV)

Remember and rest in the fact that Jesus loves you more than your mind can begin to conceive.  Jesus loves you and me because the Bible tells me so!  Share the love of Jesus with those around you each day.  You will discover the amazing blessing of blessing others.

Listen to Jesus Loves Me:  





Please join with me in prayer:

Father, Thank You so much for the love You demonstrated to the world through Jesus.  Help us to open our hearts to Your amazing love more and more each day, and experience the transformation that love does in our hearts, minds, and lives.  In turn, stir us to share Your healing, restorative love with those around us.  Open our eyes to the hurting world around us—a world that needs to hear the Good News and experience Your amazing grace and love.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,

Kim        


Friday, February 17, 2017

Scriptures on the Love of God


Since we are coming off of Valentine’s Day and the rather secular focus on love, I thought it would be nice to simply read a few verses demonstrating God’s love for us.  For a complete devotional on this topic, please see:  God’s Valentine.  This list of verses is not meant to be exhaustive.  Keep in mind, that even on our worst days, God still loves us deeply and unconditionally.  It is my heart’s prayer that you will experience God’s love in your heart and around you through the reading of these verses, as well as the whole of God’s Word.  Be blessed through the following verses.


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The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. 
  (Zephaniah 3:17 KJV)

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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
  (John 3:16-18 KJV)

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 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  
(1 John 4:7-12 KJV)


Photo from Pixabay

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We love him, because he first loved us.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. 
(1 John 4:16-21 KJV)

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A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 
(John 13:34-35)


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If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  
(John 15:10-12 KJV)

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Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 
(John 15:13 KJV)

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 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  
(Romans 5:8 KJV)

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Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  
(1 John 3:1 KJV)



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What is your favorite verse that reminds you of God’s love for you?

What verse(s) would you add to the above verses?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Loving Lord, Thank You for Your love that is seen throughout Your Word.  Remind us that Your Word—the Bible—is Your love letter to us.  It is when we read Your Word with the realization of Your loving heart that we see Your love from beginning to end.  Help us to experience the depth and height of Your love for us each day.  Nudge us to share Your love with those around us each day—many are hurting and need to know that You love them and desire nothing more than a relationship with them.  Pour out Your love into our open hearts each day.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Kim

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