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REPENTANCE+RESTORATION+REVIVAL+SALVATION = CHANGE
By: Pastor Abraham Bascon
REVIVAL is a word of ACTION, a STIRRING, an EXCITEMENT, a RENEWAL; and, it doesn't come easily! There is much required to have "spiritual" REVIVAL. REVIVAL will bring SALVATION of SOULS! After all, it is GOD'S DESIRE that NOT ONE should perish; but, to bring ALL to REPENTANCE. Revival requires a CHANGE of HEART, a CHANGE of CHARACTER, a CHANGE of BEHAVIOR and a CHANGE of SELF!
Now, "SELF" is a person's nature (inborn character or disposition), or an aspect of it, as revealed by their BEHAVIOR. You can determine a person's character just by the way that one acts, responds and behaves.
Now, in order to bring about "spiritual" revival, there must be a genuine hunger for God! And, if this hunger for God exists within us; then, we will be "willing" to welcome change! There is no "restoration," from desolation; unless a person changes!
We must HUMBLE OURSELVES and PRAY just as God's Word tells us in 2 CHRONICLES 7:14. When we HUMBLE ourselves, PRAY and become OBEDIENT to the will of God and His Word; then, instead of destruction, there will be re-construction! Instead of desolation, there will be restoration! We, as Christian believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must REPENT of our sinful ways.
The Bible, God's Word, tells us that a Christian has a "NEW" NATURE. That we are "partakers" of Christ's divine nature!(2PETER1:4) And, humbling ourselves before the Lord, means humbling ourselves
before others as well. If we cannot humble ourselves before one another who we can see, how can we humble ourselves before God who we cannot see? We can try and make the effort to hide our emotions; but, Jesus tells us in MATTHEW 7:20 that "By their fruit (behavior) you will know them!" If you claim to be a Christian --- I will know if you are a Christian or not, just by the way that you act. The way that you react. And, the way that you respond to pleasant and unpleasant things. By these attributes, your "true" self is revealed. It is something that you CANNOT hide. Again, Jesus tells us in MATT. 7:16: "By their fruits ye shall know them."
John the Baptist would say: "You say that you repented, show the proof of: repentance, restoration, revival and salvation. And, they all demand "change!" And, some people are so stuck with traditions of men, that they refuse to change! When they are confronted with the subject of change, they may tell you:
"I'm not ready to change right now."
The end is near. It is 2,000 years closer than when it began!
We are at the hour of the Lord's Coming. He could come any day and any hour! It is very imperative that we repent and change now!
On the History channel recently, there was some big talk about the date: December 21, 2012. The year that some particular Indian tribe, Mayan and Hindu folks, along with some scientists and mathematical geniuses etc.. (not Christians), came up with the fact that the end of the world will take place on this date. Now, we know that the Bible does tell us that the world will come to an end. And, we Christians know that Jesus tells us in MATTHEW 24:36, that no man nor even angels know the day or the hour; but, the Father only. But, for a moment, let's just say that they just so happened to be correct. That would mean that we only have approximately 2 1/2 years or so left! There is such an urgency for the propagation of the Gospel!
Christians need to change their direction with their own selves, with their nature, with their character and their heart. God tells us to HUMBLE ourselves, PRAY, SEEK His face and REPENT of our sinful ways! We have all been given the command to "GO, and preach the Gospel to every creature...make disciples (learners) of the Lord Jesus Christ...etc.." Go, and get someone "saved!" Make all of heaven rejoice! (LUKE 15:7)
Some of us present here, have been saved for thirty years. How can we know for sure, just how much we, have changed during these years? Just how "Christ-like" are we? How can we take a so called "spiritual evaluation" of our own selves?
Well, one sure way that we can find out just how "Christ-like" we have become over the past thirty years is to look at God's Word. Please turn to what God tells us in 1 CORINTHIANS 13, beginning in verse 1.
The natural, unregenerated man, is actually "anti-christ." God's Word tells us to put the "old man," the "old nature" to death to see just how "Christ-like" we really are!
We are told in 1COR.13 that we MUST have the "God-kind" of LOVE! And, no matter what we say or do,WITHOUT the "God-kind" of LOVE, God's AGAPAE LOVE, we are NOTHING! You can even be moving in the spiritual gifts, you can speak with great eloquence, you can even move mountains with your faith and you can also give to the needy; but, WITHOUT LOVE, you are a BIG ZERO!! You are NOTHING!!
Now, as we read 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4, replace the word: 'I' with Jesus' name. And, we can all certainly agree that the Lord Jesus Christ is all and more than what Chapeter 13 describes! Now, after you read through the verses in this way, read them again; only, replace the name of Jesus with YOUR name!
Can we say the same for ourselves? Do we fit that description as well as Jesus? This should give each of us a very fair evaluation of just how "Christ-like" we really are!
LOVE is NOT self-concited or self-gratifying. The kind of LOVE that God is speaking of, doesn't say: "What's in it for me?" This "God-kind" of LOVE does NOT seek it's own! The "God-kind" of LOVE doesn't ask: "How am "I" going to benefit? How will "I" be rewarded?" This is NOT the "God-kind" of LOVE that God wants us to have! This is NOT Agapae Love at all!!
'Self' MUST be put to death!
You can go through all the Christian moves. You can imitate all the moves to make yourself look like a Christian. Adam and Eve tried to hide their sin; but, their "true" nature was exposed! We too, CANNOT hide our "true" nature! Remember that: "By their fruits ye shall know them!" Apostle Paul tells us that we can move in all of the spiritual gifts, and we can be so impressive, so charitable and give to the needy; but, if all you do is done for "self-gratification" or "self-glory," you get "0" out of it!
You can actually see right through a person! With some folks however; there may be a certain degree of difficulty. For, some folks actually 'practice' hiding their emotions! But, in time, you will eventually see their "true" self by their own behavior.
The Word of God exhorts us to be "Christ-like!" This is God's request: The Lord Jesus' told His disciples that this one thing would distinguish them from the world...LOVE!
It is so important to LOVE one another. LOVE is the convincing factor that the world would know that Jesus came to lay down His life for the Salvation of souls! In Philippians 2:1 God tells us to be "like-minded" with each other. And, we can be, if we hold in common, the "likeness of Christ." Jesus, Himself HUMBLED Himself. He took on human flesh, that He Himself created; and, He did it because He wasn't "preferring Himself," or "puffed-up." He wasn't jealous of man. He DIED for him!! If Jesus, who is God, could willingly leave Heaven, become flesh, put on a human body and HUMBLE Himself --- Couldn't WE???
HUMBLE YOURSELF! In MATTHEW 23:12 Jesus says: "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; And he that shall HUMBLE himself, shall be exalted." Look at what the benefits were for Jesus in PHILIPPIANS 2:8-9 when He HUMBLED Himself! As we too HUMBLE ourselves, our benefits will also be 'out of this world!' For, we can NEVER out-do God!!
Rather than being jealous or envious of each other, let us support the brethren, and lift each other up! We must HUMBLE ourselves! John the Baptist publicly declared:
" He(Jesus) must INCREASE, but I must DECREASE." JOHN 3:30
God will exalt you when you HUMBLE yourself. CHANGE must begin with "SELF!" We should be saying: "I must be FIRST to humble myself, recognize my sin and repent!" God says: "Humble yourself, and I will lift you up!" Be "Christ-like!" Jesus, Himself said: "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (to be served); but to minister (to serve)and to give His life a ransom for many." MARK 10:45; MATT.20:28
If YOU want to be GREAT in the Church and in the Kingdom of God; then, be a SERVANT!
Keep in mind what Jesus said: "And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, (the best), shall be servant of all." MARK 10:44
Desire to SERVE rather than to be served! Lord bless you!