On Sunday Mark taught on the need for Spiritual Renewal in our country. If a spiritual renewal were to take place in our country, it will not come from the culture but from the church. If the church is to experience spiritual renewal, it will be because we as individuals within the church choose to pursue God for a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
On Tuesday night, Mark took the time to describe God’s work in spiritual renewal and awakenings in the last 200 years. Here are the three he took time to explore through last night’s teaching:
A Revival of Holiness
Mark walked us through the British revival and spiritual awakening that took place in the 18th century under John and Charles Wesley and George Whitfield. As people gave their lives to Christ, they went on to develop lives of Christ like character through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, combined with the discipleship experienced through the Wesleyan class meetings. See 1 Peter 1:16.
A Revival of the Ministry of Jesus
Mark walked us through the charismatic renewal that touched many churches in the 1970’s. While this was controversial at the time, much of the church has gone on to a mature approach to the practice of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Mark pointed out that through a revival of holiness (in the 18th century) the character of Jesus was renewed in the church. Through the revival of spiritual gifts came the revival of the actual ministry of Jesus through His people. It’s as if the Lord was saying, “Church, I want you to carry on the ministry of Jesus accompanied with His character.” See 1 Corinthians 12-14.
A Revival of Love for Jesus in Worship
The ultimate purpose of God is that our hearts be awakened to love and worship of Jesus. In the 18th century revival, Charles Wesley wrote hundreds of new songs that expressed adoration for God. Over the course of the last 25 years, we have experienced a new revival of worship through song. Mark noted how it is as if the Father has awakened us to express love for His Son in the manner Jesus prayed in John 17:23:
JESUS: “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” John 17:23 (NASB)
The invitation was given for us to respond to what God may be seeking to renew and revive in us: 1.) A revival of Jesus’ character through Holiness? 2.) A revival of Jesus ministry through us through the gifts of the Spirit? Or, 3.) A revival of our first love of Jesus through worship?
Here are a few highlights from last night’s gathering:
Once again, many sought God in prayer in the altar. Many received the ministry of prayer from a Pastor or Prayer team member. Many shared how God was meeting them over a variety of issues as they were responding to the Lord in faith.
As Mark shared on the revival of holiness, the ministry of Jesus, or a revival of love for Jesus through worship; some responded by praying for one, two, or all three of these matters in their own heart and lives. “Lord, revive me through the power of your Holy Spirit. More of you and less of me, Lord.”
Some felt the leading of the Spirit to pray for greater unity with the Bride of Christ. This is based on Jesus words in John 17 and the psalmist words in Psalm 133. Many of these prayers were fervent and wed with great passion.
We also took time to pray for Mike Waters, who is a heart transplant candidate. He was notified not too many hours before the service that a heart had become available. Mike had surgery this morning beginning at 5:30 a.m. The surgeons came out at 12:30 p.m. and stated that Mike’s new heart is beating . . . Let’s keep praying for Mike, Body of Christ!
As has already been stated in the two previous reports, the manifest presence of the Lord remains palpable in our Spiritual Renewal gatherings. We are full of anticipation as we head toward tonight’s gathering at 6:30 p.m. in the Worship Center at Christ Church Birmingham.
Come with an open heart, and great expectation, before the Lord as we express a revived love for Jesus together . . .
For His renown,