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The Basics of Revival.

Key Scripture: 2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV)  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

SUMMARY

The word ‘Revival’ in the dictionary means an improvement in the condition or strength of something. We often hear, believe and pray for a revival in our nation, city or community but seldom know how we can bring about a revival! The good news is God has an answer to every seeking heart and He is telling us today to take courage and not let our hands be weak for our work will be rewarded! Through this sermon you will have an understanding of ushering in a revival through the life of King Asa and prophet Azariah.

SERMON POINTS

What does Revival look like?

2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV)Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

Revival starts with individuals who are touched by the powerful presence and word of God. They give prime most importance to His word and orders their steps accordingly. As they obey God’s word, the outlook of the community and society changes. Reading, meditating and praying to God becomes an imperative factor in our life and is reflected through our walk with God. We share the gospel with utmost joy, thirsting for souls to salvation. As we undertake the great commission, God speaks to us and suddenly the love of God fills us and the people around with the presence of the Holy Spirit. People flock into the place to experience the power of the holy spirit. The lives, situations and circumstances are changed forever for good and it becomes so evident through their works! Therefore, let us work towards the ‘Revival’ with courage and never let our hands grow weak.

Requirements for a Revival.

1) The Spirit of the Lord should come upon us:

2 Chronicles 15:1 (KJV)And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:

For a revival to take place, the spirit of God should come upon us and once we have the spirit of God we will see things with the eyes of His spirit. Here we see the Spirit of God coming upon Azariah, the son of Oded. He goes to King Aza and declares the word of God boldly. If revival has to come upon a church and community, there has to be individuals fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit lands on individuals, they become game changers for the better. You are anointed by the Holy Spirit to usher in a revival where you are placed. In your workplace you function as a minister of God to bring people to a revival.

In today’s world the greatest deterrent to revival is the technology gadgets; from children to adults everyone is at unrest and are held captive to sin. Remember God has called us to lead our children in the ways of the Lord and we are accountable to Him! Therefore, let the spirit of God come upon us to encourage, speak and to lead. Today the question is, do we desire and prepare ourselves for the Holy Spirit to come upon us and be used by God?

2) Seeking God in prayer.

 2 Chronicles 15:2 (KJV)And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you

The Bible clearly tells us that when we seek the Lord in prayer we will find Him but if we forsake Him He will forsake us. The Christian life is meant to be a transparent life, to live in a community sharing the love of God .However, we are in danger zone when we refuse to open our life before God, being honest and transparent. Thus when we forsake His presence and purpose, He would forsake us and it would be detrimental .

What is our passion and purpose today? Is it to establish our kingdom or His kingdom? What is the amount of time we spend with God and what is the mandate when we say ‘amen?’ If saying an amen is just a lousy ritual then it’s time for us to come back and seek the face of God. Let us be determined to find God, immersed in prayer, our knees bruised in seeking Him with a transformed, courteous heart praying out aloud.  A revival is bound to come as we seek the Lord !

3) Having the Law and The Teaching Of God as most important.

 2 Chronicles 15:3 (KJV) Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law

The book of Chronicles says that Israel had no true God, no teaching priest and no law. Sadly, many of our lives, homes and churches are infested with the similar exposition of the Israelites.  We have made a God of our imagination, with no laws in families and churches have become business centers with pulpits echoing a diluted form of God’s word. The true God is not preached or revered . There are no teaching priests as in the time of Asa. However, let us remember that if He is a true God we are His true servants. It is important to receive faithful teaching, setting spiritual principles in families like a family prayer, teaching our children the word of God and setting right priorities in our life.

Remember that our presence and prayers can make a world of difference enough to bring forth a revival when we have a true God, His teaching and His law in our lives.

4) Removing Detestable Idols from our Lives.

 2 Chronicles 15:8 (KJV)And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord.

The scripture says that king Asa took courage and removed the abominable idols and destroyed it. Revival ignites courage and every detestable idol is removed from our homes and hearts.

Ezekiel 14:3(KJV)  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

The word says that the idols are in the heart and it prevents God from reaching to us and vice versa. The idols also can be  as simple a gadget, a television program which hinders our relationship with God. Therefore, remove the idols today because with the idol we cannot progress in our relationship with God.

Psalms 119:37 (KJV)Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

King David asks the Lord to turn His eyes from the vain things of the world so that he can see the Lord and follow His ways.

Colossians 3:5(KJV) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

As the saying goes “What I see is what I want.” The world today has become greedier than ever. We want to possess everything we see, but the word reminds us that it is idolatry and we should not have an idolatrous lifestyle.

 John 12:25(KJV) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Therefore, let us praise God for the blessings that He has given us and remove the idols that prevents Him from reaching to us.

5) Repairing the altar of your heart.

 2 Chronicles 15:8 (KJV)And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the sabominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord.

King Asa repaired the altar of the Lord, that ushered in the revival for the land of Judah. Revival starts as we repair the altar of our heart. Let us repair and ask the Lord to create in us a clean heart asking Him to remove any thing held captive for a revival.See Psalm 51 and pray it with a right spirit to rebuild the altar of your heart.

6) Praise and Worship.

 2 Chronicles 15:11 (KJV)And they offered unto the Lord the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep

Many of us believe that number seven in the bible signifies completion and perfection. Revival comes when we find ourselves given to praise and worship. The trademark of a revival is completed and perfected through our praise and worship to the Lord.

7) Seal the covenant with the shout of Praise.

2 Chronicles 15:12 (KJV)And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about.

The scripture says that the people made a covenant with the Lord to serve Him all the days of their lives. They made loud voices of covenant. They were not singing a lie to the Lord. They were given to the work of the Lord. All Judah rejoiced at the oath. Today our praise and worship culture has become too noisy without any meaning. We should be determined to declare our covenant to God when we come to Him.

What was the result?

The scripture says as the people made a covenant and swore unto God and  was found of them. There is nothing greater in life than to find God . When we find Him, our lives become drenched by His presence. We get joy and peace from His presence and He gives us rest from all the attacks of the enemy.

A revival is bound to happen when we seal the covenant and be found of God. We will have joy, peace and rest in the covenant with God.

CONCLUSION

Revival can start now with us today when every requirement is met by us. It is imperative that we get rid of any idols in our life to find God, to seal the covenant and find rest in Him. Let His spirit come upon us, seek Him, have His word and laws in our lives. Prepare an altar to praise and worship Him today; and as all Judah rejoiced at the oath we will rejoice in the covenant with the Lord!

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Victory over Sin and Addictions-Part 1

Key Scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:57,58 (KJV)  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

SUMMARY

This sermon brings out the basics of what the Law of God requires of His people. It has been widely propagated that we live in a ‘Grace-Period’ and that the Law doesn’t hold good anymore. However without understanding of God’s Law revealed in His Word, no one can have a knowledge of Sin and the need of a Savior. Our Lord Jesus amplified the law of Moses and didn’t simplify it. Our Lord Jesus came to fulfil the law and give us His righteousness. We are called to walk in fellowship with Him waging a war on Sin. Thanks be to God because we have victory in and through Him.

SERMON POINTS

Victory over sin through Jesus Christ.

 1 John 3:4 (KJV) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The Bible tells us that anyone who transgresseth /breaks the Law, sins.

We also come to know from God’s word that there are 3 different Laws that are conflicting within us. There is no good thing that dwells in our flesh. (Romans 7:18,19)

St. Paul gives us an overview of the 3 different laws that work in us in Romans 7:24-8:3;

Romans 7:24, 25 (KJV) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

We are wretched people because of our inability to lead a pure life. Sin tries to capitalize on our weaknesses and if we deny sin, we deceive ourselves . We should live in the light of our Lord Jesus everyday and follow the Spirit and not the flesh. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. Though the law of God is in our minds and we want to obey it, the Law of sin is ruling the members of our body making us do the same sin that we don’t want to do!

St. Paul languishes as to who could ever save us from the law of sin and death. The answer he offers in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ our Lord is the only one who delivers us from the law of sin that rules the members of the body.

Romans 8:1,2 (KJV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

When Jesus Christ comes into your heart, through Him you receive the Law of Spirit of Life which sets you free from the law of sin and death which works in our flesh. The Holy Spirit is able to help us keep away from wicked deeds and thoughts and because He sets us free, we have no condemnation as all the sinful passions which were once active before are rendered dead.

What is Sin?

The general belief is that the Law given by God to Moses, is only for the Old Testament believers. Any sin in the New Testament is covered by grace, is what most preachers preach and many believe.

Without the Law of God we could never know what is sin. The Bible calls lawlessness as sin. (1 John 3:4). The 10 commandments are a summary of what the entire Law asked of the people to follow. The New Testament has an amplified version of the Old Testament’s commandments. The Lord’s standard of holiness is explained clearly in the New Testament. Let’s do a comparison of the law of God in the Old Testament and the law explained by the Lord Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.

 Matthew 6:24 (KJV)   No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Our Lord Jesus stated the amplified version of the first commandment-You cannot serve God and Money

What you serve is what controls you. Our Lord categorically states that we cannot serve God and Money. It is not that God is against money. When all our choices are dependent on the Money factor, we make money as our God which is against the Law of God. The Pharisees could not understand the standard God expected when they projected their righteousness. As our Lord went on with the beatitudes, man’s self righteousness started breaking down.

  1. Do not make any Idols

 Ezekiel 14:3,4 (KJV) “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry.

 Idols are what we make. The Lord commanded that we are not to make any idols.

In the book of Ezekiel God expects us to get rid of the idols set up in the heart. The idols can be i love and reverence for material things, gadgets, children, career, etc. so much so that we tend to prioritise them over God Himself. Let such idols be removed from our hearts because as long as it is there, sin is manifest.

  1. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain

 Matthew 12:36,37 (KJV)  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

The third commandment says that we are not to take the name of the Lord our God in vain. (Exodus 20:7). Lord Jesus said in the New Testament that we must give account for every vain or idle word we speak. We are justified by the words we speak and we are condemned by the same yardstick

  1. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

 Hebrews 10:24,25 (KJV)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching

 In the Old Testament, the Jews were to remember and keep the Sabbath day holy. (Exodus 20:8) The Bible in the New Testament commands us to consider one another and not forsake the assembling of together for any church fellowship and meetings to prepare ourselves for the Second-coming of Christ and to spur one another for good works. The early church believers gathered daily in one accord. (Acts 2:46) By keeping away from church gatherings and fellowship, we tend to live in isolation and we can be so self centered and live in sin.

  1. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you

 Romans 12:10 (KJV)  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

 In Exodus 20:12, the Lord commands His people to honour their parents so that they may live long in the land. And for many of us this is doable and we keep the commandment. But in the New Testament, we are to love everyone with brotherly love and esteem one another above ourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:12 (KJV)   And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

This honor must  also be towards those who labour in the Lord for us, admonishing us with His word, namely, the pastors and spiritual leaders whom the Lord has placed over our lives .

  1. Thou shalt not kill.

 Matthew 5:21,22 (KJV)  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

 The above verse gives us a perfect explanation of how being angry without a cause is equivalent to murder. Next time when anger without a cause comes up in your heart remember, in the eyes of God it means to kill that person. When we read and understand the righteous standards of God we should move more closer to God and rely on Him.

  1. ´Thou shalt not commit adultery.

 Matthew 5:27,28 (KJV)  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart

 In the Old Testament being involved physically in the act of adultery was sin. Jesus Christ in His sermon on the Mount says that if you look at a man/woman with lust, you have already sinned with him/her. The rate of those succumbing to internet pornography is appalling and very sad, children being the majority among the those. Let us put an end to sin that starts with our eyes.

  1. Thou shalt not steal.

 Stealing is a sin and so is lying. The Bible has not changed that for New Testament believers. It is no compromise to put up with even though God is gracious, He is holy and doesn’t tolerate sin. Don’t give any place for these in your deeds or words. The last six commandments deal with others and we usually violate it because of sin. The New Testaments raises our awareness of sin and stresses the need for a Savior.

 

Victory over sin through Jesus Christ.

 Romans 8:1,2 (KJV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

 The New Testament in no way or form has either deleted or simplified the Law of God or the severity of its consequences for disobedience. Instead, what we read in the New Testament is an amplified version of the same Laws of God. It exhibits the sin in us and our inability to fulfil the righteousness of God. Lord Jesus told the Pharisees that even their righteousness fell short of the standard of God.

1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

This is true for us as well and the only way we can be cleansed is by the Blood that Jesus shed on the cross for our sins and the only way we are free from condemnation is when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts and the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of life, helps us in keeping the perfect Law of God and setting us free from the Law of sin and death that has been ruling our bodies.

 

CONCLUSION.

St. Paul has perfectly described, how wretched we are because of the law of sin that works in our flesh, making us do the evil things that we don’t want to do. But ST. Paul also has made it clear that we all need a saviour who introduced Himself to us; if not for Him, nothing could ever save us from eternal death. Let us today, run to the Master and ask for His righteousness and His Holy Spirit to guide us to live a holy life.