Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Personal Revival - A Bible Study

How often do we see "REVIVAL" banners stretched across the front of empty church buildings? Or see printed invitations to attend "Revival Meetings" at a special location only to find them packed with people who travel with that particular group?
Real Christians want desperately to experience a "Corporate Revival" within the Body of Christ as a whole, but few understand the personal preparation needed for a revival.
By definition, Webster Dictionary states that;
re-viv-al n 1. The act of reviving: the state of being revived, 2. REVITALIZATION. &
re-vive vb. 1. To return or restore to consciousness or life: become or make active again
2. To bring back into use, 3. To RENEW or RESTORE
Most of us have seen or heard about tent meetings and traveling revivals and televangelism. Most of these types of meetings and shows seem to be ego trips for the people conducting them. On rare occasions, a traveling ministry or TV evangelist will do some good in bringing some people into a personal relationship with a Living Savior, Christ. However and all too often, those conducting these meetings fail to consult with ministers and pastors in local churches and when the traveling "shows" move on, new converts are left to fend for them selves without serious follow-up or discipleship.
One of the reasons these traveling crusades or televangelistic ministries seem to exist is the failure of the local church to fulfill the biblical commandment to "Go and Teach..."
Matthew 28:18,19
18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
All too often church members welcome the efforts of televangelists or "outside" preachers to come in, because their own evangelistic efforts are non-existent. Therefore, the real meaning of revival is lost because it means to revive, renew and restore. How can something be revived, renewed or restored if it was never alive in the first place!?
As harsh as this may sound, it is the truth more often than not. God is eager to manifest His reviving presence and power in this generation. But we, the local church that is made up of people not buildings, must take steps to prepare for the release of His fullness in our personal lives. We must allow God complete and unhindered access to our own lives and be revived, renewed and restored by PERSONAL REVIVAL before CORPORATE REVIVAL can happen.
PREPARING FOR PERSONAL REVIVAL
The questions and commentaries that follow are designed to reveal specific areas of our lives that must be addressed in preparation for personal revival. Our goal must be the PERSONAL /PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES in our own lives that will draw us closer in a Christ centered relationship to a Living and Loving God. Regardless of what people say, they are searching for truth and stability in spite of all the "Christian bashing" and legislated discrimination perpetrated by our government and the media.
We, as Christians, are or at least should be aware of the anti-Christian agenda as it is fulfilled at almost all levels of politics and media. There is a concerted effort to inject a humanist philosophy into all areas of thought--from the earliest levels of human development such as abortion on demand to the later stages of life in the forms of legislated euthanasia or the "right-to-die" proponents. Our God is the God of Life, not death. Any legislated interference with that truth nullifies the government's right to rule the people.
We are clearly in the last days. People of all walks of life are searching for stability. The humanist philosophy has infected our children with the attitude that there are no absolutes--that it is archaic to believe that there is a standard of living and that human beings are the highest form of life and that we have authority over the animal kingdom. It has become increasingly popular to consider some animals at various times as being more important than man. If women could give birth to spotted owls, dolphins or baby seals, their offspring would be safe. But, because their ability to give birth is limited to human babies, their offspring is expendable!
The following Steps of Action are intended to help in your personal revival. As you grow and mature in Christ, no doubt you will discover more. Remember, this is only the beginning. Our life in Christ and the discipline necessary to maintain that growth is forever constant and remember, if you ever feel far from God, it is you who moved away, not Him. He promises to stay by our side in our efforts to maintain a personal relationship with Him. Even if we backslide and turn our backs on Him, He is STILL THERE waiting with open arms to receive us back to Himself. After all, we are purchased with a great price. That price is His life and the currency of that purchase is His own blood that was spilt on the cross.
Steps of Action
1. PRAY THE PRAYER OF DAVID (PSALM 139: 23,24)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
We, as Christians, must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit complete and unrestricted access to every area of our lives. The lives of our family and friends may depend on it.
2. BE HONEST (ROMANS 12:17)
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
God has the ability to expose our dishonesty and those diligently seeking the truth can see through that dishonesty. It is, therefore, of critical importance to be honest--Not only before men and God, but with ourselves as well. The excuse of many who are searching for the truth and sidestepping Christianity is the hypocritical lives led by many who claim to be Children of God. If our lives can not demonstrate the reality of Christ, then we may be responsible for many lost souls.
3. AGREE WITH GOD (2 SAMUEL 12:13)
13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
God will reveal the needs in our lives, including the need to CONFESS SIN and repent. As He does, we must be willing to make things right and forsake sin. Most often, He reveals areas that need attention through other people (not necessarily other Christians). It is critical to show others that our God is a loving and a living God who is willing to use them to achieve His purposes. Therefore, when someone tells us we are wrong, and they are correct, we MUST AGREE with them thus demonstrating God's love for them and us.REMEMBER: It is more important to be a living example of God's Plan than it is to ALWAYS be right!
4. PRAISE GOD FOR HIS CLEANSING AND FORGIVENESS.
(1 JOHN 1:5-10)
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 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.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Many will neglect the free gift of salvation because they believe they have committed the "UNPARDONABLE SIN" and that they are not worthy to be a Christian. Simply, bid them Welcome to the club, and show them that No One is Worthy, that's why it's the free gift of a Loving and a Living God to ANYONE willing to receive it!
5. RENEW YOUR MIND AND REBUILD YOUR LIFE THROUGH MEDITATION ON THE WORD OF GOD, AND THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF ITS PRINCIPLES.
Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
It is God who gives us a new mind and creates in us a newness through the Holy Spirit. And, accordingly, we are then made new creatures in Christ. It is impossible to renew ourselves. That would mean depending on our own ability through a mind and a self that got us into trouble in the first place.
We can still do the same old things we use to do, but the Holy Spirit and Christ in our lives have replaced the excitement of sin with righteousness and holiness! They have given us a new purpose in life and that purpose is to please God!
In order to participate in a Corporate Revival, it is therefore necessary to allow Personal Revival to take place in our own lives as individuals. It is of critical importance to be and remain sensitive to God's direction in our personal lives. The method of revival is to be accountable for areas in our lives and to maintain fellowship with other believers in order to help us to be accountable. Fellowship is defined as Two or more Fellows rowing the boat in the same direction!
In an effort to assist in that accountable fellowship, the following questions and scriptures should be reviewed as a base for personal bible study with another believer. It is the Holy Spirit who prompts us to accountability and fellow believers who help us maintain that accountability. You may want to review them first in private to gauge your level of commitment to personal revival. Some believers have a tendency to "put on righteousness" in front of others rather that demonstrate genuine righteousness before a Holy and Righteous God.
REMEMBER: GOD KNOWS YOUR HEART AND MIND AND EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU TICK. YOU CAN'T FOOL GOD! THIS IS A SERIOUS PERSONAL STUDY, AND THE ONLY WAY TO ACCOMPLISH IT'S INTENDED PURPOSE IS TO TOSS YOUR EGO IN THE TRASH AND BE AN OPEN BOOK BEFORE GOD AND OTHER BELIEVERS.
Revival Study Guide
If there is not enough space for your comments, use another sheet of paper.
1. GENUINE SALVATION (II CORINTHIANS 5:17)
THEREFORE IF ANY MAN [BE] IN CHRIST, [HE IS] A NEW CREATURE: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.
a. Was there ever a time in my life that I genuinely repented of my sin? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Was there ever a time in my life that I placed all my trust in Jesus Christ alone to save me? YES [ ] NO [ ]
c. Was there ever a time in my life that I completely surrendered to Christ as the Master of my life? YES [ ] NO [ ]
2. GOD'S WORD (PSALM 119:97, 140)
97 O HOW LOVE I THY LAW! IT [IS] MY MEDITATION ALL THE DAY.
140 ¶THY WORD [IS] VERY PURE: THEREFORE THY SERVANT LOVETH IT.
a. Do I love to read and meditate on the Word of God? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Are my personal devotions consistent and meaningful? YES [ ] NO [ ]
c. Do I practically apply God's Word to my everyday life? YES [ ] NO [ ]
3. HUMILITY (ISAIAH 57:15)
FOR THUS SAITH THE HIGH AND LOFTY ONE THAT INHABITETH ETERNITY, WHOSE NAME [IS] HOLY; I DWELL IN THE HIGH AND HOLY [PLACE], WITH HIM ALSO [THAT IS] OF A CONTRITE AND HUMBLE SPIRIT, TO REVIVE THE SPIRIT OF THE HUMBLE, AND TO REVIVE THE HEART OF THE CONTRITE ONES.
a. Am I quick to recognize and agree with God in confession when I have sinned? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Am I quick to admit to others when I am wrong? YES [ ] NO [ ]
c. Do I rejoice when others are praised and recognized even when I am unnoticed?YES [ ] NO [ ]
d. Do I see others as more important than me? YES [ ] NO [ ]
4. OBEDIENCE (I SAMUEL 15:22 • HEBREWS 13:17)
AND SAMUEL SAID, HATH THE LORD [AS GREAT] DELIGHT IN BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES, AS IN OBEYING THE VOICE OF THE LORD? BEHOLD, TO OBEY [IS] BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, [AND] TO HEARKEN THAN THE FAT OF RAMS.
OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU, AND SUBMIT YOURSELVES: FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOULS, AS THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT, THAT THEY MAY DO IT WITH JOY, AND NOT WITH GRIEF: FOR THAT [IS] UNPROFITABLE FOR YOU.
a. Do I consistently obey when I know God is directing my life? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Do I obey the laws when I am alone as well as with someone else? YES [ ] NO [ ]
5. PURE HEART (I JOHN 1:9)
IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US [OUR] SINS, AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
a. Do I confess my sin by name? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Do I keep "short sin accounts" with God (confess and forsake as He convicts)? YES [ ] NO [ ]
c. Am I willing to give up all sin for God? YES [ ] NO [ ]
6. CLEAR CONSCIENCE (ACTS 24:16)
AND HEREIN DO I EXERCISE MYSELF, TO HAVE ALWAYS A CONSCIENCE VOID OF OFFENSE TOWARD GOD, AND [TOWARD] MEN.
a. Do I consistently seek forgiveness from those I wrong or offend? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Is my conscience clear with every person, do I NOW need to ask forgiveness of anyone? YES [ ] NO [ ]
7. PRIORITIES (MATTHEW 6:33)
BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
a. Does my schedule reveal that God is first in my life? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Does my checkbook reveal that God is first in my life? YES [ ] NO [ ]
c. Next to my relationship to God, is my relationship to my family my highest priority? YES [ ] NO [ ]
8. VALUES (COLOSSIANS 3:12)
PUT ON THEREFORE, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, HOLY AND BELOVED, BOWELS OF MERCIES, KINDNESS, HUMBLENESS OF MIND, MEEKNESS, LONGSUFFERING;
a. Do I love what God loves and hate what God hates? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Do I value highly the things that please God (giving, sharing His Word etc.)? YES [ ] NO [ ]
c. Are my affections and goal fixed on eternal values? YES [ ] NO [ ]
9. SACRIFICE (PHILIPPIANS 3:7,8)
BUT WHAT THINGS WERE GAIN TO ME, THOSE I COUNTED LOSS FOR CHRIST.
YEA DOUBTLESS, AND I COUNT ALL THINGS [BUT] LOSS FOR THE EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST JESUS MY LORD: FOR WHOM I HAVE SUFFERED THE LOSS OF ALL THINGS, AND DO COUNT THEM [BUT] DUNG, THAT I MAY WIN CHRIST,
a. Am I willing to sacrifice everything necessary to see God move in my life and church? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Is my life genuinely characterized by that sacrificial willingness? YES [ ] NO [ ]
10. SPIRIT CONTROL (GALATIANS 5:22-25 • EPHESIANS 5:18-21)
BUT THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE: AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW. AND THEY THAT ARE CHRIST'S HAVE CRUCIFIED THE FLESH WITH THE AFFECTIONS AND LUSTS. IF WE LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, LET US ALSO WALK IN THE SPIRIT.
AND BE NOT DRUNK WITH WINE, WHEREIN IS EXCESS; BUT BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT; SPEAKING TO YOURSELVES IN PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS, SINGING AND MAKING MELODY IN YOUR HEART TO THE LORD; GIVING THANKS ALWAYS FOR ALL THINGS UNTO GOD AND THE FATHER IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST; SUBMITTING YOURSELVES ONE TO ANOTHER IN THE FEAR OF GOD.
a. Am I allowing Jesus to be Lord of every area of my life? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Am I allowing the Holy Spirit access to my life daily? YES [ ] NO [ ]
c. Is there consistent evidence of the "fruit of the Spirit" being produced in my life? YES [ ] NO [ ]
11. "FIRST LOVE" (PHILIPPIANS 1:21,23)
FOR TO ME TO LIVE [IS] CHRIST, AND TO DIE [IS] GAIN.
BUT IF I LIVE IN THE FLESH, THIS [IS] THE FRUIT OF MY LABOUR:
YET WHAT I SHALL CHOOSE (ISN'T NECESSARILY WHAT I WANT).
FOR I AM IN A STRAIT BETWIXT TWO, HAVING A DESIRE TO DEPART,
AND TO BE WITH CHRIST; WHICH IS FAR BETTER:
a. Am I as mush in love with Jesus as I have ever been? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Am I thrilled with Jesus, filled with His Joy and Peace? YES [ ] NO [ ]
12. MOTIVES (MATTHEW 10:28 • ACTS 5:29)
AND FEAR NOT THEM WHICH KILL THE BODY, BUT ARE NOT ABLE TO KILL THE SOUL: BUT RATHER FEAR HIM WHICH IS ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH SOUL AND BODY IN HELL.
THEN PETER AND THE [OTHER] APOSTLES ANSWERED AND SAID, WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN.
a.. Am I more concerned with what God thinks than what others think in my life? YES [ ] NO [ ] b. Would I pray, read my Bible, give and serve as much even if nobody but God noticed? YES [ ] NO [ ]
c. Am I more concerned with pleasing God than being accepted by man? YES [ ] NO [ ]
13. MORAL PURITY (EPHESIANS 5:3,4)
BUT FORNICATION, AND ALL UNCLEANNESS, OR COVETOUSNESS, LET IT NOT BE ONCE NAMED AMONG YOU, AS BECOMETH SAINTS;
NEITHER FILTHINESS, NOR FOOLISH TALKING, NOR JESTING, WHICH ARE NOT CONVENIENT: BUT RATHER GIVING OF THANKS.
a. Do I keep my mind free from those items that could stimulate lustful thoughts? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Are my conversations and behavior pure and above reproach? YES [ ] NO [ ]
14. FORGIVENESS (COLOSSIANS 3:12,13)
PUT ON THEREFORE, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, HOLY AND BELOVED, BOWELS OF MERCIES, KINDNESS, HUMBLENESS OF MIND, MEEKNESS, LONGSUFFERING;
FORBEARING ONE ANOTHER, AND FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, IF ANY MAN HAVE A QUARREL AGAINST ANY: EVEN AS CHRIST FORGAVE YOU, SO ALSO [DO] YE.
a. Do I seek to resolve conflicts in relationships as soon as possible? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Am I quick to forgive those who wrong me or hurt me? YES [ ] NO [ ]
15. SENSITIVITY (MATTHEW 5:23,24)
THEREFORE IF THOU BRING THY GIFT TO THE ALTAR, AND THERE REMEMBEREST THAT THY BROTHER HATH OUGHT AGAINST THEE;
LEAVE THERE THY GIFT BEFORE THE ALTAR, AND GO THY WAY; FIRST BE RECONCILED TO THY BROTHER, AND THEN COME AND OFFER THY GIFT.
a. Am I sensitive to the conviction and prompting of the Holy Spirit? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Am I quick to respond in humility and obedience when convicted? YES [ ] NO [ ]
16. EVANGELISM (LUKE 24:46,48 • ROMANS 9:23)
AND SAID UNTO THEM, THUS IT IS WRITTEN, AND THUS IT BEHOOVED CHRIST TO SUFFER, AND TO RISE FROM THE DEAD THE THIRD DAY:
AND THAT REPENTANCE AND REMISSION OF SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME AMONG ALL NATIONS, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.
AND YE ARE WITNESSES OF THESE THINGS.
AND THAT HE MIGHT MAKE KNOWN THE RICHES OF HIS GLORY ON THE VESSELS OF MERCY, WHICH HE HAD AFORE PREPARED UNTO GLORY,
a. Do I have a burden for lost souls? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Do I consistently witness for Christ? YES [ ] NO [ ]
17. PRAYER I 1TIMOTHY 2:1)
I EXHORT THEREFORE, THAT, FIRST OF ALL, SUPPLICATIONS, PRAYERS, INTERCESSIONS, [AND] GIVING OF THANKS, BE MADE FOR ALL MEN;
a. Am I faithful in praying for the needs of others? YES [ ] NO [ ]
b. Do I pray sincerely, specifically and faithfully for revival in my life, my church and our nation? YES [ ] NO [ ]
Summary:
While most of us have a genuine desire to serve a Living God, the work of achieving that goal is difficult. It is therefore important to remember that Jesus DID NOT LEAVE US ALONE when He ascended to the right hand of God. He gave us the COMFORTER, which is the HOLY SPIRIT!
Regardless of the ongoing "IN HOUSE DEBATE" concerning the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the only thing essential to our service to God is to know that the POWER TO BE WHAT GOD WANTS US TO BE IS PROVIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!!!
One primary reason those outside the Body of Christ refuse to join us is the denominational bickering and division among so called "CHRISTIANS". Start to look for things we can agree on and share those things with the searchers of truth you encounter daily. Their eternal destiny depends on it!!!
If your answer to ANY of the questions is NO, turn to the scriptures indicated for help in that particular area. Remember that the Bible IS THE WORD OF GOD and is, therefore, sufficient for instruction and correction. If you are still having difficulty in a particular area addressed in this study, seek the counsel of a pastor and beware of FRIENDS whose intention may be good but whose counsel may be based on their personal opinion rather than the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD. Remember JOB'S WIFE & FRIENDS!!!

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