Monthly Archives: December 2010

Humility (Revival – Day 3)

Humility For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the Spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” -Isaiah 57:15

Word Study:

  • says (to declare)
  • exalted (to be lifted up, praised and elevated; extolled)
  • lives (to reside; a permanent stay)
  • forever (perpetuity; eternity; eternal existence)
  • Holy (God’s name is holy, sacred and pure)
  • dwell (to reside permanently)
  • contrite (bruised; humbled; broken; discouraged)
  • spirit (air for breathing; soul)
  • revive (to live anew; to recover)
  • contrite (the “to be” form of contrite (above). Indicates God as the causing agent)

Has anyone ever promised to do something for you or be with you always only to turn back on that promise? Broken promises are powerful. They can leave some people with so much hurt and regret that their entire lives remain suspended in that moment of grief. And suddenly that broken promise becomes the idol, the very thing which keeps someone from knowing God. They simply cannot recover and ultimately choose a life of misery. Very often these people blame God for their misery and they feel that if God really loved them He would not allow this thing to happen. Then God is put in a box of their own making. He is no longer God but a mere figment of something that doesn’t exist.

In this verse we see a solid promise, but before Isaiah delivers the promise of God, he establishes God’s credibility as the Promise-Giver. He calls God high and exalted: to be lifted up, praised and elevated above all. I think sometimes we allow ourselves to be shattered by broken promises because we have put people on a high and lofty place. We mistakenly put them in the place where only God can exist. And while Christ tells us to consider others better than ourselves, He clearly does not say that they should be pedestal dwellers. Only God has the authority and credibility to be in this high place.

Isaiah then reminds us that God will never leave us, that He exists eternally. People simply cannot make this kind of infinite promise. Either by separation or death, there is a point where we are either sinners, mortals, or imperfect. And while some promises are never meant to be broken, there are some which were never meant for mortal man to make. There is a feeling of stability in this promise from God, and something which we can wholly trust.

Finally, he establishes God’s character as the only one who is sacred and pure, giving us a sense of peace, a sense of knowing that God will stand behind his Word. How refreshing! This is the place where our souls are healed, where we will find peace in any circumstance. By this truth we are made whole and filled with both assurance and expectation.

Then God speaks. He tells Isaiah that He resides in His holy place forever and permanently. He will not be thwarted. This gives Him the authority and credibility to be our King who ultimately rules over all things. We realize by these very words that we are the lowly ones, we are contrite. We have no place in His kingdom outside His very mercy and grace.

Finally, God casts His gaze on the lowly and contrite. He sees the humble sinner, the bruised child. He sees us. But instead of turning away in judgment, he looks upon us with such sweet loving-kindness and compassion. Here, he unites the divided line of Kingship and Kingdom, of high and low, of heaven and earth. He looks upon His children and promises that He will never leave us. But not only will He never leave, He is also the Reviver of hearts! He stands ready to cherish and heal, to come close and lift up. We can choose to remain tormented by a myriad of broken promises by imperfect man, or we can choose to relinquish our pride, release people from their sins and wrongs against us through a forgiving spirit, and cling to God’s pure and holy promises which are never broken. The key is humility. The choice is ours.

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God’s Word (Revival – Day 2)

God’s Word

O how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy word is very pure. Therefore, thy servant loves it. -Psalm 119:97; 140

Word Study:

  • love (desire; delight; to be fond of; covet)
  • meditation (reflection; devotion; meditation; prayer)
  • pure (to refine; purge away impurities; sincere)

We are to have an attitude of desiring and delighting God’s Word.  It is to be our devotion for reflection, meditation and prayer.  As we devote ourselves to these good things, we will be refined in character, and our impurities will be purged by the pureness of the Word.  If we don’t practice the habit of daily reading the word and meditating on God’s law, then we will not know Him, and we can be subject to temptation which can easily lead astray.  The Psalmist found that his appetite for the Lord grew stronger as He meditated on the word.  May we all read this verse and praise the King in the same way!

Sweet Lord, I do love to study your word and delight in the truths it reveals.  Your word refreshes my soul and gives me joy.  It reveals your nature and your love, and with it I am your creature.  Continue to work the Holy Spirit within me to beckon me to your word so that by it I may know you more intimately and love you more fully.  Continue to teach me to love others, and keep me at your service. -Amen


Genuine Salvation (Revival – Day 1)

Genuine Salvation

“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)

Word Study:

  • man (anyone)
  • in (fixed position in place, time or state)
  • Christ (Messiah)
  • new (fresh)
  • creature (a creation of God)
  • old (having existed for a very long time)
  • behold (see)
  • things (all things in their totality but also each thing within that totality)
  • become (to form; to be made)
  • new (to renew and dedicate into a qualitatively new use)

When we finally choose to let go of the old there stands genuine repentance.  What choice!  And the old is replaced by a newness, a freshness which is regenerative in the mercy and grace of Christ.  What comfort!  In unpacking some of these words, I was intrigued by the word “in.”  Here we see a Greek translation which means fixed, and fixed in place, time and state, reminding us that when we are in Christ, we are permanently His.  What promise!  But our Salvation is not merely fixed in a physical form, it is fixed for a purpose, for God’s use and for His good purpose.

This verse shows us that it is not enough to merely believe, but to also practice the belief and live out our faith as one who stands ready for the work of the Lord.  There is no such thing as stagnation in the spiritual life.  If one is not moving forward with God, then he is subject to temptation and evil.  Revival begins with salvation, but it is also the daily living IN and FOR our Father.  It is regenerative and fresh, leading us as His dear children in the work of reconciliation of His people and restoration of the Kingdom until Heaven and earth meet.

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me a life which is daily new and fresh in your mercy and grace. Thank you for this precious salvation.  Make me ready for your good work, Lord, in sharing your truth with others and encouraging the lost to know you as their Lord and Savior.  Help me to daily spend time with you, building on your love and truth so that I may not falter, so that I may be an encourager to the brethren, spurring them on to your good work.  Keep me free from evil temptation and fill my heart with joy when there are trails so that I may live humbly and be ready to serve you in all my days.  -Amen


REVIVAL

Today I am beginning a series of posts relating to revival based on Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ (Revive Our Hearts) and Tim Grissom’s (Life Action Ministries) 12-week study entitled, Seeking Him.  The authors write,

“Revival is the sovereign work of God.  He chooses when and to whom He sends it.  It is also true, however, that there are things we can do to prepare for revival in our lives. Being prepared for what God has determined to do is a pattern we see throughout Scripture. For example, on the eve of their passage into the Promised land, Joshua charged the children of Israel, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5). In the same way, we can prepare our hearts for spiritual renewal.”

On week one, day five of the study, we find a list of 16 words or short phrases with supporting scripture, all related to personal revival, therefore, I am blogging each day’s work for the next 16 days.  I actually began this project in late November, but sometimes it takes me quite a while to digest these scriptures and unpack these words, and some days I simply don’t get to the study, but I have a commitment to complete it, and am excited to see the work of God in my life as I do.  Already I have been blessed by this, and decided to blog my journey so that you may be blessed as well.

So, I pray this work blesses, encourages and strengthens you in some way.  In any case, dear brethren, I welcome your comments, exhortations and correction.  I read recently that in all we know, we are typically 50% wrong.  The problem is, we don’t know which 50% of what we know is wrong.  So I’m counting on your insight and wisdom to lead me and help me to know the right from the wrong, not for the sheer knowing of it, but for the living by it.
And if together we can learn to live righteous and blameless, spurring revival in the hearts of one another, then the LORD Himself is to be glorified and praised.  That is my hope and prayer.

John Piper once said this in relation to knowing and living in truth:

“Discernment is not created in God’s people by brokenness, humility, reverence, and repentance. It is created by biblical truth and the application of truth by the power of the Holy Spirit to our hearts and minds. When that happens, then the brokenness, humility, reverence, and repentance will have the strong fiber of the full counsel of God in them. They will be profoundly Christian and not merely religious and emotional and psychological.”

May we all live as those who are discerning in the Word and humbled by Truth so that we may always be ready for wonders revealed today and those to come. -Amen