The common cry of the modern church is for revival. The condition of the church and the condition of our world causes us to ask for a revival.
The younger generation see very little need of the church. We need to be revived to be salt and light in a world that needs God. In Psalm 85, the children of Israel have been in exile because of sin and disobedience and now they are coming back into the promised land. The first thing they see is the toll that drought, famine, and evil has taken on their land. They see the destruction and devastation and this is their prayer :
Psalm 86: 1-6
Lord, You have been favorable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah You have taken away all Your wrath; You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger. Restore us, O God of our salvation, And cause Your anger toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?
Example of God reviving someone
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
How do we experience that kind of revival?
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Our true purpose is to be salt and light.
1. This our calling in life
Our purpose is to know Jesus. Before we knew him, our purpose was to find him. Once you find Jesus, your purpose becomes to share Jesus.
Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2. People need the Lord
People need to be saved. Without being saved, they can’t go to Heaven.
We share our faith because people need the Lord. Church is not a game.
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
3. Because people want the Lord
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
The only way to have the peace that passes all understanding is to be in a personal relationship with God. When we share our faith, people hear of a God who changed your life.
People don’t need to hear about a building they need to attend. They don’t want to hear about another group to attend. They need to hear about a life changing relationship with a God who loves them. That is the only message that will cause them to want to know God.
4. Because I once was lost
The reason we share our faith is because we want others to experience life like we have experienced since being saved
2 Corinthians 5:14
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
We need to have the fruit of the Spirit so when people see us, they want to know our God. They want the relationship we have with our God.
When you live a sincere Godly life you help turn people to God. When you live an un-sincerely life, you turn people away from God.
Be motivated to live in a way that inspires others to know the God we serve
We are all God has to reach this world. We need to recognize the moments God gives us
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
We need to refocus on the manner in which we live. Attitude is everything
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
We need to find common ground not battle ground. You can always find something you disagree with. You have to search to find things in common.
1 Corinthians 9:22
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
You do not have to believe their perspective. You just have to see it. It can be an opportunity to have your faith.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
Patience is not pressure. You can’t force your way onto others. You have to win them through your patient pursuing.
2 Timothy 2:23-25
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.
You do not have to be like them, but you do have to like them to be an effective witness
Relay the message of hope to a broken world.
1 Peter 3:15-16
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
God grant us the anointing us to be salt and light.