I felt that our Tuesday Night Worship Service should be an extended time of prayer last night. So I temporarily ditched our study of Ephesians. My goal was to have a time of prayer for our first service in our remodeled auditorium this coming Sunday. I also wanted to to lead the assembly in a time of prayer for the Lord to bless this season of MSMBC’s life to be fruitful and that he would be pleased to use us to reach many souls in Los Angeles with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In preparation for our closing time of prayer, I planned to do a brief devotional on 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, which describes the spiritual conditions of true revival. Solomon had completed the temple of the Lord, praying that the Lord would choose this house as a meeting place with his people. God agreed. However, 2 Chronicles 7:13 warms that things may go bad: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people…” (ESV). God warns that things may go bad for his chosen people. And the Lord himself would be the source of the problems! If the people rebelled against the Lord, he would be the one to shut up the heavens and sent pestilence in the land. But this stern warning is issued with a wonderful promise. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people which are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
My goal in this devotional was to list five spiritual conditions for true revival for us to commit to prayer for ourselves, the entire MSMBC family, and the larger community and city in which we live, witness, and minister. Here is the list:
1. Conversion: “If my people who are called by my name” (I should have found a clearer label for this point. But the idea I was shooting focused on the personal pronouns “my.” I was trying to say that true revival begins with self-examination, the assurance of salvation, and simply remembering who we are as God’s people through faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Humility: “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves“
3. Prayer: “and pray”
4: Devotion: “and seek my face”
5. Repentance: “and turn from their wicked ways“
Before I got started, I told the church that I would only spend about ten minutes on this message. They laughed. Twenty five minutes later, when I asked how many more of my initial ten minutes I had left, one of the members called out, “All of them!” What a church!
The Most Important Commandment
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Mark 12:28-34 Armies win…