Revive Us Again!
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Oct. 20, 2013
*Anybody paying the least bit of attention knows that we need revival in our hearts and in our homes.
We need true, spiritual revival all over our nation.
But what does that mean?
*In the Old Testament revival means "to have life, sustain life, live forever or to make alive."
The word picture is a person or army completely surrounded by the enemy, with no way to escape.
Then in the time of greatest despair, God intervened and rescued them completely.
But that rescue was almost always needed because of sin.
*Today, as much as ever before, we need to be rescued from the influence and the consequence of sin.
Our nation is in so much trouble today simply because of sin.
One way or another, all of our problems go back to sin: People stubbornly rejecting the God of the Bible and His righteous ways.
*But Christians, we know that the problem is not just other people's sin.
The problem is our own sin.
Most of us need revival in our own hearts and lives.
I know I do.
*Revival today is first and foremost about Christians personally getting right with God.
Phil Dyar asks Christians, "When do we need revival?"
*We need revival.
-When church dinners are better attended than prayer meetings.
-When we do not love Jesus as we once did.
-When we would rather watch TV than read the Bible and pray.
-When we have time for recreation and sports, but not for Bible study and prayer.
*We need revival.
-When we seldom think thoughts of eternity.
-When we make little effort to witness to the lost.
-When we are unmoved by the fact over 2 billion people in the world have never heard the name of Jesus.
*We need revival.
-When our Christianity is joyless and dry.
-When we are bored with worship.
-When believers can be at odds with each other and not feel compelled to pursue reconciliation.
*We need revival.
-When we know the truth in our heads that we are not practicing in our lives.
-When we would rather make money than give money.
-When people have to be entertained to be drawn to church.
-When the fire has gone out in our hearts, our marriages, and the church.
*What is true today was also true thousands of years ago when this Psalm was written.
We need revival over and over again.
So we sing and we pray, "Revive us again, Lord!
And Psalm 85 gives us the foundation for our prayers.
1. First: Revive us again, Lord, because we are inspired by Your history.
*In vs. 1-3, the Psalm writer looked back to the great things our God has done.
He looked back for strength, encouragement and inspiration.
He looked back and began to praise God:
1. Lord, You have been favorable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin.
You have taken away all Your wrath; You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.
*This man was looking back at the great things God had done for His people.
David did the same thing when He was about to face the giant Goliath.
In 1 Samuel 17:32-37, David said this to King Saul:
"Let no man's heart fail because of him (the giant); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.''
And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.''
But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,
I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.
Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.''
37. Moreover David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. .
*Christians: All of us can also look back at the great things God has done.
We can look into His Word and see many examples of His great help.
We can look back at the great things God has done in our own lives.
And we can feed our faith on wonderful stories of God touching other lives, sending revival, healing, deliverance and salvation.
*In 1910, there was a revival meeting in Texas led by Mordecai Ham.
One night in the worship service there was a man who had killed four men.
Before that night, he never dreamed that God could care for him.
But during that service, he was touched by the good news about Jesus Christ.
That man was so overjoyed by the love and mercy of God that he stood up & shouted: "Saved!
-- Saved! -- Saved!"
*Jack Schofield was leading music for that revival.
And he was so moved by that joyful outburst that he used those words in the hymn he wrote the next day:
-"I've found a Friend, who is all to me,
-His love is ever true;
-I love to tell how He lifted me
-And what His grace can do for you.
-When poor and needy and all alone,
-In love He said to me,
-'Come unto Me and I'll lead you home,
-To live with Me eternally.'
*Saved by His power divine,
-Saved to new life sublime!
-Life now is sweet and my joy is complete,
-For I'm saved, saved, saved!" (2)
*God has done countless great things like that.
And He's not through yet!
Revive us again, Lord, because we are inspired by Your history.
2. And revive us, because we deserve the heat of Your anger.
*The Psalmist first looked back at God's greatness.
Then in vs. 4-7 he began to look around his world, and look within his own heart.
He did not like what he saw, so he cried out to God:
4. Restore us ("Turn us" the KJV says.)
Restore us, O God of our salvation, And cause Your anger toward us to cease.
5. 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?
7. Show us Your mercy, O Lord, And grant us Your salvation.
*This Psalmist cried out to the Lord with a passionate, heartfelt prayer.
He cried out for God's mercy, salvation and revival.
He cried out because he realized that we have sinned and deserve the wrath of Almighty God.
*Are you aware of your sin?