Faithlife Sermons

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*Urgent Times* \\                                                                                                         2 Chronicles 7:14
January 4, 2009
 
Love Worth Finding Ministries sent this devotional thought on January 1st.
Listen to it: “Helen Keller had lost her sight at 19 years of age.
A reporter asked Miss Keller, "Is there anything worse than being blind?"
"Yes," she said, "It is to have sight and no vision."
My message to start 2009 is about vision.
Do you have a vision for your life at the threshold of 2009?
It is good, at the beginning of a new year, to review the goals for your life: spiritual goals, intellectual goals, physical goals, and financial goals.
It’s wise to ask that God’s will be done in your goals.
It’s also wise to hold your goals in an open hand and ask God to give wisdom and direction.
I do!
I don’t want to be a person without vision and I don’t want you to be without vision either.
So, let’s ponder the vision and goals of Good Shepherd Community Church this morning.
When we arrived in Cut Knife in November of 2006, God led us to a significant verse, “Revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you (Ps 8:5-6).
Do you remember our Christmas letter from 2006?
If you do, stand up and tells us what it said.
If no, I’m not surprised!
Well, this verse was in that letter right above our key question to you, “You do want to be revived, don’t you?” Keep in mind that in order to be revived, you must have been “vived” in the first place.
If there never has been spiritual life, the need is for salvation, not revival.
All through 2007, we felt God urging us toward complete restoration and repentance so we could move on.
Last year, our key verse was 2 Peter 3:18, “Grow in grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
We truly hope you are on board with growing closer to God as we step out in year 3 to “God and make disciples …” (Matt 28:19-20)
 
In Experiencing God Day-by-Day, Henry Blackaby asks, “Have you based your life on God’s revelation?”
Why does he ask?
Because Proverbs 29:18 says: /Without revelation people run wild, but one who keeps the law will be happy./
*We Live by Revelation*
The world operates on /vision.
/God's people live by /revelation.
/The world seeks grand and noble purposes and goals to achieve.
People dream up the greatest and most satisfying things in which they can invest their lives.
Institutions establish goals and objectives and then organize themselves to achieve them.
God's people function in a radically different way.
Christians arrange their lives based on the revelation of God, regardless of whether it makes sense to them.
God does not ask for our opinion about what is best for our future, our family, our church, or our country.
He already knows!
What God wants is to get the attention of His people and reveal to us what is on /His /heart and what is /His /will, for God's ways are not our ways!
(Isa.
55:8–9).
Whenever people do not base their lives on God's revelation, they “cast off restraint.”
That is, they do what is right in their own eyes.
They set their goals, arrange their agendas, and then pray for God's blessings.
Some Christians are living far outside the will of God, yet they have the audacity to pray and ask God to bless their efforts!
The only way for you to know God's will is for Him to reveal it to you.
You will never discover it on your own.
When you hear from the Father, you have an immediate agenda for your life: obedience.
As the writer of Proverbs observed: /“Happy /is he who keeps the law.”
God has a constant vision for us – His people.
God is calling His people to return to Him and be a /highway of holiness/ over which He can come to the lost world.
But before we can become a highway of holiness, we must understand the issues of sin.
In order to understand sin, we must see our sin from God’s perspective.
We must build our relationship with God in such a way that our lives can be a highway over which God reaches the rest of our nation in a great revival among God’s people, and in a sweeping spiritual awakening in the hearts and lives of those who do not know Him.
There is an urgency that we should carry within us.
This urgency has at least two major directions.
If I understand the Scriptures correctly, God will judge any nation that neglects His direction.
It may very well be that we are under the judgment of God or certainly will be soon.
If I were to attempt to find the beginning of what I believe is a national neglect of God, I would return to the early 1960s.
It seems as though God removed the hedge of protection from around North America in that decade.
We began to see unrestrained things take place from the ’60s to this present day.
There seems to have been nothing to hold back the tide of injustice in society.
A deep departure from God in the churches has continued since that decade.
It is as if the hedge of His protection has been broken down, and God is letting us experience the consequences of our own sin.
There is an urgency in the Scriptures when God said, /"If My people who are called by My name will 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" /(2 Chron.
7:14).
That great passage indicates clearly that the redemption of Canada & the United States waits on the repentance of the people of God.
The salvation of the nation has little to do with Washington or Ottawa or Hollywood – it has to do with the people of God!
If God’s people do not sense that the problem is with them, then we as nations do not stand a chance of revival or survival.
And so, understanding in ever-increasing measure what God says in His Word, we should carry with us a deep sense of urgency that we are closer today to the judgment of God on our nations than we were last year.
Do you believe that when God’s people pray that God hears, responds, and brings about a deep change?
Are you helping your family and the people in your church to pray for the condition of their lives, families, church and nation?
Is that your vision for 2009?
I hope so, because I’m sure it’s God’s vision.
Remember, God said, /"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him"/ (2 Chron.
16:9).
He also said, /"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much"/ (Jas.
5:16).
Jesus said, /"And whatever you ask in My name [consistent with everything I have taught you], that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son"/ (John 14:13).
In light of these promises – with which God’s people can change the course of a nation’s history – what has become of prayer in your own life, in your marriage, in your family, or in your church?
You can be sure God will be delighted if you delight yourself in Him.
And if you do, Psalm 37:4 says He will grant the desires of your heart.
Now, let me ask you a very profound question.
If revival in Canada depended on your prayer life, would there be a revival?
If you have to say, /Not my prayer life/, then you must change your prayer life.
To have a renewed prayer life requires a simple personal choice.
Your life is the product of choices you have made.
Your church is the product of choices it has made.
Your nation is a reflection of the choices that have been made by the people of God concerning their relationship with God.
Do you deny that God’s vision for His people is to be a people of prayer?
It is undeniable that God’s vision for Good Shepherd Community Church is that we are to be a house of prayer!
(Matt 21:13) Do you think 2009 could be the year when this building you are sitting in right now, will be called a mighty house of prayer?
You are the only ones who can prevent that from happening!
That is one of the reasons why this kind of message has a sense of urgency about it.
I believe there is a lot at stake.
In fact, eternity is at stake for many in Cut Knife.
In Good Shepherd Community Church alone there are enough of God’s people – if they were serious with God – to turn the course of our community and our nation.
Do you believe that?
There were only 120 people in the Upper Room who were wholly yielded to the person of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:15).
God used them to turn the entire Roman Empire completely upside down.
In 1904 God used a young man from Wales named Evan Roberts.
God broke him and shook him through a specific time of prayer – with others who had been praying across the land – and 100,000 people came to faith in Jesus Christ in six months.
The great revival of 1904 began with prayer.
Thousands of people ended up on the mission field as a result.
Roberts, at twenty-six years old, was focused on prayer and revival, and that revival set in motion a great missionary movement.
What could God do through your life?
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