Message Recap: This week’s Summer Playlist song is “God of Revival”. Revival in the many always begins with revival in one. After 3 weeks of dissecting 2 Chron. 7:14, this week we dove into 2 Kings 22-23 to look at King Josiah as a case study for modeling these very principles that we’ve been discussing. Sure enough, humility, prayer and seeking the face of God, and turning from their ways were at the crux of God bringing 31 years of revival to the nation of Israel. How about you? Will revival begin in you today?
Scripture: 2 Kings 22 & 23
Icebreaker: What is the first album, 8-track or CD you purchased?
- What is the purpose of revival and why should it be important to us as a walking-it-out Christian?
- What do you have that is questionable or honors anything other than God? (music, movies, books, magazines, clothing, relationships)
- How does hanging on to that, refusing to release your grip from it, interfere with your personal relationship with God? How does it hinder you from increased spiritual interest or renewal?
- What does getting back to the basics of the Gospel have to do with our personal revival? Do you trust God enough with the simplicity of your testimony that He could use it to bring another person back to Him?
- Read the following lies and then the truths. Discuss which ones you’ve felt before and how you got through it. 1.) Lie: I have that “one thing” that I can’t get rid of that makes me feel unworthy. The Truth: Romans 8:1; Luke 15:20-24 2.) Lie: We feel that God has abandoned us and isn’t hearing our prayers. The Truth: Matthew 28:20; Ecc. 3:1
- Read Revelation 2:1-7. How do you return to your first love? How did you meet Jesus? What are instances you can recall where you have fallen more in love with Him?
- Look at the beginning of King Josiah’s life (2 Kings 22). What is important about how he lived a life pursuing God and how he reacted when he heard the Book of the Law? Does there need to be a reawakening of the Word in your life just like it was rediscovered by Josiah? How do you approach getting back into the Word in a serious way?
Digging Deeper (A Personal Study)
Jesus Christ was God the Father’s revival of mankind. The origin of the word revival is in the Latin roots re- and vivere meaning “to live again”. We were dead in our trespasses and separated from the Giver of life, so God sent a way of revival – Jesus. That’s where personal revival starts for us. On this side of the Cross, 2 Chronicles is a picture of a faithful relationship with Jesus. It’s a process, not something we do once.
We are humbled when we fully face our humanity and kneel in awe of the love and sacrifice that was made by God the Father sending His only Son, and by Jesus leaving His Heavenly paradise to go through being forsaken by the Father to take on our sin. It is truly capturing Ephesians 2:8 to say we have nothing to do with bringing ourselves back to life, but it is Jesus who took us from death to life. He is the reviving force. If you feel you are in a complacent spot with this part of your relationship, try writing down your testimony and then seeing where you were (or could have been) without Him. Take Jesus out of the picture and see where you would be.
An actual relationship with Jesus is done through seeking Him; not the idea of Him, but actually His heart. It is through daily interaction from studying His Word and personal, private prayer time. Time in the Bible is so key to our personal revival. As Jesus said in John 6:63, “The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” To know Jesus, to know the Sword of the Spirit, we have to pick it up. We have to devote real, personal study of it using tools, building our foundations on the ink of those thin pages. It is a living word so it has no end to revealing God’s heart. If you find yourself feeling blocked or in a dry season, begin memorizing Scripture. His Word will not return void and will bring life back into you as you meditate on it (Isaiah 55:11).
Finally, when we are in a progressive relationship with Christ we are continuously turning from our wicked ways. It is not a one-stop-shop. From stopping our tax evasions to taking our steps forward in returning to God from our addictions, we are in process. We will not arrive on this side of Heaven, and that’s where God’s grace makes up the difference. He is a holy God and cannot tolerate a continuous choosing of sin over Himself… He will not tolerate idols. But, for those who are sorrowful for their sins and repent, He has offered freedom. Repenting is a lifelong part of our relationship with Jesus. But, God promises, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Prov. 28:13). God wants to show mercy, so He begs us as a loving father to a prodigal son to return to Him! It’s not part of a formula to gain His favor, it’s part of a relationship. If you are sometimes in a spot where you don’t know where to begin with repenting, or don’t feel you’ve had something big to talk to God about, pray David’s prayer found in Psalms 139:23-24.
We find so much freedom, so much life when we return to Him. If you hear anything this week from the Lord, I pray that you hear that a personal revival starts when we attempt to fathom the grace and heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and we are now called to an incredible freedom from all of this world while remaining in Him (Romans 5:8, Luke 4:17-21) Revival is not a call to do more. Revival is a call to return to our first love and let God bring life back to our souls.
Listen: Together, listen to “God of Revival” by Bethel Music [feat. Brian and Jenn Johnson]. If possible, have the lyrics available. Close your eyes. Soak in the message.
Send Out Question: What are some first steps you can take this week to return to your first love? (Here are some ideas to get you started: Read Psalm 119; Join a Small Group; Cut out time to have personal prayer time with God; Memorize scripture; Inspire others by inviting a few friends over for coffee and to talk about your faith)