This week God called home, arguably the most influential evangelical evangelist of our day. Billy Graham was called by God to give his life to preaching the gospel and he did that in such a simple way that it inspired millions to become followers of Jesus.
On my shelf are several books by Billy Graham and my favorite is a daily devotional titled, "Unto the Hills". As I picked it up and read the devotional excerpt for today, I thought to myself, "How appropriate for what we are currently experiencing in our nation." Below are Billy Graham's thoughts for February 23rd.
"Have you ever seen someone unconscious? Such a person will usually have vital signs but is not aware of anything that is occurring. There is a lack of any perception of reality.
There is a difference between revival and resuscitation. Resuscitation is used on a person who is dead and whom the doctors are trying to bring back to life. Revival is for a person who is alive but unconscious. Spiritually, we can be unconscious and completely out of touch with the Spirit of God. We may be unaware of the God who made us and what He wants to do in and through us.
When one comes to Christ in faith and is born again, he or she is brought back from the dead into life. But when revival occurs, a person who is already a Christian is brought back from the brink of apathy, of taking God for granted, of ignoring God and trying to live under one's own power and strength. This can be deadly for others, because the Christian in need of revival is not producing any fruit for God. "I've got mine and that's all that matters" is not an attitude that is pleasing to God.
We have not seen a revival in America since shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. But, as the hymn says, "Lord, send a revival and let it begin with me." If we are to see a revival in our nation, it must begin in the hearts of individual believers. What are you doing in your daily walk with God that will bring revival to your life?
Our Father and our God, I pray for Your forgiveness and mercy. I know that I need to be revived from apathy in certain areas of my spiritual life. Please renew my spirit, Lord. Build a fire within me again that will warm the hearts of others around me. I pray this through Jesus, my constant Companion. Amen
(Excerpt from Unto the Hills by Billy Graham)
Just a reminder that tomorrow at 3:00pm, we will gather together for our annual worship and celebration meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to elect new members to church council, personnel committee and legal committee and to approve our church budget for 2018. You will also hear from some of our leadership, as they share where God has taken us this past year and where we believe He wants to take us this next year. We want to spend time thanking God for the blessings of the past and praying about the open doors he will place in front of us in the future. We will meet at 3:00pm in the Fireside Room.
Finally, join us Sunday as we conclude our series in the Beatitudes.
Hope to see you then.