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Words of Warning, Invitation to Renewal

05/20/2012

We have a problem of desert living in many of our churches and Christian homes today.  There is a genuine shortage of the River of Living Water flowing through these entities.  Why is that?  In Revelations Jesus sends word to the churches, with so much of what he said revealing churches out of touch with the Lord they proclaimed as King,  and which sounds like many of our churches today.  Do his words explain the desert Christians find themselves in today?

To Ephesus, “You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen” Rev 2:4-5a NIV.

To Pergamum, “You tolerate some among you who are like Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel.  He taught them to worship idols by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin.” Rev. 2:14 NLT.

To Thyatira, “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols…..But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come” Rev 2:20, 24-25 NLT.

To Sardis, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeps complete in the sight of God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.  But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you” Rev 3:2-3 NIV.

To Laodicea, “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless. Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see” Rev 3:15-18 MSG.

These same admonishments could be leveled at many churches and many Christians in the United States and Europe today.  We do need to wake up.  We do need to remember our first love.  We certainly are lukewarm and are in need of repentance and commitment to our Savior and our God.

Some would rightfully say we are in deep need of revival.  Certainly that is true.  However, only God can flood our countries with an outpouring of His Spirit.  Our part is to face up to the reality of how far we have fallen and turn to God for forgiveness.  I am convinced that repentance and confession opens our hearts, minds, and spirit to the Spirit of God, who will then fill our lives with His living water.   The dryness of the desert in which we currently find ourselves will be washed away as we are washed clean and given new life.

I invite you to come with me from this dry place to a place of nourishment and love, where we can join together in Kingdom work.  My prayer is at the close of this post.  I invite you to post your prayer here as well.  I’m hoping you will want to walk with me as I turn to God with a more committed heart.

Dear God of Life,

I am beyond thirsty. I am parched.  I have strayed from you, my Rock and my Strength.  Forgive me for allowing the busyness of life to edge you out.  Forgive me for hearing, but not listening.  Forgive me for starting a day without you, and finishing without a thankful spirit.  Forgive me, and guide me safely back to you.  I know you are my fortress, my provider, my defender, and my judge.  I know you are my rampart, my shield, my strength, and my hope.  You are everything that has value.  Life without you is barren, dusty, and cold.  I turn to you, yet again, and thank you for your promise that if I repent and turn back to you, you will be there with grace abounding and forgiveness guaranteed.  Thank you my triune God.  I will eternally worship you, for only you are worthy.  Amen

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