We will have a special prayer meeting in observance of National Day of Prayer, May 5th at 6:00pm. Everyone is welcome to join us as we pray for our leaders.
The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for our nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Since its inception, this day has continually united Americans from all socio-economic, political, and ethnic backgrounds in prayer while also encouraging personal repentance and righteousness in the culture. The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans and is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens to celebrate our most beloved freedom; the freedom to humbly come before God and seek His guidance in prayer.
Mrs. Shirley Dobson serves as the Chairman and Dr. Tony Evans serves as the Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. The Theme for 2016 is Wake Up America and is based on Isaiah 58:1. Click here to read more .
Your Change Can Change Lives! IBC will have bottles available April 17. Place change, cash or checks to fill the bottle. Also, there will be a small crib in the vestibule for donations of wipes, diapers, clothing, and blankets.
Each year, baby bottles are dispersed to churches, businesses, and other groups across Forsyth County in efforts to raise funds for the mothers and children that visit our center. Every baby bottle filled with loose change, cash, or check provides live-saving assistance as well as loving, practical support for mothers in need. Whether it is diapers, clothes, or parenting classes, you are helping provide the compassionate, emotional support these women so desperately desire. We greatly appreciate any funds that are raised to support the women we try to encourage every day!
Salem Pregnancy is a safe refuge for hurting women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. They listen to your fears, your questions, and your personal struggles with compassion and offer real solutions. They provide you with factual information so that you can make an informed decision about your next decision.
ABOUT SALEM PREGNANCY CARE CENTER SERVICES
Free lab-quality pregnancy tests
Information regarding community resources (housing, food, medical care, parenting classes, etc.)
Pregnancy Medicaid Assistance (pregnancy test verification)
Non-judgmental, confidential guidance and help
Free maternity and baby clothes
Parenting program and faith-based study for pregnant women
FREE Mobile Ultrasound (for qualified clients). Following a positive pregnancy test, a vaginal ultrasound may be approved. This procedure will determine the following: whether the pregnancy is viable (detect a fetal heartbeat), if the fetus is stabilized in the uterus, the gestational age, and the due date.
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:3
I believe our nation is in trouble today, probably more than I’ve seen in my lifetime. We are contending with issues that are causing the very foundation of our country to crumble. Our moral and spiritual roots are eroding, the economy is misleading, family life is disintegrating, and political forces are at unprecedented odds. There seem to be very few leaders who will take a stand for God and for His Word.
It can be tempting to believe that America has reached a point of no return. While these factors cause despair, we are reminded in Scripture that with God, nothing is impossible. No problem is too great for Him. Seasons of distress and uncertainty and hardship call for faithful, fervent prayer by God’s people and remind us of our responsibility to humble ourselves before Almighty God. We cannot expect healing to come to our nation apart from obedience to God through His Holy Word.
God longs for His people to humble themselves and to seek forgiveness and pray for guidance. God’s Word says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). The Bible commands that we repent of our sins and turn to Almighty God. And because we are confident that we serve a God of mercy and compassion, we know that He stands ready to respond to our cries out of the abundance of His divine wisdom.
It is a crucial time for us to individually and collectively seek God’s divine intervention for the challenges facing us. We need to pray not only for our nation, but we need to pray for our leaders, for all those who govern us, that they will turn to God with humble hearts and follow Him. Our military leaders need our prayers as we have dedicated men and women serving on battlefields and sacrificing their blood to protect our nation and many innocent people around the world. God is faithful to bless those who turn to Him.
Pray that as a nation we would return to God. As we call on God, let us do so by genuine faith, believing that He hears our prayers. God can heal this great land, for which our forefathers fought and died. We need spiritual renewal, we need a revival in America, and we need each and everyone to pray. Lord, Hear Our Cry! —Franklin Graham
I. Introduction (Psalm 85:6)
A. Do you wish to be an instrument in the hands of God, or a tool in the hands of the devil? There is truly, no middle ground. Do you want to see God’s power at work through you? Do you long for your prayers to be answered? If you do, then the barrier of sin between you and God must be demolished and a lifestyle of holiness and love for God renewed. Every believer had it when they were born again – that special day that Jesus became Lord and Saviour of their soul! But sin, sneaks up on us, and slays us!
B. If you are a Christian, you are pardoned, forgiven and placed eternally in Christ. But, Christians often allow sin to clutter up their lives, and block their path between them and their Lord. To be restored, something big must take place. It is called personal revival.
C. In this message, I’m going to share with you five ways to experience personal revival as we prepare for the Lord to not only move in our hearts, but thoroughly change our lives!
II. Message – Preparing for Revival
A. The Meaning of ‘Revival’:
1. The contemporary concept of revival is anything but true. In Biblical terms:
a. Revival is not a scheduled series of meetings. That is not revival.
b. It is not an evangelistic effort that a church puts out.
c. It is not securing an outside preacher to lead in the attempt to stir things up spiritually amongst the believers here.
d. It is not publicity and special events and good preaching and heart-warming singing and fervent appeals for the lost to be saved.
e. It is not decisions nor additions to the church, nor even renewed enthusiasm by cold believers.
f. No. It is much more than any of that. Those are our efforts, but they are not revival.
g. Some, or even all of the above may be present and yet true revival still be absent!
2. Revival is:
a. A sovereign work of God among His people (thus the prophet prays, “Revive Thy work,” Hab. 3:2).
b. It is an invasion of fresh spiritual life when there was only deadness (Lu. 15:24),
c. It is a turning back of God’s people unto Himself (Lam. 5:21)
d. It is an outpouring of His Spirit upon His wilting vineyard (Isa. 32:15)
e. It is an extraordinary work of God producing extraordinary results among both backslidden believers, as well as dead, careless sinners.
B. The Need for Revival – how to tell that you need a Spiritual Revival
1. Dullness and Apathy towards God and spiritual things (Mt 13:15)
2. Hardness towards authority and rebukes (Pr 6:23; 15:32)
3. Empty of God’s Power and Presence in your life (Dt 28:23)
4. Addiction to sins and an easy target for the devil – no real freedom (1Cor 3:1-3)
C. The Purpose of Revival.
1. To restore a Christian to his peak performance – like reviving a old car, or rescuing a person was drowned and reviving them
2. To replace the works of the flesh with the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:19-21; and Gal 5:22,23)
3. To bring true unity into a Church
4. To save our homes and our community from the judgment of God (Hab 3:2)
D. The Cost of Revival is Personal Loss.
1. Loss of time – spending it praying, instead of only playing
2. Loss of sleep – praying whenever the Lord wants you to
3. Loss of pride – spend time confessing and agreeing with God how cold you are spiritually
4. Loss of food – fasting
5. Loss of control – yielding to God’s will, no matter what it may be
6. Loss of anything that might block God’s work in your life
7. Oh the need for prayer, real prayer by God’s people!
a. Selfless prayer (no mention of what you may need, only that it is a reviving of your heart and soul)!
b. Earnest prayer – strong determination!
c. Holy prayer – the dumping and cleansing of this Temple so that true, honest, prayer can take place in a clean Temple
8. “The Bible and the record of history reveal that there has never been such a thing as a prayer-less revival.” Dr. Louis L. King
9. “The Church is dying on its feet because it is not living on its knees.” Leonard Ravenhill
10. “When God is about to do a mighty new thing He always sets His people praying.” Jonathan Edwards
E. How to Prepare for Revival
1. The first step in revival is Personal Evaluation (2Cor 13:5; Rev 2 & 3) – take Spiritual Inventory
a. “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” God wants to save, and revive! (Isaiah 59:1)
b. “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
c. Look at yourself like GOD sees you (Psalm 139:23,24)
d. Look at your sin and see it like God sees it – an abomination, filthy, wicked
e. Look at your efforts for the Lord and see them for what they really are
f. Check your attitudes and see if Christ is in your thoughts, or lust, and hatred and revenge, and pride and impatience, and bitterness, and stubbornness
2. The next step toward experiencing personal revival is to Repent of every known sin. (Revelation 2:5; Isaiah 55:6,7).
a. Revival is always the Lord’s work, but true repentance is always our duty!
b. It is necessary to fully repent of all known sin against God. Get on your knees before Him and empty yourself before Him. Pull everything out of your pockets, your sleeves, your hidden places, your secrets, your heart, and your soul!
c. Those sins that readily come to mind, repent of them, then ask God to bring to your mind sins that you commit that you may not even be aware of. Ask God to reveal any other sin you are not aware of.
d. All Scripture and Revival history shows that a true Revival begins with “Deep Repentance”. And in our personal lives, it so often begins with making a “list” – literally – of ANY sin or compromise or “cloud” that is in our life – and confessing those sins to God with real sorrow and repentance. Any person who cannot make a ‘LIST’ like that – and spend time confessing their sins before God (-And forsaking them!) – is not really serious about becoming ‘Revived’. This is the first place to start.
3. Step #3 is Grieving – start getting upset over your sins, and getting sorry to God for hurting Him most of all (Psalm 51:3,4)
a. You may not grieve over your sins at first, but the more you look at yourself, and see yourself for who and what you really are, THEN you will start to grieve… so allow it
b. If you start to cry, stay awhile and cry as long as you need
4. Step #4 on your way to personal revival is to Forsake all questionable habits and activities. “For whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).
a. What kinds of habits do you have that are sin? Are you in the habit of using foul and vulgar language? Are you addicted to food, or lust, or sleep, or drugs, or drink?
b. Ask God to clean up your mouth. Ask Him to help you get free of a drug addiction. BEG Him!
c. Ask Him to help you keep food and sex in the proper perspective, and to help you stay clear of things that so easily beset you, and ruin you like the TV, and like bad friends, and like rock music!
d. Decide those sins and you are parting ways from now on!
e. It is called rooting out the roots of sin in your life
1) Of the love of anger – bitterness (Heb 12:15)
2) Of the love of flesh (Heb 12:16) – lust
3) Of the love of the world (Heb 12:16) – profane is worldliness
4) Of the love of pleasure – apathy towards spiritual things (Heb 2:1)
5) Of the love of money (1Tim 6:10) – coveteousness
5. Step #5 on your way to personal revival is to Make Right any wrongs between yourself and others (Mark 11:25)
a. This is where you replace all the things that you have rooted out with good seed
b. Do you need to apologize to someone in your family? There may be something between you and a family member that goes back many, many years. That may be the one thing, the one piece of business you need to take care of in order to experience personal revival. Seek their forgiveness. Offer your forgiveness! NEBVER hold a grudge more than 12 hours! Period!
c. After a day, it’s not even important any more who was right or who was wrong. In fact, you probably can’t even remember the details of what happened any more. So isn’t it time to make things right?
6. Step #6 involves Worship (Mt 8:2; 9:18; 15:22-25). Seal all that effort with time in prayer and praise to God
a. How long has it been since you got away from everything and everyone and spent time with God in prayer? Maybe that’s why you’re not experiencing joy and satisfaction and fulfilment in your life. You’ve gotten to the point where you don’t have a quiet time any more. You don’t spend time in prayer and you rarely ever open your Bible during the week.
b. Ask God to help you renew your commit to prayer and Bible reading.
c. Beg God to help you keep the freshness and sweetness of Christ full in your life!
d. Come away to your prayer closet every day.
1) Let all else be set aside for a season.
2) Deal with yourself for now. Think not even of the other brethren and their collective need for a fresh touch.
3) Let your appeal be built solely upon His mercy
4) Wrestle alone with God for the needed blessing. Plea back passages like these:
a) “Lord, revive Thy world in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2).
b) “Revive us, and we will call upon Thy name. O Lord of hosts, restore us; cause Thy face to shine upon us, and we will be saved” (Ps. 80:18-19).
c) “Wilt Thou not Thyself revive us again, that Thy people may rejoice in Thee” (Ps. 85:6).
d) “For the sake of Thy name, O Lord, revive me” (Ps. 143:10).
e) “Restore us to Thee, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old” (Lam. 5:21).
f) “Oh, that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down that the mountains might quake at Thy presence” (Isa. 64: 1).
7. Final Thing – Anticipate! Believe (Mark 11:24)! Wait Expectantly like a groom does for the bride to come!
a. Revival comes – again, not when the guest preacher arrives, but when God personally shows up, and is allowed to do His work in our hearts and lives and homes, and minds!
b. I am hungry for God to work in my life – I hit a wall, and can only do so much, and find it is nothing compared to what needs to get done for Christ. I find myself struggling with sin and the devil, and I yearn to defeat Him and every stronghold he attempts to set up in my life and home!
c. I look forward to a church passionate about living for Jesus Christ, and walking faithfully with Him in prayer every day, and in His word, every day!
d. I will not see what is stopping us, but rather focus on what I must do so that God can conquer our hardest hearts, and our biggest problems!
A. Revival preparation is not a formula. I have given you seven steps, but it is more than just seven things to DO. It is an attitude! It is a looking up to God, praying to God, staying at it until revival comes!
B. Revival preparation is not a formula. It is an attitude! It is a looking up to God, praying to God, staying at it until revival comes!
C. But it won’t come until we work through the following seven steps and prepare ourselves for revival from the Lord!
D. Revival comes from God
E. Do we really want it?
F. You and I need to do our part
1. Personal Evaluation – taking Spiritual Inventory
2. Repent of every known sin. Turn away from it. Hate it, and let go of it – too much of our bondage in our life is self retained!
3. Grieve – start getting upset over your sins, and getting sorry to God for hurting Him most of all
4. Forsake all questionable habits and activities.
5. Make Right any wrongs between yourself and others.
6. Worship the Lord Jesus. Seal all that effort with time in prayer and praise to God
7. Anticipate! Believe! Wait Expectantly like a groom does for the bride to come!
G. I want to be revived! I want to be changed, made over again as I let go of every part of my life!
H. Let’s strive for that for which is most important. With brokenness, let’s take our place at His feet. Let’s let God again take His place of splendour among His people. With a zeal for His glory to be revealed, and a yearning for the gospel to advance, let’s prepare for Revival . . . starting now.
By Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
Revival is certainly a word in the Baptist vocabulary. In Baptist life, it is usually used to describe a series of worship services in which a visiting preacher, and sometimes a visiting choir director, come to a church to lead special worship services. These services have a special emphasis placed on leading people, who do not yet have a relationship with Him, to Christ. The church members often help out by doing such things as singing in the “revival choir,” bringing their friends to “pack a pew night,” or serving pizza to teenagers before the service on “youth night.” Sometimes the services are preceded by “cottage prayer meetings,” where the members go to a member’s home to pray together for the services. This is pretty much what the word meant as as we heard it growing up. Because of this tradition, there remains a “terminological inexactitude” (to borrow a phrase from Churchill) among many Baptists concerning the meaning of the term, revival.
Evangelism is not that to which the word revival refers. Revival is what God sends, not to the lost, but to His own people, the church. The dead can not be revived; they require resurrection. In revival, God does a fresh work in those who have life, yet who have grown weak through sin or neglect. It is true that evangelism will inevitably flow out of revival. Evangelism is important! But in terms of methodology, more and more, we are having to learn how to do that work outside the walls of the church. Unbelievers are not going to come and hear as often as they did in earlier generations. We are having to learn to share the faith in natural ways with those with whom we have relationships.
Here are some better definitions of revival; these will be found to be more consistent with biblical teaching:
“Revival is that sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people, restoring and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing.” – Robert Coleman
“Revival is a return to spiritual health after a period of decline into sin and broken fellowship with God… Revival is for God’s people when they need to be forgiven and restored to life, spiritual health, and vitality” -Blackaby & King (Fresh Encounter, Lifeway, 1993)
“Revival is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results.” – Richard Owen Roberts
Look in the Bible. Notice how many times it says, “me” or “us” when speaking of revival. Here are some examples:
Psalm 119:156: Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord: quicken me according to thy judgments.
Psalm 119:37: Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
Psalm 119:88: Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
Psalm 85:6: Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Habakkuk 3:2: O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
Like the old song says, “It’s me, it’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”
When is revival needed among God’s people? When they have their left first love. God’s people need to be revived when they find themselves going through the motions, having “a form of godliness but denying its power” (2nd Timothy 3:5). God’s people need revival when they are wallowing in sin, perhaps regretting their sins, but unwilling to thoroughly repent of them. God’s people need revival when they are neglecting their relationship with Christ. Revival is needed when we are low on zeal and have grown lukewarm.
J. I. Packer lists five Marks of Revival:
(1) Awareness of God’s Presence
(2) Responsiveness to God’s Word
(3) Sensitiveness to sin
(4) Liveliness in Community – A revived church is full of life, joy, and power of the Holy Spirit
(5) Faithfulness in testimony – an evangelistic and ethical overspill into the world.
We can all agree with Spurgeon as he described the kind of revival he wanted to see:
“We need a work of the Holy Spirit of a supernatural kind, putting power into the preaching of the Word, inspiring all believers with heavenly energy, and solemnly affecting the hearts of the careless, so that they turn to God and live. We would not be drunk with the wine of carnal excitement, but we would be filled with the Spirit. We would behold the fire descending from heaven in answer to the effectual fervent prayers of righteous men.
Is there a “formula for revival”? Sometimes, you hear 2nd Chronicles 7:14 used as a recipe for revival:
“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.”
But that’s the whole deal, isn’t it? Getting God’s people to humble themselves, to pray, to seek God’s face, and repent? It would seem that if all that is happening, you have revival! The condition being met in this passage leads to forgiveness and restoration; at least that’s what it says after the word, “then”.
So, should we pray for revival? Of course! That’s what we see the Psalmist doing in the verses above. But can we reduce the work of a sovereign God to a man-dependant formula? No. Revival is the work of God. We pray for it because we are dependant upon Him to send it.
article by Derek Gentle
Living the Christian life requires periodic adjustments. Remember when Jesus called His first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, and John (Matthew 4:18-22)? They were living their lives, minding their own business, until Jesus met them and said, “Follow me”. This call from the Lord required a major adjustment in their life, and they made it without delay. No excuses. No arguments.
As they began to follow Christ, they soon learned it was not about them, but rather about Jesus and His purpose and plan for the Kingdom of God. As time passed, and as they listened and learned from the Master, they watched Him, observed His example, and eventually Jesus sent them out to minister (Matthew 10:5 & 8). Another major adjustment in their lives!
As we live the Christian life and learn the Word of God, the Lord, through the mentorship ministry of His Holy Spirit, guides us along. He deals with our hearts and renews our minds, confronting our issues and giving us divine assignments. We adjust our priorities, make the changing decisions, and follow the Lord.
Here is the way this typically works:
God speaks to us through His Word, circumstances, the Holy Spirit, and even through men preaching to us or teaching us spiritual principles.
We believe God and determine to follow His instruction.
We adjust our beliefs and our behavior to match His will and His ways.
We experience God working through us to accomplish His divine purpose (Philippians 3:13-14).
Don’t be afraid to make adjustments as you live for God. Only through total surrender do we find fulfillment and live out our purpose here on earth.
Message by Evangelist Bruce Freeman. He is one of the guest speakers for the Spring Revival 2016.
Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 am on March 27
Enjoy a delicious breakfast following the service.
Our Missionary Conference starts March 13th. Missionaries scheduled to be with us are: Trevor Martin, Dennis Caudle with Piedmont Bible College and Thomas Hawkins, Rock of Ages Ministry.
February is here! It seems just yesterday that we were watching the ball drop in New York bringing in 2016. Celebrations were held all around the world bringing in the new year. Now, here we are through the first month and entering in the second.
As I thought about February, probably the most significant thing that happens in the month is “Valentine’s Day,” or as some have called it “The Great Day of Love.”
Anyone now can research as to the origin of Valentine’s Day, for example we can read in the free encyclopedia Wikipedia that Valentine’s Day was originally called St. Valentine’s Day. It began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.
But why the modern association of sending flowers, candy, gifts and cards to our sweetheart?
Well, Wikipedia also adds this: The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).
So down through the years we have seen Valentine’s Day become that great day of love. The retailers make us feel guilty by suggesting that if we really loved our sweetheart we would buy her/him candy, cards, jewelry, etc. You know the drill.
In an article about Valentine’s Day spending, “IBISWorld breaks Valentine’s Day spending out by concluding that 47.4% accounts for dining out, 13.9% candy, 11.6% romantic getaways, 8.5% flowers, 7.8% jewelry, 6.3% clothing and lingerie, and 4.4% greeting cards. Frank Cirillo, senior communications specialist at American Greetings, says, “Valentine’s Day is the second-most popular holiday for sending cards, falling behind only Christmas.”
Enough of that aspect of the day. I would like to suggest that they all have it wrong!
The greatest day of love in the history of the world is found in the most widely quoted Bible verse we know as John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
On the day that Christ died to redeem mankind from sin was the single greatest act of love ever demonstrated.
It is sad to think that someone purchases or makes a gift for someone, a gift which would represent their love for that individual, and that person rejects it.
Then, we think of the Heavenly Father, how He has done everything to let the world know he loves them. He didn’t send a card or a box of candy… He sent His Only Son, Jesus, to come to the earth and offer his life as an atonement for our sins.
In closing let me suggest a few things for you to consider:
First, if you have not received the gift of God’s love, eternal life through Jesus Christ, then why not do so today. If you need to get in touch with me or a pastor or good Godly friend to help you understand this message of love more fully, then please do so today. God has offered you His love by providing salvation freely through faith in what His Son did by dying for you.
Secondly, if you have accepted His love and you are a Believer, then share God’s love with others. Maybe you can find a Valentine’s Card that offers a place for you to write a note… if so, tell them of the “Greatest Day of Love!”
Finally, live out the love in your life! “How?” you might ask. By striving every day to keep and live the greatest commandment and the second great commandment. We find them in Matthew 22:36-40 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Simplified, Love God first and love your neighbor as yourself! Jesus said upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. That means that if we practice these two, then the other are never needed.
I hope you have a great February. According to the famous groundhog Punxsutawney, who did not see his shadow, we will have Spring-like weather just around the corner.
If you celebrate Valentine’s Day, may you select the perfect expression of your love to your sweetheart.
If you have not received God’s gift of love, eternal life through the salvation in Christ, may you do so before the opportunity is gone.
If you have received the gift of God’s love, then share it with others.
God bless, Pastor Taylor