When Do We Need Revival?

50 Evidences of the Need for a Fresh Visitation of the Spirit in Revival

We Need Revival . . .

when we do not love Him as we once did.
when earthly interests and occupations are more important to us than eternal ones
when we would rather watch TV and read secular books and magazines than read the Bible and pray.
when church dinners are better attended than prayer meetings.
when concerts draw bigger crowds than prayer meetings.
when we have little or no desire for prayer.
when we would rather make money than give money.
when we put people into leadership positions in our churches who do not meet scriptural qualifications.
when our Christianity is joyless and passionless.
when we know truth in our heads that we are not practicing in our lives.
when we make little effort to witness to the lost.
when we have time for sports, recreation, and entertainment, but not for Bible study and prayer.
when we do not tremble at the Word of God.
when preaching lacks conviction, confrontation, and divine fire and anointing.
when we seldom think thoughts of eternity.
when God’s people are more concerned about their jobs and their careers than about the Kingdom of Christ and the salvation of the lost.
when God’s people get together with other believers and the conversation is primarily about the news, weather, and sports, rather than the Lord.
when church services are predictable and “business as usual.”
when believers can be at odds with each other and not feel compelled to pursue reconciliation.
when Christian husbands and wives are not praying together.
when our marriages are co-existing rather than full of the love of Christ.
when our children are growing up to adopt worldly values, secular philosophies, and ungodly lifestyles.
when we are more concerned about our children’s education and their athletic activities than about the condition of their souls.
when sin in the church is pushed under the carpet.
when known sin is not dealt with through the biblical process of discipline and restoration.
when we tolerate “little” sins of gossip, a critical spirit, and lack of love.
when we will watch things on television and movies that are not holy.
when our singing is half-hearted and our worship lifeless.
when our prayers are empty words designed to impress others.
when our prayers lack fervency.
when our hearts are cold and our eyes are dry.
when we aren’t seeing regular evidence of the supernatural power of God.
when we have ceased to weep and mourn and grieve over our own sin and the sin of others.
when we are content to live with explainable, ordinary Christianity and church services.
when we are bored with worship.
when people have to be entertained to be drawn to church.
when our music and dress become patterned after the world.
when we start fitting into and adapting to the world, rather than calling the world to adapt to God’s standards of holiness.
when we don’t long for the company and fellowship of God’s people.
when people have to be begged to give and to serve in the church.
when our giving is measured and calculated, rather than extravagant and sacrificial. . . . when we aren’t seeing lost people drawn to Jesus on a regular basis.
when we aren’t exercising faith and believing God for the impossible.
when we are more concerned about what others think about us than what God thinks about us.
when we are unmoved by the fact that 2.5 billion people in this world have never heard the name of Jesus.
when we are unmoved by the thought of neighbors, business associates, and acquaintances who are lost and without Christ.
when the lost world around us doesn’t know or care that we exist.
when we are making little or no difference in the secular world around us.
when the fire has gone out in our hearts, our marriages, and the church.
when we are blind to the extent of our need and don’t think we need revival.

By Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
© Revive Our Hearts. Used with permission. www.ReviveOurHearts.com

How To Help A Double-Minded Person

Every person has two heads. The human community is a world of two-headed people. James called this double-mindedness. At times we think and act one way, and at other times we think and act another way.

Listen to James talk about this problem.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. – James 1:5-6

James understood human psychology—the study of the soul—and was not surprised when he observed odd behavior from his friends. Of course, being the half-brother of Jesus had to be a plus in his ongoing discipleship training.

Do you know your friends have two heads? Do you know that you’re a human oscillator, moving back and forth from faith to fear and back to faith again? Some days we are standing on the promises of God and other days we feel buried under an avalanche of other things that disrupt our faith.

We can be like the father with the sick boy in Mark 9:24: “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” To varying degrees, we will be “unbelieving believers” until Jesus comes back. Perfect, uninterrupted faith is a great idea, but it is impossible for fallen people because of sin’s encroachments.

One of the reasons for this faith/fear tension is because there are unsavory things in our hearts that connect to our fears. These hidden things are only known by the Lord (Hebrews 4:13). Part of fear’s deception motivates us to hide behind our fig leaves (Genesis 3:7). We are afraid, which prompts us to keep these things from others.

If you don’t have unhindered access to your friends, there will be times when their actions will appear unstable. Their behavior will confuse you when they begin acting in strange ways. There are two conditions that contribute to this kind of behavior.

  1. Your friend has not been open about his (or her) life because they are afraid to be that open to you.
  2. You have not been intrusive enough because you do not understand this aspect of human psychology, or you do not care enough–for whatever reason–to dig deeper into their lives.

James is instructing us about the possibilities of a “another life” that exists inside of us—a manifestation of a fear-based person, and what can happen when fear controls our hearts. This problem is why our behavior moves from stability to instability. Let me illustrate with a case study. 

The Silent Churn Of the Soul

Mable married Biff twenty-one years ago. Biff has had an anger problem for most of those years. He has a selfish ideal of how life should go and when it does not go according to “his gospel,” he reacts with anger.

Sometimes he would be volatile and accusative. Other times he would sulk like Ahab, manipulating the situation through his silence (1 Kings 21:5). He has trained Mable well. She learned the ropes early, knowing when to speak and when not to speak.

Biff has been mostly unaware of what has been going on in Mable’s heart. From his perspective, she was fine as long as she was not demanding too much from him. What he did not perceive was Mable building a secret world in her heart that she wrapped with fear.

Initially, Mable’s secret world was mostly about her fear–she was afraid of Biff. But as the marriage progressed and his anger continued unabated, her fear metastasized into bitterness, frustration, hopelessness, unforgiveness, regret, jealously and hurt.

These were soul-diminishing combinations for Mable, who had no portals to find help. She lost herself in women’s ministry, but ministry is not a sanctification solution for a troubled marriage. Ignoring a problem by working harder for the Lord does not work.

A prison of silence had incarcerated Mable, and it was churning in her soul. Then, with seemingly no provocation and to Biff’s complete surprise, she went off the deep end, exploding at Biff just before she walked out the door for the last time.

The Unexplored Wife

Biff sat in my office dumbfounded. From his perspective, the marriage was good, though not fabulous. He worked hard. He provided for his family. They lived in the best neighborhood and lacked for virtually nothing.

He was genuinely perplexed by her behavior. He was even more overwhelmed by her emails that laid out what seemed to be everything she had thought but never said for the past two decades. Biff said,

I have no idea who this woman is. It’s like she has two heads. We have been married for more than twenty years, and now I believe that I married a stranger.

He is right. He does not know Mable. He has made little effort to understand her beyond getting a handle on her “love languages.” He gave her what she wanted, but could not provide what she needed.

His attempts to care for his wife never went beyond behavioral modification or his commitment to himself to do better, which always ran out of gas. He understood her as much as he wanted to and if there were things that would challenge his need to do soul care, he would not delve deeper with Mable.

Biff “loved” his wife but being caught in his sin of anger, coupled with her sin of “double-minded fear,” things were overly complicated for their marriage to survive. Their relationship gives a more profound and nuanced meaning to Peter’s appeal:

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. – 1 Peter 3:7

Living Oscillators

Warning – This case study is a theological and psychological study about how fear morphs into other sin patterns that perpetuate dysfunction in relationships.

It is not a discussion about blame, especially placing primary responsibility on Mable for the demise of their marriage. The point of this piece is to help identify what happens in our hearts if we don’t bring our fears into the light, and proper soul care happens.

James implies we all have the propensity not to trust God fully. He says when doubt comes, our behavior will move toward instability. This problem is the human condition that Adam and Eve gifted to us (Romans 5:12).

Mable was not sanctified entirely, and Biff’s anger exposed her hidden fears. It was a silent and vicious cycle in their lives. Biff would bark, and Mable would cower. Mable had much more awareness of what was happening to her, but she was afraid to entreat her husband, obviously.

She was lost somewhere between faith and fear with no one to care for her. Biff was mostly oblivious and unqualified, and her community did not know what was happening inside their home. Biff had the opportunity and privilege to understand his wife, but he not only fell on the job, but he complicated an already complicated soul.

He rolled through his home large and in charge and Mable learned to toe the line, trying to keep him happy, while silently longing for Biff to love her well. There was only so much silence her soul could contain before it overflowed into shocking behavior.

Tips For the Two-Headed Person

Because Mable is an illustration of all of us, here are two things to think about when you are tempted to go into your two-headed-mode.

1 – You Cannot Live Like This – It is impossible to live in an ongoing suspension between fear and faith without it negatively affecting your soul. Mable is a typical example of a person stuck in this tension.

There was a truth she perceived about her life and marriage, but she was not correctly appropriating the grace the Lord provides. She was understandably afraid of her husband. She was unwittingly pressing the truth she knew further down into her soul (James 4:17). Paul talked about this.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. – Romans 1:18

This verse sounds harsh when applied to someone like Mable, who is a victim of her husband’s anger. I do not mean it harshly, but theologically. Carefully unpack what Paul is saying. The Lord is in opposition to anyone who will not reach out for His truth in their time of need but chooses to suppress the truth while doing things their way.

If you humble yourself and trust His way through the process, He will provide favor. If you do not follow His way through the process, He will provide opposition (James 4:6). Now go back to what James was saying. If you are in need of God’s wisdom, do not suppress it out of your life by not seeking it, while clinging to your way of fixing your problems. Your approach will lead to death (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25).

Mable was doing what James said not to do, and she was experiencing a slow death by a thousand paper cuts. It first began as fear. Rather than seeking the Lord’s wisdom, she suppressed her fear. What she did not know was how her fear was going to metastasize.

As the years went by, a host of other sins began to attach themselves to her soul. In time, this became more than she could endure. Even in the end, she did not seek the Lord’s wisdom but chose to leave her marriage.

2 – You Must Get Help – James says if you lack wisdom, you must ask for it. This juncture is a crucial point: how do you find wisdom? Some individuals teach all you have to do is pray. That will not work well because that is not the Lord’s full mind on how wisdom comes to us.

The Lord has provided several means for us to access His wisdom. Prayer is essential, no doubt. Then there is the Word of God. We also have the illuminating power of the Spirit of God. Lastly, we have the community of God. There are four elements involved in asking for wisdom:

  1. You must do something.
  2. The Spirit must do something.
  3. The Word must do something.
  4. God’s people must do something.

The Lord has placed counter-measures that have checks and balances to make sure we have His pure wisdom. This multi-perspective approach keeps us from going into the ditches of foolish behavior.

  1. If you act on your own, there will be temptations of self-deception and self-reliance.
  2. If you are “Spirit-centered” without the counter-balance of God’s Word and God’s people, you’ll land in subjectivism.
  3. If you only use God’s Word, you may misunderstand and misapply it.
  4. If you access the community of faith alone, the advice may not be Spirit-illuminated or Bible-based.

The wisdom of the Lord is needful, but you must access it comprehensively. What Mable needed to do was drive a stake down in her marriage. Like Gandalf telling the fiery beast you will go no farther, she should have done similarly.

Call to Action

She could respond to Biff with love, grace, and the permission of the Lord. Yes, she is called to submit, but the Lord does not expect her to be a doormat. By not “sending up a flare” regarding their awful marriage, Mable was not “loving” her husband biblically; sin had caught Biff in a trap (cf. Galatians 6:1-2). If this is you, here are six things to consider.

  1. You must determine that you’re going to seek the wisdom of the Lord.
  2. You must use all the “means of grace” available to you to keep you centered in God’s wisdom.
  3. You must try to talk to your husband, incrementally revealing what is going on in your heart. (This point assumes that he’s mature enough to handle your truth. If he is not, you must find help outside of your marriage.)
  4. You must secure a safe context where you can share what is going on in your heart, revealing your innermost thoughts.
  5. If he refuses to get help, you must continue to trust the Lord by seeking wisdom from others on how to live in your marriage.
  6. You must find ongoing care because the temptation to oscillate between fear and faith will be active.

Like Aaron and Hur holding up the arms of Moses, you will need support from competent friends (Exodus 17:12). You cannot go back into the prison of your marriage without help because you will default to the “habituation to fear” and all its accompanying and unwanted enemies of your soul.

As you continue to trust the Lord by fighting for your soul and your marriage, you may need to access the protective and authoritative care of your local church. If your relationship regresses, the church must become your covering and your voice.

source: rickthomas.net

Drapes on the Cross

The cross is draped in purple (the color of royalty) on Palm Sunday, the day Christ entered Jerusalem as King riding a donkey. Jesus is indeed the King of the Jews, but much more, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

The cross is draped in black on Good Friday, representing the death of Christ on the cross for our sins.

The cross is draped in white on Easter Sunday, representing the resurrection of Christ.


Easter Program

Join us at 6:00pm on March 25th for a wonderful Easter Program.  Yahweh: Jesus is Coming is a story that will touch your heart.  Save the date!

Abuse, Suffering, and Other Painful Disappointments

When I went through the most challenging time of my life, the Lord taught me many things that formed a “theology of suffering” that changed how I thought about God, myself, and others.

Each abuse is different, and mind is not like yours, but from a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and soul-discomfiting point of view, it is similar. The disappointment is thick, the anger can be all-consuming, the bitterness seeks to creep in, and the process out of it is slow, tedious, and sometimes maddening.

But as you have already experienced to some degree, and are experiencing in an ongoing way, God was there at the beginning of your disappointment (Genesis 39:2), and He is there now (Hebrews 13:8). The Lord is answering one of your most prolonged and most desired prayers, though not in a way that you ever wanted or anticipated.

That prayer is your heart’s desire to look like Jesus. All Christians want to be Christlike, though, sadly, the process to that good end is usually not how we expected or wanted. But the benefit of Christ-transformation is life-changing. Paul asked for it this way:

That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:10

You’re living out that prayer now. You are learning more about Jesus through the things that you are suffering.

Suffering’s Benefit
The good news is that as you continue to persevere in your suffering, you will mature through it. The gifts that will be yours are impossible to explain or appreciate fully.

Our ministry is an outward manifestation of God’s gift to me (Philippians 1:29). Most of those “gifts of suffering” are internal and heart transforming. Here are a few examples.

You are developing a maturing peace (Philippians 4:7).
You are less wound up about many things, not sweating the smaller things (1 Corinthians 13:5).
It’s becoming easier to empathize with others (Hebrews 13:3).
You may have more tears than you did in the past (John 11:35).
There are fewer enticements toward the things of the world (James 1:14-15).
You have a more significant passion for helping others (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Reflective Tip
If you happen to be a writer, please give yourself to journaling your thoughts. I began journaling in 1994, and it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. My “journal thoughts” formed the basis for our ministry.

If writing is not your thing, find a friend that you can talk through what the Lord is working into you (Philippians 2:12-13)

Mile Markers
Fight tenaciously for any sin that is yours, which is the heart of Matthew 7:3-5. Those humble acknowledgments may be a few “mile markers” down the road, but you must go there.

Without owning things that are not yours, being honest about your role in life’s disappointments is part of the process when working through the Lord’s gift of suffering (Peter 2:21).

Another mile marker, though just as hard, is to pity those who have hurt you (Psalm 103:13-14). I’m not saying that you forgive them; you can’t do that until they ask you, but you can pity them because they are in a worse condition than they probably know.

To own your sin and to have pity on those who have hurt you does not negate the abuse, and it is not a sign of weakness (1 Corinthians 1:25) or a call to submit to more suffering.

What it is though, is a sign of Christian maturity, God-given humility, and biblical clarity (1 Corinthians 2:14). Similar to Joseph in Genesis 50:20, he learned God’s purpose in the pain while not submitting to the control of others.

And then there is another more subtle form of abuse that happens to individuals like us, which may take a while to perceive. At least it took me a while to recognize.

Long after the abusive person leaves, the abused begins to reflect back on what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and a thousand other ancillary thoughts and questions that come to the mind.

This problem is especially acute for reflective thinkers. If you’re not careful, bitterness can creep in through regret, anger, missed opportunities, a realization of personal failure, a desire for a redo, or a wish that you never met the abuser.

Some of this reflection is vital to sort it all out, but the more subtle form of the “backward glance” is that it can turn to bitterness. Bitterness is “self-inflicted abuse” that comes through the revisiting of past disappointments without a redemptive grid in which to filter what has happened to you.

May the Lord give you the clarity and wisdom you need to be able to look back so you can benefit while shrugging off any temptation to blame yourself or be bitter (Hebrews 12:15).

Most of the time a person rarely perceives the bitterness until years later. I noticed mine when I went back to read my journals, and then I exclaimed,

Oh, my! I was so bitter when I was going through that. I never saw it.

Find a Friend
This problem is where a loving community can be one of your best allies. Surrounding yourself with good companions is a non-negotiable when going through some of the more challenging disappointments in life (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Source: rickthomas.net


Greetings in Christ!
I hope you have been enjoying the sermon series, “PMGF” and that you have found them helpful. The theme is stewardship, with the encouragement to help us look at our lives from different perspectives to see how we can improve our service to Christ and relationship to our fellow believer.

Once again, the sermon series titled “PMGF.”
The first sermon was titled “PMGF”. It is the title of the sermon series and the first sermon of a total of 11 sermons.
“PMGF” helps me understand how important it is to “Put My God First.”

Here’s what we have preached thus far:
The first sermon title was also the title for our sermon series:
“PMGF”, which means “Putting My God First”
This sermon was followed with these sermon titles and topics:
“GGTP” – Giving God the Preeminence.
“LLTL” – Love like the LORD.
“OTHS” – Obey the Holy Spirit.
“RMGP” – Realizing My God-given Potential
“ISGH” – Improve Spiritual Growth Habits

Keep in mind, that the first letter of each sermon title also will spell out an acrostic when we are finished with the sermon series. I hope you have been with us from the beginning. Five more sermons to come, and then the Big Acrostic Reveal!

Can you already make out what the final Acrostic is? Take a guess or two and get back to me.

This coming Sunday, February 25, the sermon title is “FOYV”

Do you know what “FOYV” stands for?
Let me hear from you as to your guesses, I would like to share them with the church, your name will remain anonymous.

I hope to see you in services this week at Immanuel Baptist Church.

Remember, this Sunday evening is the AWANA Grand Prix. This will be held during the 6:00 PM service over in the Activity Building.

Pastor Taylor

Four Basic Habits for the Christian Life

Habit #1: Reading the Bible
The Bible is inspired by God and authoritative for our lives. But we need to understand the Bible for ourselves, so that requires the basic habit of Bible study and reading.

Habit #2: Praying
The Christian life is more than a religion, it is a relationship with a personal God. Just like any relationship, communication is essential. That is what the habit of prayer is all about. We need to pray daily.

Habit #3: Giving
The Christian life is not only about what we can get. The most mature Christians are givers. We can give our time, our talent, and our treasure.

Habit #4: Mentoring
Jesus called every disciple to make disciples. Mentoring (disciple-making) as a Christian is as easy as helping someone discover the truth of God’s Word and inviting them to live it out in their everyday lives.

Coming Sunday…ISGH

“ISGH” is the sermon title for this coming Sunday, February 18, 2018, at the 10:30 AM service.

Here’s a reminder of the new sermon series titled “PMGF.”

The first sermon was titled “PMGF”. It is the title of the sermon series and the first sermon of a total of 11 sermons.

“PMGF” helps me understand how important it is to “Put My God First.”

So far, we have preached 5 sermons into the series, “PMGF”, Putting My God First.

Here’s what we have preached thus far:

The first sermon title was also the title for our sermon series:

“PMGF”, which means “Putting My God First”

This sermon was followed with these sermon titles and topics:

“GGTP”, Giving God the Preeminence.

“LLTL”, Love like the LORD.

“OTHS”, Obey the Holy Spirit.

Realizing My God-given Potential

This coming Sunday, the sermon title is “ISGH” 

Keep in mind, that the first letter of each sermon title also will spell out an acrostic when we are finished with the sermon series. I hope you have been with us from the beginning. Six more sermons to come, and then the Big Acrostic Reveal!

Do you know what “ISGH” stands for? Make a couple of guesses and let me know what you come up with. I may read your suggestions to our congregation.

Remember, there is no substitute for being at the services in person, we miss your fellowship. Please attend faithfully and take full advantage of the beautiful church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Baptist Church, (Hebrews 10:25).

Make a commitment to give your whole life to Jesus and learn to be a faithful steward of the blessings God has bestowed upon you, (1 Corinthians 4:1-2.

I hope to see you in services this week at Immanuel Baptist Church.

Pastor Taylor

How Can We Love Like Jesus Commands?

When a lawyer asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest, He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37, 39). What an overwhelming assignment!

In our own strength, none of us can live up to this obligation, but the Lord has provided a way for Christians to do the impossible. The indwelling Holy Spirit works to produce His fruit in us, and first on the list is love (Galatians 5:22). In fact, the other eight qualities are really just descriptions of its expression.

Whenever we demonstrate kindness, patience, or gentleness, we see the Lord’s love at work through us, especially when the other person has been unkind and doesn’t deserve such pleasant treatment. This fruit is not produced by trying harder to muster good will toward someone who is irritating or hard to get along with. Instead, think of the process more like sap running through a branch on a grape-vine. The branch doesn’t make grapes; the sap does. In the same way, the Spirit flows through us, producing God’s love in us, so that we can pass it on to Him and others.

Agape love is the reason we are able to care for someone who mistreats us—it’s God’s doing, not ours. Even the adoration we offer the Lord is not something that we can produce in our own heart apart from His assistance. Though the command to love is enormous,God’s grace makes it possible.

Taken from “Impossible Love Made Possible” by In Touch Ministries.

“RMGP” is Coming!


Sunday, February 11, 2018

10:30 AM service.

Thanks everyone for tuning in and watching. We are now 4 sermons into the series, “PMGF”, Putting My God First.

Remember, the first letter of each sermon title also will spell out an acrostic when we are finished.

We have thus far preached on the following sermons:

“GGTP” Giving God the Preeminence.

“LLTL” Love like the LORD.

“OTHS”, Obey the Holy Spirit.

I hope you have been with us from the beginning.

Seven more sermons to come, and then the Big Acrostic Reveal!

This coming Sunday, the sermon title is “RMGP”

Keep guessing.

I hope to see you in services this week at Immanuel Baptist Church.

Pastor Taylor