Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

With a few other Providence Church lads, I got to see/hear Tim Keller recently. He spoke to the "Character & Marks of Revival (or Spiritual Renewal)".

For your edification and spiritual renewal, I share some of my notes.

Definition: Revival - an intensification of the ordinary operations of the Holy Spirit in the life of our people; ordinary operations of the Holy Spirit greatly intensified in a church

What happens practically in revival?
  1. Sleepy Christians wake up (repentance)
  2. Nominal Christians get converted
  3. Secular/skeptical people get attracted to the church (as the hypocrisy departs)
Means of inducing/promoting revival:
(Prepare for fire of God, but don't presume it. These things don't necessarily cause revival, but accompany it and it's manifestation is accompanied by the following.)
  1. Extraordinary prayer (kingdom centered, corporate, prevailing, for city & selves, repenting, and seeking His anointing & renewal)
  2. Recovery of the Gospel (cf. Phil 3:9)
  3. Formal and informal spiritual leaders, changed/transformed by the Spirit of God and visibly so (e.g., Fruit of the Spirit)
  4. Places where people can discuss and process their experiences, "experience meetings"
  5. Creativity - getting the Gospel out to people in a new way (some unique factor, like George Whitefield preaching outdoors, but what works in one revival probably doesn't in another)
Keller contends that normally a church will prioritize and do well in one of the following areas, with other churches doing well in the neglected ones. But, in times of revival, a church will prioritize and highly function in each of these five areas.

Per Dr. Richard Lovelace, a church in the midst of revival will have the following:
  • Theological Depth
  • Vibrant Worship
  • Intimate Community & Fellowship
  • Aggressive, Assertive Evangelism
  • Compassion Social Concern & Social Justice
When revival is not in a town, different churches/denominations might have one of the above "vitamins" (to the neglect of the others), "and we throw bricks at the other denominations because they don't have our vitamin." When revival comes, those churches tend to look more alike because they combine those things and more are present. (That church will probably now look different than others in that denomination in some ways.)

John Newton: "Thou art coming to a king, large petitions with thee bring, for His grace and power are such, none can ever ask too much."

"You're not asking for enough. I can tell you, you're not asking for enough. He is both rich and generous and you will show Him [you regard Him as such] by being bold in prayer."

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