Revival. The word itself holds a certain allure and mystery. But what does it truly mean? To delve into the essence of revival, we must first understand the concept from a theological standpoint. Revival, in its simplest form, refers to a spiritual awakening or a renewed fervor in one’s faith. It is a time when the Holy Spirit moves in extraordinary ways, bringing the truths of Scripture to bear upon our souls in unusual and fascinating ways.

The Ordinary Means of Grace: God’s Continuous Work

Before we explore the extraordinary aspects of revival, it is crucial to acknowledge that God is constantly at work through His ordinary means of grace. These include the systematic preaching of the gospel, the fellowship of the Saints, and the witnessing of the gospel through evangelism. These ordinary means are the foundation of our faith, and God works through them every day, drawing people to Himself and transforming lives.

Extraordinary Moves of the Holy Spirit

While the ordinary means of grace are essential, history has shown us that there are moments when the Holy Spirit moves in extraordinary ways. These revivals, as seen throughout the New Testament and even in historical events like the revival in Denver, bring about an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that leads to a significant influx of new believers or a refreshing of faith in those who already follow Christ.

Jonah’s Revival: Preaching the Gospel with Boldness

In the book of Jonah, we witness a remarkable revival. Jonah, initially reluctant to preach to the people of Nineveh, eventually proclaims a message of impending judgment. Surprisingly, the people of Nineveh respond by turning away from their sinful ways, and God saves 40,000 souls. This revival exemplifies how the Holy Spirit can work through a bold proclamation of the gospel to bring about a profound transformation in hearts and lives.

The Early Church: Peter’s Sermon and the Power of the Holy Spirit

Another powerful example of revival is found in the early church. In the book of Acts, we read about Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, where he boldly proclaims the message of Jesus Christ. As a result, 3,000 individuals come to faith and join the church on that very day. This extraordinary move of the Holy Spirit demonstrates the impact of preaching the gospel with power and conviction.

Rediscovering Revival Today

So, what does revival mean for us today? As we seek to understand revival and its relevance in our lives and churches, we must remember Martin Lloyd-Jones’ profound insight: “Revival begins when the Holy Spirit awakens sluggish believers.” This statement reminds us that revival is not merely an external event; it starts within the hearts of those who already know the truth of the gospel.

Reviving the Church: Refreshing the Commitment to Christ

Revival begins by reigniting the fire within believers. It is a reminder of the life we already have in Christ and a call to renewed commitment. When those who are already saved experience a revival within their own hearts, it becomes infectious. The joy and transformation they experience become a powerful witness to those who have yet to find salvation in Jesus.

The Power of Kindness and Gentleness

In our pursuit of revival, it is crucial to reflect on the characteristics of early Christianity that captivated the Roman Empire. It was not their biblical exegesis or their power that won people over; it was their kindness and gentleness, even in the face of persecution and mockery. Today, as we witness a rapidly decreasing morality in our society, we must take a closer look at the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.

The Lost Fruit of the Spirit

In the present cultural climate, where morality seems to be on the decline, we must rediscover the lost fruit of the Spirit. These virtues are what set early Christians apart and won the hearts of those living in a morally bankrupt society. The world needs to see the kindness and gentleness of Jesus Christ manifested in our lives. It is through these qualities that we can truly impact and win over a broken and hurting world.

The Power of Kindness and Gentleness

Kindness and gentleness are often underestimated in our daily interactions. However, they hold immense power in drawing people to Christ. When we respond with grace and compassion, even in the face of adversity, we demonstrate the transformative power of the gospel. Kindness and gentleness create an environment where people feel safe, loved, and accepted, which opens the door for them to encounter Jesus.

Reviving the World: Demonstrating God’s Kindness

As we seek revival in our churches, it is essential to remember that our ultimate aim is not merely to revitalize our own faith but to reach out and impact the world around us. We must show the world that God is kind and gentle and that His arms are open wide to receive all who come to Him. In a world marked by division and hostility, the kindness and gentleness of Jesus can be a beacon of hope and healing.

Embracing Revival: The Path Forward

In conclusion, revival is not a distant concept reserved for the pages of history. It is a living reality that we can experience today. As we invest in seeking the face of God and embracing the ordinary means of grace, we position ourselves for the extraordinary moves of the Holy Spirit. Revival begins with a renewed passion within the hearts of believers, leading to a fresh commitment to Christ and a demonstration of His kindness and gentleness to the world.

Let us enter into this season of revival with anticipation and expectation, knowing that as we are refreshed in our faith, we become a powerful witness to those who are searching for something greater. May the kindness and gentleness of Jesus flow through us, impacting lives and transforming the world around us. The revival we long for can be sparked by a simple act of kindness or a gentle word spoken in love. Let us be the catalysts for revival in our churches, communities, and beyond.

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