This Week: Revival
Text: 2 Kings 22 & 23
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Sermon in a Sentence: Revival comes to the Christ Follower that returns to God’s presence, responds to God’s Word in Repentance and Reignites his/her passion for serving God.
- The story of young King Josiah is a model for how revival can come.
- Josiah was 8 years old when he took the throne.
- His Grandfather and Father were wicked and led the people away from God’s Word and His ways.
- At 16, Josiah begins turning his heart back toward God and begins a process of reformation throughout the country.
- 10 years later, while making repairs to the temple, a “book” is discovered.
- Josiah’s spiritual revival gives us a process or framework for experiencing it ourselves:
- Return to God’s Presence.
- In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a youth, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David…2 Chr. 34:3
- Revival can begin when one person fully turns their heart back toward God. When one person begins to SEEK God – to look for him again – to chase after him again.
- Josiah was just 16 years old when the kindling of revival fire began. Revival can start with one person willing to seek God with their whole heart, regardless of how old and wise or young and inexperienced they might be.
- Rediscover the Truth of God’s Word
- Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the LORD’s Temple!” 2 Kings 22:8
- Could it be that the reason the nation of Judah had gotten so far removed from God’s presence was because they had gotten so far removed from His word?
- If you’re unsure of why you haven’t had the fire of God burning within you, if you’ve not been confident in your faith and in your witness and in your love for others, if you’re in need of revival, then one question might be, Do you still have a passion for God’s Word? Or is God’s Word lost to you? Is it collecting dust somewhere on a shelf? Have you forgotten what it says?
- Repent for Your Wandering.
- When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. 2 Kings 22:10-11
- Tearing one’s clothes was a tradition most often related to mourning at the loss of a loved one. Some traditions say the clothes should be torn over the heart as a powerful and public sign of a broken heart.
- That Josiah would respond in this way to the reading of God’s word is truly a sign of humility and awesome sorrow.
- “Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the LORD your God…” Joel 2:13
- Repentance is always a part of the story when revival comes. Repentance can only come when we take a deep and honest look into our lives and realize how disoriented we are to God’s ways.
- Recommit to Living by God’s Design.
- “Next, the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant in the LORD’s presence to follow the LORD and to keep his commands, his decrees, and his statutes with all his heart and with all his soul in order to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book; all the people agreed to the covenant.” 2 Kings 23:3
- God has a design for our lives. It is first rooted in his commands, his decrees, and his statutes. If we don’t know God’s Word or we choose to ignore it, we make up our own rules as we go along through life based on what we want and how we feel.
- Jesus boiled the entire law down to two fundamental truths: Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Love God. Love People.We are to live our lives rightly related to God and rightly related to others.
- It’s clearly not enough to simply say you’re sorry. True repentance leads to true life change.
- Josiah “made a covenant in the LORD’s presence.” This is not just a decision within yourself to “do better.” This is a covenant you’re making with God himself – to make a resolution to walk away from a life rooted in selfishness & to live by God’s Royal Law of Love.
- Rekindle Your Passion for Serving God.
- ”Before him there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength according to all the law of Moses, and no one like him arose after him.” 2 Kings 23:25
- Josiah didn’t just make an emotional decision during an altar call one day. No, his passion for God only grew. Josiah became a God Chaser for the rest of his life.
- Paul connects our decision to follow Christ with our emotions – to be zealous for God, which means to have great energy and enthusiasm. And then he connects that zeal to service.
- Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Romans 12:11 MSG
- Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Romans 12:11 CSB
- Essentially, what Paul is saying is that our consistent and passionate pursuit of God, which manifests in service, is what fans the flame, keeps the fire burning within us.
- “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16
- What does your spiritual thermometer say right now? Is it hot? Is it cold? Or even worse, is it lukewarm?
- Let’s stoke the flames! Let the fire of God burn within us. Let’s rekindle our passion for serving God. Let it be said that no one who ever came before or after turned to the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength like us!