Kern County Raceway Park
March 28, 2015
“Reflections About Easter”
Bob ♥ Kathy Butcher are the MROA Chaplains / Pastors to:
NASCAR K & N Pro Series West
Easter, …or “Resurrection Day” as I call it and like far better is far and above the most important day in human history and worthy of reflection.
Since it is next weekend and we will not be together for church; allow me to briefly offer you the following reflections to ponder upon this next week.
Let me ask you this first: Have you ever heard of; or studied into the history of Revivals? I have been intrigued since I first heard of them. A Revival in its truest sense reminds me of Easter in its fullest resurrection power. A definition of a Revival is: “a return to, recovery from spiritual death or disinterest, or being recalled or re-awakened to a renewed and active attention to the things of God or Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“I read about revivals of the past, great sweeping revivals where thousands of men and women were swept into the Kingdom of God. I read about Charles G. Finney winning his hundreds of thousands of souls to Christ. Then I read the messages of Charles G. Finney and the message of Jonathan Edwards book ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,’ and I said, ‘No wonder people trembled; no wonder they fell at the altars, laid prostrate in the street mud outside the bars and cried out in repentance and sobbed their way to the throne of grace!’ – Leonard Ravenhill/ & my re-wording to clarify.
“Revival is a renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one’s will to God in deep humility.” – Charles Finney (1792 – 1875)
“Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that He shows Himself”. – Leonard Ravenhill (1907 – 1994)
I want you to note that a Revival almost always begins with His church.
“Sinned as we have as a nation, yet to our sin we have added pride in our getting away with our sinning. The world has lost the power to blush over its sinful and evil vices while the church has lost its power to weep over it.” – Leonard Ravenhill/ & my re-wording to clarify.
At the track chapel service I will share about a famous Revival that happened in my home town area of Rochester, NY back in 1830-31 and 1842. “…and NO, I wasn’t there, but it is well documented.” Also, since I am Welsh; I have been immensely interested in the Welsh Revival in 1904 and have comments about that one also. (God’s human instruments were Finney in Rochester & Evan Roberts in Wales) *** See Notes on these Revivals at end
Obviously you will begin to notice I’ve taken a different slant on an Easter message, but without the power of the Cross, the sacrifice made by God, there would be no Revivals like have happened throughout history.
“The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ came to do three things. He came to have my past forgiven, you get a purpose for living and a home in Heaven.” – Rick Warren – Sr. Pastor, Saddleback Church
Jesus resurrection means He has the power now to convey His life to you and me. His destiny through His resurrection was to bring many of us into Glory by making us sons and daughters of God. When He arose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life, to a life He did not live or had experienced before He was incarnate (or clothed Himself in flesh). Jesus resurrection means for us that we will be raised to His risen life, not to our old life. While one day we will have a body like His, right here and now we can know the power of His resurrection and walk in newness of life if we obey Him. In effect “walking in the Holy Spirit” is the experimental name for Eternal Life working in human beings here and now. How about if I said we can experience driving the “prototype” of our Eternal Life right here and now? Would that make it clearer? The Apostle Paul writes to the Philippians 3 verse 10: “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty resurrection power that raised him from the dead…” and the Apostle Paul consistently exhorted us to live as he did.
Then, Paul writes to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25: “The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation. (He still does today also)
While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified One, …Jesus. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God Himself,—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so cheap and tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness and is totally out of gas.” (in today’s lingo)
So Why do we need revival today? Here’s what Charles Finney said that still works today: “It presupposes that the church is sunk down in a backslidden state, and a revival consists in the return of the church from her backslidings, and in the conversion of sinners.
· A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the church
· Backslidden Christians will be brought to repentance. A revival of God is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.
· Christians will have their faith renewed. They will be filled with tender and burning love for souls…especially the lost without Christ
· A revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians,
· When churches are thus awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow.” Charles Grandison Finney,
So please ponder the above quotes concerning Revival. As you do remember Revival is …personal, …for the Church first, …a city, state, nation, and worldwide… and we live in these!
So, why the church first, you ask? Well, consider what Ezra wrote in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Hey, God had to have people who already knew Him to have humans to send them too. Besides that, we are far more responsible for our actions in every way than the “rookies in the faith.” All of us here at the track ought to know how valuable it is to have a legend to teach the rookies! It’s the same with God. He cleans us up and then uses us to teach
Easter is about Resurrection. Revival is also! The church today needs one. America needs one. Each one of us likely does also! It takes prayer PLUS obedience to God to get one. Here’s what A.W. Tozer says about that.
“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.” – A. W. Tozer (1897 – 1963)
In closing as an FYI: Do you know Kathy & I always ask for Revival to come as we walk & pray on each track throughout our 19 years. I cannot ever remember not asking God to start a Revival that day. Join us this Easter. Begin a new commitment to both obedience & prayer in 2015.
***Welsh Revival Note:
IT was in 1904. All Wales was aflame. The nation had drifted far from God. The spiritual conditions were low indeed. Church attendance was poor. And sin abounded on every side.
Suddenly, like an unexpected tornado. the Spirit of God swept over the land. The Churches were crowded so that multitudes were unable to get in. Meetings lasted from ten in the morning until twelve at night. Three definite services were held each day. Evan Roberts was the human instrument, but there was very little preaching. Singing, testimony, and prayer, were the chief features. There were no hymn books; they had learnt the hymns in childhood. No choir, for everybody sang. No collection; and no advertising.
Nothing had ever come over Wales with such far-reaching results. Infidels were converted, drunkards, thieves, and gamblers saved; and thousands reclaimed to respectability. Confessions of awful sins were heard on every side. Old debts were paid. The theatre had to leave for want of patronage. Mules in the coal mines refused to work, being unused to kindness. In five weeks 20,000 joined the Churches.
Rochester, NY Revival in 1830: Here is Charles Finney’s Autobiography on the subject:
Here is a Bible Scripture resource list on REVIVALS:
RELIGIOUS – Zecheriah 8:20-23
Prayer for Revival: – Habakkuk 3:2
Prophecies concerning Revival: – Isaiah 32:15; Joel 2:28; Micah 4:1-8; Habakuk 3:2
INSTANCES OF REVIVALS HAPPENING
Under Joshua: – Joshua 5:2-9
Under Samuel: – 1Samuel 7:1-6
Under Elijah: – 1Kings 18:17-40
Under Jehoash and Jehoiada: – 2Kings 11; 12; 2Chronicles 23; 24
Under Hezekiah: – 2Kings 18:1-7; 2Chronicles 29; 30; 31
Under Josiah: – 2Kings 22; 23; 2Chronicles 34; 35
Under Asa: – 2Chronicles 14:2-5; 15:1-14
Under Manasseh: – 2Chronicles 33:12-19
In Nineveh – Jonah 3:4-10
At Pentecost, and times after Pentecost
– Acts 2:1-42,46,47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 9:35; 11:20,21; 12:24; 14:1