Quarter’s Theme:REVIVAL IN THE CHURCH
Unit 1 Theme: The Necessity Of Revival (Lessons 1-6)
22/6/2014 LESSON 4
WHAT ACCOMPANIES TRUE REVIVAL
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 147, 150
Devotional Reading: ISA. 40:27-31
Topic For Adults
THE AFTERMATH OF REVIVAL
Topic For Youths
AFTER REVIVAL, THEN WHAT?
NEH. 8:1-8, 13-18, 9:1-3, 13:1-3; PS. 119:113; COL. 3:1-3
Memory verse: Will You not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You?
Ps. 85:6 (NKJV)
DAILY BIBLE READING
Commitment To Serve God
When the Church lacks revival, it is always difficult to mobilize the congregation to work for God. The Church members will focus more on their personal needs and procrastinate working for God till a more convenient time. Members will find it difficult to give towards the work of God and will rationalise that giving should be left to those who are rich and are more comfortable. Revival stirs up people to want to see God’s work progress. It goes beyond financial contribution, it also affects readiness to serve God with one’s time, energy and other resources. But when there is no revival, members are reluctant to serve God; and as a repercussion, the heavens are closed against them.
Point of Emphasis: The Lord stirred up the spirit of the people and they came and worked on the house of The Lord.
Prayer Point: Father, give us the willing spirit to work for You.
To revive is to rejuvenate or resuscitate or bring back to life that which was
originally living but now dead or in comatose. Revival could be physically: a
business venture can be revived; a nation’s economy can be revived; as well as the spiritual life of an individual or a Church. The Jewish returnees from the Babylonian exile began to settle down in Jerusalem, starting with the rebuilding of the temple, and reinstitution of the worship of the Almighty God under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra (Ezra 3: 11). Revival often begins with a discovery. In retrospection, the southern parts of the nation of Israel (Judah) discovered the book of the Law during the refurbishment of the temple in the 18th year of Josiah’s reign, shortly before the Babylonian exile, which led to a monumental revival (2 Kgs. 22:8, 23:1-3, 21-23). The reunion with one another and particularly with God’s word during the time of Nehemiah, which they were not privileged to read or be read to during the captivity, brought joy and revival. This culminated into worship and hunger for the word. The concomitance of the revival that attended the celebration of one of the long-forgotten institution – the feast of Tabernacles- succinctly depicts the lesson of this week.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
I. HEART FOR WORSHIP – NEH. 8: 1-8
The experience of true revival often leaves the beneficiary with an indelible mark which is characterised by inclined heart for worship in truth and in Spirit. In the above text, after the priest had read the book, it was discovered that they and their forefathers were guilty of breaking God’s commandments. The people were led before God in humility, acknowledging their sins and asked for pardon (2 Chro. 7: 14). God forgave, healed and revived them. The aftermaths of such revival are the reawakening of true worship with the assurance of answered prayers. More of the revival spoils are highlighted below as we take a critical look at Nehemiah 8.
• Unity, oneness and love among brethren. The people gathered as ‘one man’ (vs. 1) – Acts 1:14.
• A life of sacrifice. It was an open gathering ‘on the street’. Obviously, when there is true revival, people will be willing to sacrifice their comforts for God’s worship. There is no worship that’s more than a life of complete sacrifice – Romans 12:1.
• Willingness for service. Everyone who is old enough to hear and understand was present at the meeting. It was a holistic gathering – Psalm 42:1-2, 63:1-3; 110:3.
• Humility. They stood in reverential worship to God from morning till midday paying attention to the reading of the word (vs. 3). Revival will definitely produce humility in a believer’s life.
• Support for the Church leadership. The Bible mentioned that thirteen people stood with Ezra on the pulpit as he read the word; six on his right side and seven on his left side (vs. 4). This signifies complete support to their leader in making sure God’s counsel is established. A revived Church will do no less in supporting the visions of her leaders.
• Worship in reverent fear. The whole congregation stood up in honour of the Author whose word was about to be read (vs. 5, 6). What an awesome presence of God! Matt. 15: 8-9.
• Revival fire will make you to go extra miles. There were facilitators who took it upon themselves to make sure everybody understood what was read (vss. 7, 8).
II. HUNGER FOR THE WORD OF GOD – NEH. 8: 13-18; PSALM 119:113
The people of Nehemiah’s day demonstrated insatiable hunger and thirst for the word of God as they were willing to listen to it over and over again. Indeed, an experience of a true revival should be reflected in our Bible study attendance (Job 23:12). Certainly, a revived soul will be filled with eagerness to know and understand God’s word more each day and also earnestly looking forward to Church meetings.
The children of Israel followed the hearing and the understanding of the law with prompt obedience (vss. 14-18). Otherwise, the privilege of the reunion and discovery of the word will amount to nothing. Believers need to make conscious efforts to adhere to the word of God they read and hear day in day out (James 1:22). The people gathered each day to listen to the reading of the word as long as the feast of Tabernacles lasted; an occasion they made use of (Acts 2:46,5:42).
III. HATRED OF SIN – NEH. 9: 1-3; COL. 3:1-3
The word of God is meant for a change of life. After the hearing and meditation on the word, the children of Israel decided to congregate in sackcloths with fasting. The ancient Jews often used this to show the depth of sorrow and predicament. The word of God brings conviction of and hatred for sin, both in its secret spring and in its public manifestation (1 John 3: 9). The people separated themselves from everything that is ungodly, including marriage relationships with infidels, in order to be committed wholly to God and His word. One of the outcomes of revival is restitution. All that were ungodly contracted were restituted, as encouraged by their leaders. Wisdom is however required, just like in every other issues of life, when believers need to make restitution (Eccl. 10: 10). Church leaders can offer valuable counsel in this regard; so, they need to be contacted. Believers are charged to hate sin with passion (Ps. 97:10).
IV. HOW TO SUSTAIN REVIVAL – NEH. 13: 1-3
Sustaining the fire of revival is as important as the experience. One of the greatest challenges the children of Israel had, including many believers today, was the inability to keep the fire of revival. Some individuals, nations, denominations and Churches have, without doubt, experienced spiritual reawakening in the past but, not only have they lost the fire, there are no ashes left to attest to the experience! In order to sustain revival, however, believers must continue with those things that brought the revival in the first place (Acts 1:14; 2:42, 46, 6:4). They must continue to: (1) humble themselves and acknowledge the awesome presence of God in their lives, (2) steer clear from sin and repent of every omission promptly once convicted by the Holy Spirit, (3) read and meditate on God’s word daily, (4) trust the word with subservient obedience, and (5) pray fervently. 1 Thess. 5: 17.
The joy that accompanies revival often overshadows the trauma of drought time. Believers must therefore strife to keep being revived.
1. What led to true revival in the days of Nehemiah?
2. Summarise the aftermath of revival as highlighted in this lesson.
3. How will the privilege inherent by a revived soul under a true revival be sustained?
4. What is restitution?
5. Why is wisdom required when a believer needs to make restitution?
DEVOTION AU SERVICE DE DIEU
AGGEE 1 :7-15
Quand l’église est privée de réveil, c’est toujours difficile de mobiliser la congrégation pour travailler pour Dieu. Les membres de l’église se concentreront plus sur leurs besoins personnels et atermoieront de travailler pour Dieu jusqu’à un moment qui leur semblerait convenable. Les membres le trouveront si difficile de faire des dons en direction des œuvres de Dieu et raisonneront que faire des dons doit être laissé entre les mains de ceux qui sont nantis et plus confortables. Le réveil incite les gens à vouloir voir l’œuvre de Dieu progresser. Cela va au-delà de la contribution financière, il affecte aussi l’empressement à servir Dieu avec son temps, son énergie et autres ressources. Mais quand il n y a pas de réveil, les membres sont réticents à servir Dieu et comme répercussion, les cieux se ferment contre eux.
Point essentiel : L’Eternel anima l’esprit du peuple et ils vinrent et travaillèrent sur la maison de l’Eternel.
Axe de prière : Père, donne-nous l’esprit prêt à travailler pour toi.