Saturday, December 29, 2007

As we end this year...

As 2007 winds down and 2008 is just around the corner, it would be good to take to heart the words of David Brainerd...

"Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose. Oh, that God would make me more fruitful and spiritual."

Bringing in the new year


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Some of the Results of Revival!

What can we expect when God sends a revival to a local church? Jonathan Edwards shares first hand knowledge...

"The assembly were in tears while the Word was preached; some weeping sorrows and distress, others with joy and love, others with concern for the souls of their neighbors."

Let us Keep Praying for Revival!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Revival and Holiness

A.W. Tozer pointed out that holiness will result from revival...

"I contend that whatever does not raise the moral standard of the church or community has not been a revival from God."

Praying for Revival


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas as the End of History

On December 20, 1981, John Piper preached the following sermon. It can be found on the Desiring God site. Merry Christmas!


This is my tenth and final message in this series on the history of redemption. What I would like to do this morning is to pull it all together and show how God's work in history comes to a climax—and in a sense comes to an end—in the coming of his one and only eternal and divine Son into the world.

From Creation to Christ
The first thing that had to be proclaimed about God was that through the agency of his eternal Son, and by the word of his power, God created out of nothing all that is not God, in order to display the fullness of his glory among men and among all the hosts of heaven. And he sustains and holds in existence moment by moment the whole universe, so that by virtue of creation and providence God owns all things and has absolute right to do with creation as he pleases. There is no higher court before whom we can appeal his decisions. There is no other law than his word. There is no other maker behind the Maker of all. He is simply and awesomely Absolute: no beginning, no ending, no becoming. Everyone, without exception, will have to reckon with this God sooner or later. And there are only two possibilities: we can rebel against his absolute authority over us creatures, or we can bow in lowly adoration and do his bidding.

But the second thing proclaimed in the history of redemption is that our first human parents fell prey to a deception and chose the path of rebellion. The deception for which they fell was that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would be like God. Which means: if you stop depending like little children on God to tell you what is good and bad for you, and start making those choices yourself, then you will be like God and much happier. The Fall, therefore, was the desire and effort of man to be self-determining and self-reliant. And as a result God withdrew his special sanctifying grace, so that since that first sin, all people have come into the world bent on rebellion. The essence of sin which presses for control in every one of us is the intense distaste of surrendering all authority to God and becoming like little children in dependence on him. The early history of mankind stands under this sentence from Genesis 6:5: "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

But the third thing that had to be proclaimed about God in the course of redemptive history was that his purpose to be glorified through the obedience and joy of his creatures was not to be frustrated. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, God chooses one man, Abraham, and makes him a promise: "I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing . . . and by you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:2, 3). We must learn from redemptive history that it is God's way to pursue great ends through small beginnings. (Is not one of the most captivating things about Christmas that the cosmic business of Christ began with a babe in a manger? God always seems to act that way, lest anyone should boast and give man the glory.) God aims to reclaim the rebellious creation. And he begins his grand plan of reclamation with one obscure, imperfect Aramean whose wife is barren.

From that man and woman came a great people, the people of Israel, named after Abraham's grandson whose children were the twelve tribal patriarchs. And God begins to go to work on this people to make them the lesson-book for the nations about how salvation is to be found. After centuries of bondage in Egypt he displays the unbridled glory of his power in their deliverance through the Red Sea.

Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today, for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still. (Exodus 14:13)
With a few changes those could have been the very words that the angel spoke to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born. And that is no mere coincidence, because God intends for everything in his dealing with Israel to point to the righteousness that comes from faith, and finally to the Christ.

When the people come to Mount Sinai and the law is given through Moses, the basic reason is to show the people how they should act if they have faith in the God of the Exodus (Exodus 20:2). The law is a description of the obedience of faith for that time. The law did not demand that the people try to earn their salvation through works. It did not offer blessing only to perfection. It demanded that people put their hope in the mercy of God (Exodus 34:6), it called for the obedience of faith, and it provided a ritual of atonement so that sacrifices could be offered for sins. All of this—the call for faith and the provision of sacrifices—points to a coming redeemer whose death will fulfill all sacrifices and who will be received by faith alone.

In the wilderness wanderings God showed that he could spread a table for his people where there was not food and that, therefore, they should trust him. The manna that he provided was a prefiguring of the true Bread that comes down from heaven (John 6:32–55), Jesus Christ. When Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness for the people's healing (Numbers 21:9), it was a foreshadowing of how Christ would be lifted up on the cross for our salvation (John 3:14). And all the tests of faith in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:2, 16) pointed ahead to the time when Christ himself would be tempted in the wilderness, but without sin.

When Israel crossed the Jordan and conquered the promised land and dwelt in it and had rest, it was a partial fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. But since the rest was imperfect, sensitive readers of the Old Testament saw this too as a type of something yet to come: there is still a promised land in the future for God's people, a "better country" (Hebrews 11:16), a "city which is to come" (Hebrews 13:14), a Sabbath rest for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9), in the kingdom of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Then came the establishment of the monarchy in Israel—sought for evil motives, but turned for good by the grace of God. Through this very line of kings God promises to bring the Savior towards whom everything has been pointing. All the history of Israel is a great lesson-book for the nations to read. And the lesson the book teaches is this: God the creator owns and rules the world; his aim is to subdue its rebellion and be glorified through an obedient and joyful people who forsake self-reliance and put their faith and hope in him alone. They cannot attain righteousness through "works of the law" (Romans 3:20) but must count entirely on the mercy of God who will raise up for David a righteous Branch whose name will be "The Lord is our righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:5, 6).

Christmas and the River of History
The next thing God did to bring redemptive history to a climax took almost everybody off guard. Only those few people who were most sensitive to the heart of the Old Testament could begin to fathom what God did next. He split the coming of the Messiah into two comings, separated by some 2,000 years. This was incomprehensible to the Jews of Jesus' day. The Old Testament prophets had not been told by God how some of their prophecies fit together in time. 1 Peter 1:10, 11 says (literally): "The prophets who prophesied concerning the grace coming to you sought out and searched out about this salvation, searching into which or what sort of time the Spirit of Christ was revealing to them as they testified beforehand about the sufferings of Christ and the glories after them." In other words, some of the prophets foresaw that the Messiah would suffer (e.g., Isaiah 53) and that he would also be revealed in glory. What they did not see was how the sufferings and glory of the Messiah fit together, namely, that there would be two comings of the Messiah, once to suffer and a second time to gather his people into his kingdom and judge unbelievers. The prophets, and all Israel with them, looked forward to one great Day of the Lord when the Messiah would come, defeat his enemies, sanctify his people, establish his kingdom, and rule in peace and righteousness forever over a joyful and obedient people. The coming of Messiah meant the end of this age and the beginning of the age to come; it meant the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God on earth; it meant the fulfillment of all God's promises.

Is it any wonder, then, that the disciples were dismayed into speechlessness when they confessed Jesus as the Messiah and heard him respond, "Yes, and the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed" (Mark 8:31). How can you defeat your enemies and establish the kingdom and fulfill the promises, if you are rejected by Israel and killed like a criminal? It took three years of instruction from Jesus, numerous resurrection appearances, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit before the apostles could grasp that it was precisely through his rejection and death that Jesus defeated his enemies, inaugurated the kingdom, and fulfilled the promises.

The meaning of Christmas was a great blur for well over thirty years until the apostles broke through to the insight that this event was the first half of the final act of redemptive history, and that the second half remains for the future. When they finally saw that, they were prepared to interpret the meaning of Christmas for us. And they have done it in the writings of the New Testament.

In all that they wrote there is a kind of trademark which tips us off that these men once believed there would be only one coming of the Messiah, and that this coming would mark the end of the age. God has seen fit to preserve this trademark for us because there is a very important truth in it, which I think could give a new dimension of joy and expectancy to our Christmas celebration this year. The trademark is this; even though the apostles looked forward as we do to a second appearance of Christ, yet they still say that the first coming happened in the last days or at the end of the age. They do not treat Christmas as just one more bend in the river of redemptive history. With Christmas comes the end. For example, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the events of the Old Testament "happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction upon whom the end of the ages has come." When the apostle Peter stood up on Pentecost to interpret for the crowds the meaning of what was happening, he said, "This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh"' (Acts 2:16, 17). These are the last days. The apostle Peter also wrote that Christ was "destined before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake" (1 Peter 1:20). The appearing of Jesus Christ at Christmas marked the end of the times (or as Paul said, "the end of the ages").

And one other text shows that this apostolic trademark is preserved even where the future second coming is explicitly in view, Hebrews 9:26–28:

Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
What this text shows is that even though time had elapsed between Christ's first coming and the writing of this book; and even though the writer looks ahead to an unknown future lapse of time before Christ comes a second time, nevertheless he does not give up the apostolic trademark: Christmas marks the end of the age. And I believe there is a very profound reason why the Holy Spirit has preserved this trademark for us, even though 2,000 years have passed since that first Christmas. I believe the Spirit preserved this trademark for us to keep us from trivializing Christmas.

Creation out of nothing was an awesome event. Imagine what the angelic spirits must have felt when the universe, material reality of which they had never imagined, was brought forth out of nothing by the command of God. The fall was an awful event, shaking the entire creation. The exodus was an amazing display of God's power and love. The giving of the law, the wilderness provisions, the conquering of Canaan, the prosperity of the monarchy—all these acts of God in redemptive history were very great and wonderful. Each one was a very significant bend in the river of redemptive history, bringing it ever and ever closer to the ocean of God's final kingdom. But we trivialize Christmas, the incarnation, if we treat it as just another bend on the way to the end. It is the end of redemptive history.

And I think the analogy of the river helps us see how. Picture the river as redemptive history flowing toward the ocean which is the final kingdom of God, full of glory and righteousness and peace. At the end of the river the ocean presses up into the river with its salt water. Therefore, at the mouth of the river there is a mingling of fresh water and salt water. One might say that the kingdom of God has pressed its way back up into the river of time a short way. It has surprised the travelers and taken them off guard. They can smell the salt water. They can taste the salt water. The sea gulls circle the deck. The end has come upon them. Christmas is not another bend in the river. It is the arrival of the salt water of the kingdom of God which has backed up into the river of history. With the coming of Christmas, the ocean of the age to come has reached backward up the stream of history to welcome us, to wake us up to what is coming, to lure us on into the deep. Christmas is not another bend in the river of history. It is the end of the river. Let down your dipper and taste of Jesus Christ, his birth and life and death and resurrection. Taste and see if the age to come has not arrived, if the kingdom has not come upon us. Does it not make your eyes sparkle?

But scoffers will say—they have always said—2,000 years is a long river delta! Too long to believe in. Christmas was just another bend in the river. The salty taste in the water must have been done by some chemical plant nearby. Who can imagine living in the last days for 2,000 years? To such skeptics I say, with the apostle Peter, "Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8). As far as God is concerned the incarnation happened last Friday.

I want us to think of Christmas this year not as a great event in the flow of history, but as the arrival of the end of history which happened, as it were, but yesterday, and will be consummated very soon by the second appearing of Christ. Let me make one last effort to help you see it this way. Most of you probably know someone who is 90 years old or older—probably a woman. I want you to imagine 22 of these ladies standing here in front, side by side, facing you, each one still alert and able to remember her childhood and marriage and old age. And then instead of seeing them side by side as contemporaries, have them turn and face sideways so they form a queue, and imagine that each one lived just after the other. If the one on my far left were alive today, do you know when the one on my far right would have been born? At the same time Jesus was. Jesus was born just 22 ladies ago. That is not a very long time. Just 22 people between you and the incarnation. In comparison to the size of the ocean of the age to come, the mouth of the river of redemptive history is small. The delta is not long. It is short.

My prayer for us all this year is that we might see ourselves living between the first and second appearances of Jesus Christ, which together, are the end of redemptive history. That we might see these two appearances united by the overflow of the glorious ocean of the future kingdom of God into the present; and ourselves borne along no longer by the forces of history, but by the power of the age to come. May we feel the undertow of the eschaton and yearn to be there with the Lord forever. Even so come quickly, Lord. Amen.


© Desiring God

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What will revival do to the local church?

Robert Coleman made the following observation on the Asbury Revival...

"Church altars which for years had been nothing more than pieces of furniture now became hallowed places where men met God, and brother was reconciled with brother."

Praying for Revival!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

How Much Prayer Does it Take Before Revival?

How much prayer is required for revival?

Well, D.M. McIntyre gives a historical example...

"Before the great revival in Gallneukirchen broke out, Martin Boos spent hours and days and often nights in lonely agonies of intercession. Afterwards, when he preached, his words were as flame, and the hearts of the people as grass."

How much prayer is needed?



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Are We Jealous For God's Glory?

Good Morning. Leonard Ravenhill simply sums up what revival is all about...

"Are we jealous for God’s glory? To me that is what revival is all about."

Praying for revival!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pray for a Sweeping Revival

Adrian Rogers made this observation on revival...

"Study the history of revival. God has always sent revival in the darkest days. Oh, for a mighty, sweeping revival today!"

The days are spiritually dark around us. Therefore, let us pray for a sweeping revival!


Friday, December 14, 2007

A Simple Reminder

Today, let us get back to one of the basics about revival. Matthew Henry reminds us to not only pray for revival, but to be ready to be moved by God to pray...

"When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying."

Let us not ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit to pray.

Praying for Revival!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

One more persepctive on the mall shootings...

Good Morning. It has been one week and one day since the tragic shooting at the Westroads Mall. A pastor in Omaha posted his thoughts on the day of the shooting. Here is a portion of it...

One day there was a tragedy with a similar story as the one that we have today. Many folks died and the people questioned how they should react to it. Jesus answers was amazingly short and profound. He said, “Unless you repent you too will perish” (Luke 13.3).

This is the message in this tragedy. Yes this is horrible. Yes it hurts. But, the greater tragedy is to turn away from such things without repenting, or turning from sin. Tragedies such as this become a merciful divine declaration that God is angry with sin. To make it personal, God is angry with us. I do not deserve to live one second in rebellion from him, much less enjoy this world that he made. Days like today remind us that we need to turn from sinful rebellion and bow before Jesus Christ as the glorious king of heaven and the savior of the world. For it is Jesus Christ alone who has the power to defeat death and provide hope. Yes Jesus Christ is the only one to conquer death and rise from the dead. Jesus Christ is the only one who declares that if you believe in him you will never see death (Jn. 8.51).

Do you see how powerful these words are on a day like today?

If you are not trusting in Jesus this very hour for your standing of forgiveness before the righteous and holy judge of heaven and earth then this tragedy is a gracious gift of God whereby he says to you, “Repent, or you too will perish!” Yes this is the ultimate tragedy. There is one who has defeated death, he can give hope, he gives life; his name is Jesus. To reject him is a tragedy. For it is Jesus who says, “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10.28)

Monday, December 10, 2007

More on the Westroads Shootings...

Good Morning. All over Omaha yesterday, pastors (including myself) preached messages that addressed the terrible shooting last week at the Westroads Mall. The Lord has provided for the city of Omaha a window of opportunity to either turn or return to the Lord Jesus. The city of Minneapolis also had an opportunity last summer when the bridge collapsed. Here is what John Piper wrote...

Putting My Daughter to Bed Two Hours After the Bridge Collapsed

What Do Tragedies Like This Mean for Us?

By John Piper August 1, 2007


At about 6 PM tonight the bridge of Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed. I am writing this about three hours after the bridge fell. The bridge is located within sight of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Most of us who minister at the church cross this bridge several times a week. At this point I don’t know if any staff was on the bridge. Desiring God offices are about a mile from the bridge.

There are no firm facts at this point about the total number of injuries and fatalities. When we crossed the bridge Tuesday on our way out of town, there was extensive repair work happening on the surface of the bridge with single lane traffic. One speculates about the unusual stresses on the bridge with jackhammers and other surface replacement equipment. This was the fortieth anniversary of the bridge.

Tonight for our family devotions our appointed reading was Luke 13:1-9. It was not my choice. This is surely no coincidence. O that all of the Twin Cities, in shock at this major calamity, would hear what Jesus has to say about it from Luke 13:1-5. People came to Jesus with heart-wrenching news about the slaughter of worshipers by Pilate. Here is what he said.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Jesus implies that those who brought him this news thought he would say that those who died, deserved to die, and that those who didn’t die did not deserve to die. That is not what he said. He said, everyone deserves to die. And if you and I don’t repent, we too will perish. This is a stunning response. It only makes sense from a view of reality that is radically oriented on God.

All of us have sinned against God, not just against man. This is an outrage ten thousand times worse than the collapse of the 35W bridge. That any human is breathing at this minute on this planet is sheer mercy from God. God makes the sun rise and the rain fall on those who do not treasure him above all else. He causes the heart to beat and the lungs to work for millions of people who deserve his wrath. This is a view of reality that desperately needs to be taught in our churches, so that we are prepared for the calamities of the world.

The meaning of the collapse of this bridge is that John Piper is a sinner and should repent or forfeit his life forever. That means I should turn from the silly preoccupations of my life and focus my mind’s attention and my heart’s affection on God and embrace Jesus Christ as my only hope for the forgiveness of my sins and for the hope of eternal life. That is God’s message in the collapse of this bridge. That is his most merciful message: there is still time to turn from sin and unbelief and destruction for those of us who live. If we could see the eternal calamity from which he is offering escape we would hear this as the most precious message in the world.

We prayed during our family devotions. Talitha (11 years old) and Noel and I prayed earnestly for the families affected by the calamity and for the others in our city. Talitha prayed “Please don’t let anyone blame God for this but give thanks that they were saved.” When I sat on her bed and tucked her in and blessed her and sang over her a few minutes ago, I said, “You know, Talitha, that was a good prayer, because when people ‘blame’ God for something, they are angry with him, and they are saying that he has done something wrong. That’s what “blame” means: accuse somebody of wrongdoing. But you and I know that God did not do anything wrong. God always does what is wise. And you and I know that God could have held up that bridge with one hand.” Talitha said, “With his pinky.” “Yes,” I said, “with his pinky. Which means that God had a purpose for not holding up that bridge, knowing all that would happen, and he is infinitely wise in all that he wills.”

Talitha said, “Maybe he let it fall because he wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.” “Yes, Talitha,” I said, “I am sure that is one of the reasons God let the bridge fall.”

I sang to her the song I always sing,

Come rest your head and nestle gently
And do not fear the dark of night.
Almighty God keeps watch intently,
And guards your life with all his might.
Doubt not his love, nor power to keep,
He never fails, nor does he sleep.

I said, “You know, Talitha, that is true whether you die in a bridge collapse, or in a car accident, or from cancer, or terrorism, or old age. God always keeps you, even when you die. So you don’t need to be afraid, do you.” “No,” she shook her head. I leaned down and kissed her. “Good night. I love you.”

Tonight across the Twin Cities families are wondering if they will ever kiss a loved one good night again. Some will not. I am praying that they will find Jesus Christ to be their Rock and Refuge in these agonizing hours of uncertainty and even loss.

The word “bridge” does not occur in the Bible. There may be two reasons. One is that God doesn’t build bridges, he divides seas. The other is that usually his people must pass through the deadly currents of suffering and death, not simply ride over them. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isaiah 43:2). They may drown you. But I will be with you in life and death.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-38)

Killed all day long. But not separated from Christ. We go through the river. Not over it. He went before us, crucified. He came out on the other side. He knows the way through. With him we will make it. That is the message we have for the precious sinners in the Twin Cities. He died for your sins. He rose again. He saves all who trust him. We die, but because of him, we do not die.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)

Talitha is sleeping now. But one day she will die. I teach her this. I will not always be there to bless her. But Jesus is alive and is the same yesterday today and forever. He will be with her because she trusts him. And she will make it through the river.

Weeping with those who weep, and those who should,

Pastor John

Psalm 71:20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again.


© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Let us Pray for the Family Members of the Victims in Omaha

Omaha is in a state of shock after the tragedy at the Westroads Mall. When I was in high school, I worked at Bishop's Buffet there and then spend most of my paycheck at the arcade! Now, when I think of the Westroads, I will think about what happened there yesterday. Here is an email I sent out to the church family at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church this morning...

"Dear Family at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church:

Let us continue to pray for the family and friends of those who were killed or injured at the Westroads Mall yesterday.

As you may know, I am a volunteer chaplain for the Omaha Police Department. Yesterday afternoon, I sat in my office listening to the live news feed on Internet. It was reported that nine people were killed and five injured. I also heard that a family center had been set up at the Hampton Inn across the street from the mall. At that point, I called the Head of the chaplains and asked if I should head down to the Hampton Inn. He said “yes.” So I called Clint Frank and Randy Eastwood to let them know of the situation and that I would probably not be at the Bible Study and Prayer time.

When I arrived at the Hampton Inn, the room was filled with people waiting for the news of their loved ones. I was the third OPD chaplain to arrive. I spent the next couple of hours talking and praying with several in the room. The Red Cross also was there. They provided food and support.

Later, a police representative asked me to follow him. I was lead to a hotel room where family members of one the victims were. The victim was a wife and mother of three children. She worked in gift wrapping at Von Maur. The husband and children were actually at home waiting for the news. The people in the room were family members and one close friend.

After spending a few moments there, we headed to the home of the family. I rode in a relative’s car and others were in a police cruiser with one officer. When we arrived at the home, the father had already received the news. He was talking to a detective in a car outside the home. A few moments later, the oldest daughter came and she quickly realized what the news was.

Then we went inside the home. I was with the family for about an hour. The hardest part was telling the youngest child that her mother was killed. The father asked me to do that. Please pray for this family. It is a close-knit and loving family that now has to deal with this awful tragedy.

I am thankful for all your prayers. I felt very inadequate, yet God’s grace and strength was evident.

This certainly puts life into perspective. Life is short and the days are evil. Thus, as the followers of Jesus, let us make every moment count.

Pastor Bryan"

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Praying with Serious Effort

Good Morning. There are flurries falling here in Omaha. And it is cold! But it is winter. Tonight, we will gather together at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church for Bible study and prayer. May God visit us in power!

"When the Church sets itself to pray with the same seriousness and strength of purpose that it has devoted to other forms of Christian effort, it will see the Kingdom of God come with power."

- Report of The Edinburgh Missionary Conference

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

We Must Rely on Prayer

In our local churches, what are the things we depend on in order to accomplish things for God? It is possible that we trust the wrong things according to A.C. Dixon...

"When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do."

Praying for Revival!


Monday, December 03, 2007

Do We Have Clean Hands When we Pray for Revival?

The Lewis Awakening in 1949 began in a prayer burden

I believe this gracious movement of the Holy Spirit - The Lewis Awakening in 1949 - began in a prayer burden; indeed there is no doubt about that. It began in a small group who were really burdened. They entered into a covenant with God that they would "give Him no rest until He had made Jerusalem a praise in the earth". They waited. The months passed, and nothing happened, until one young man took up his Bible and read from Psalm 24: "Who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart… He shall receive the blessing from the Lord." The young man closed the Bible and, looking at his companions on their knees before God, he cried: "Brethren, it is just so much humbug to be waiting thus night after night, month after month, if we ourselves are not right with God. I must ask myself - "Is my heart pure? Are my hands clean?"

Duncan Campbell, quoted A.Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power