22
Mar
07

Revival at Taylorville

Wow, I have been super busy the last few days, and today is the first time I have had time to sit down work on my computer.

I am leading a revival in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for Taylorville Baptist Church. Dr. Curtis Kelley is the pastor of this sweet church.

Some of you may recognize Dr. Kelley’s name. Curtis Kelley is Mark Kelley’s father. For those of you who never knew Mark, he was a CrossPointer who taught many CrossPointers how to live and how to die when he was faced with terminal cancer in 2005.

I am not a very good revival preacher. That is why you rarely hear of me going off to preach in many revivals. I am much more comfortable preaching for you week after week instead preaching a weeklong series of messages for a room full of strangers. The people of Taylorville are very gracious, however, and seem to be following along with my messages. Here’s a rundown:

The Beatitudes


On Sunday night I preached all eight of the beatitudes from Matthew 5:1-12. Yes, it made for a long message as I worked my way through the central thought of each trait. While praying about what to preach I decided to begin with something that was fresh on my mind. So I used what the Lord taught me these last several weeks in my own personal study while preaching for you. One woman commented that she had never heard the beatitudes presented in such a way. I took that as an affirmation. At least the message caused her to evaluate her perspective on what Jesus said.

God’s Love


Monday night I preached Romans 5:4-11, where Paul teaches us about God’s love. The introduction to my message began at verse four, where Paul states:

hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

God’s love is not sprinkled into our hearts or dripped into our hearts; He lavishly and extravagantly pours His love into our hearts. From there I worked through the passage to identify four traits pertaining to God’s love:

God’s love is UNCONDITIONAL

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:6

God’s love is UNEQUALED

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:7-8

God’s love is UNENDING

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Romans 5:9-10

God’s love is GOD GIVING HIMSELF TO US

More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:11

In my conclusion I illustrated that God did not give us a plan or a way or a theory or a strategy in order to save us. God gave us Himself to us in order to save us. Thus, we do not need the things of God. Instead, we need God. Most of us pursue the benefits of knowing God—forgiveness, hope, peace, wisdom, and love, etc. Instead of pursing the benefits, we should pursue the Benefactor. When we seek the Benefactor the benefits will come.

God is Holy

In the introduction to Monday night’s message I instructed the people that the church needed to do a better job of preaching, teaching and talking about two subjects. First, I suggested we should spend more time talking about who God is. (That is something we are trying to do more of at CrossPoint). Second, I told them I thought we should spend more time talking about how much God loves us. Since I preached about God’s love that night, I decided to preach about God on Tuesday night.

I used Isaiah 6:1-9 as my text for Tuesday night. Isaiah 6 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture to preach. Isaiah 6 is where we learn about the holiness of God, or as one commentator worded it, “the Godness of God.”

I worked through the passage one or two sentences at a time making the following points about God:

God is SUPREMELY DISTINCT

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Isaiah 6:1

God is UTTERLY PERFECT

Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Isaiah 6:2-3

We are COMPLETELY UNWORTHY

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Isaiah 6:4-5

We are TOTALLY FORGIVEN

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.
Isaiah 6:6-8

If you look closely in that last phrase you can see the New Testament hidden in the Old Testament. There at the end of verse 8 is the Gospel of Jesus Christ—your guilt is taken away, and you sin atoned for.

Jesus’ Invitation


On Wednesday, I completed the revival services with a message from Matthew 11:28-30. In this great passage Jesus invites us to do three things:

First, he invites us to COME TO HIM

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

Next, He invites us to TAKE FROM HIM

Take my yoke upon you,
Matthew 11:29a

Finally, He invites us to LEARN FROM HIM

and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:29b-30

I think that is what we should do with a revival. We should COME, TAKE and LEARN from Jesus.

Even though I am not good at preaching revivals, I am enjoying my time with the sweet people known as Taylorville Baptist Church. Please pray for me one more night as I try to follow the Lord’s leadership in what to preach.
Tomorrow I want to catch you up on my marathon training. Thanks for being patient with me this week in catching up my blog.

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