A Nationwide Revival Began At The Watergate (Part 3)
Dear Visionary Leader:
I have noticed an alarming trend with regard to the percentage of people who do not bring their Bibles to the local church service. When I am a guest speaker, I will ask people to stand out of honor to God’s Word and will notice that most of the people do not even have a Bible with them. I cannot prove this, but I have concluded that if they are not willing to bring their Bibles to church, they probably do not spend much time reading it at home.
Another conclusion I have drawn, if people do not bring their Bibles to church, is that the minister may not be faithfully preaching from it. Over the last twenty years, particularly in the West, we have moved from preaching to presenting, and from expounding to entertaining. I do believe that communication should be entertaining or attention-getting for the audience. Yet, we have been drifting from the Word of God being central to it being worked in on occasion.
What is amazing in the Nehemiah story is that Nehemiah was not a person “called to handle the Word of God.” Yet, Nehemiah knew what to do in order to lead the people back “to the law of God.” Regardless of what our role is in society or in the church, each of us has a biblical role in renewal and revival. History is replete with both key preachers and key people serving in biblical roles for spiritual awakening. I encourage you to draw a circle, get inside the circle and ask the Holy Spirit to renew you today. I believe spiritual awakening is the result of the spiritual leader showing the population at large the way back to God.
As men and women of God, if we are not careful, we can forget it is the “Holy Bible” for a reason. In other words, it is not just “the Bible” but the “Holy Bible.” How we view Scripture will determine how we handle Scripture.
So far in this series from Nehemiah chapter 8, we have witnessed the hungering for the Word of God, the hearing of the Word of God, and the honoring of the Word of God. We will now witness the handling of the Word of God:
4. A Handling of the Word (vv. 7-9)
The Levites were determined to make sure that all the people comprehended what had been read. The large crowd was broken into smaller groups. The Levites read the Word of God distinctly and explained its meaning. In other words, they properly divided the Word of God. They did not twist it, change it, or abuse it; rather, they divided it correctly.
A person will desire to handle the Word after he learns to honor the Word. Some ministers have become so educated that they no longer believe the Bible is the authoritative, inerrant Word of Almighty God. Not only does the church need old-fashioned Bible preaching, but old-fashioned Bible study as well.
Serious Bible study will be reflected in the pew when it is shared from the pulpit. The church does not need a spectacular personality to attract a crowd, rather the supernatural personality to attract a crowd, rather, the supernatural power to confirm the Word. The church has had enough entertainment, storytelling, and joking from the pulpit. It is time for the church to dive deep into the Word of God and to stay down long, not coming up until she has gold nuggets in both hands that will change her for eternity.
When Water Gate revival happens, will want the Word of God handled correctly. The people will not be so much interested in man’s philosophies as they will be in God’s principles. Thus far, we have seen a hunger, a hearing, an honoring, and a handling of the Word. Last, there is:
5. A Heeding to the Word (vv. 9-17)
Conviction was evident when the Word was heard (v. 9). Israel began to weep in repentance. Individuals were confronted with their sin. Water Gate was the place where sin was purged when the Word was preached. It is this kind of sincere, straight, and scripturally sound sermon that is needed to bring conviction to our world today.
The preaching of God’s Word not only brought conviction, but consolation (v. 10) calmness ( v. 11), and celebration (v. 12). When the hunger for God’s Word has been restored and repentance has resulted, there will come forth a mighty wave of joy and celebration. Israel celebrated when the Word was made known to them.
Moreover, the heeding of the word meant compliance with the Word. In verses 13-17, Israel discovered a feast that had been neglected: the Feast of Booths. For seven days God’s people complied with the Word and observed this feast. Israel obeyed the commandments of God. The church today needs to hear and heed, receive and respond, and listen and live the Word of God. Obedience to the Scriptures reveals revival.
One hundred years ago, a Frenchman came to America to find out what made this country great. At the end of his search he wrote theses words: “I sought for America’s greatness. I found it not in her fields, forests, or farms. I found it not in her mines or factories. I found it not in her fleets or commerce. I found it not in her congress or courts. It was only when I entered her churches and heard her preachers preaching righteousness, that I discovered her greatness. America is great because America is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking