That’s our theme for 2023.
Its from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. When God’s people had gone through a tough time and were at a low ebb God.
God through Ezra and Nehemiah began to renew, restore and rebuild what had been destroyed and neglected among His people.
The encouraging lesson from Church history is that God continues to renew, restore and rebuild His people when after tough times they are at a low ebb. Time and time again we see God doing this.
Perhaps God’s people had never been at a lower ebb than they were in 18th-century England. The Church of England and in England was as broken and ruined as the walls of Jerusalem had been in the days of Nehemiah. Many church leaders were corrupt or no longer believed in the truth of the Word of God. Pastors often took salaries but never visited their churches. Morality had completely broken down inside and outside the church. True followers of Jesus were discouraged and felt powerless.
Then God began to RENEW, RESTORE AND REBUILD His People.
Most people know about John Wesley’s conversion experience in Aldersgate St, when his “heart was strangely warmed.”
However, fewer people are aware of what happened to John Wesley, his brother Charles, their friend John Whitfield, and others in Fetters Lane on January 1st 1739.
Here is Wesley’s description of what happened.
“Mr. Hall, Hinching, Ingham, Whitefield, Hutching, and my brother Charles were present at our love feast in Fetter Lane with about 60 of our brethren. About three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us insomuch that many cried out for exceeding joy and many fell to the ground. As soon as we were recovered a little from that awe and amazement at the presence of His majesty, we broke out with one voice, ‘We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.'”.
Many historians believe that the Methodists under Wesleys and other evangelicals led by George Whitfield saved the UK from the bloody revolution France experienced and revived the church.
How did they manage to do that? Was it because they were great preachers or organizers?
I believe Wesley tells us the secret of how God used these men to RENEW, RESTORE AND REBUILD his people.
“the power of God came mightily upon us”
They had an experience of the empowering presence of God.
It’s no accident that they had this empowering experience of the Spirit as they
“were continuing instant in prayer”
Just read Acts chapter two. Read the history of revival.
God’s empowering presence come to those who hunger for it in prayer.
I feel as a church and as believers, we have gone through tough times over these last few years.
We need God to come to us and RENEW, RESTORE AND REBUILD us as a church and as Christians.
Dare we believe that God can empower us so we can see him renewing, restoring, and rebuilding our lives and community, as he did in the book of Acts, in the days of Wesley and Whitfield, and in so many other occasions throughout Church history?
DARE WE NOT BELIEVE?
The truth is our desire to see our lives renewed, restored and rebuilt will be shown in whether we are willing to “ continue in prayer”
God’s power is released to God’s people through prayer.
The moto of the British Army’s elite unit, the SAS is WHO DARES WINS
Our moto as a church, if we dare to believe that we could see God’s power renewing, restoring and rebuilding our church and lives must be