Joshua 4:4-7 Amplified Bible
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; 5 and Joshua said to them, “Cross over again to the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel, 6 so that this may be a sign among you; when your children ask later, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall say to them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall become a memorial for Israel forever.”
Joshua 4:19-24 Amplified Bible
19 Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth [day] of the first month and encamped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. 21 He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that the hand of the Lord is mighty and extraordinarily powerful, so that you will fear the Lord your God [and obey and worship Him with profound awe and reverence] forever.”
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
The Christian life is, in a sense, one big call to remember.
Our Lord Jesus, speaking of the new-covenant meal of Communion, told us, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19, emphasis added).
Every Lord’s Supper, then, offers us the opportunity to remember together all that is pictured in the bread and wine.
Deuteronomy similarly envisions a scenario in which a son asks his father;
“What is the meaning of the testimonies and statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?” (Deuteronomy 6:20).
The father responds by telling Israel’s story of redemption, highlighting that what God instructs is “for our good always” (v 24).
The book of Joshua, too, commends the same kind of commemoration when the Lord instructs the people to set up 12 memorial stones at the Jordan River, so the stones would become revival “to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
God wanted His people then—and wants His people today—to ever remember His faithfulness and to tell, testify, confess, to teach others what He has done.
Such remembrances and memorials have always been a significant time to worship and praise for the miraculous works only Himself demonstrates.
But in a day [like now] with endless competing claims on our attention and affections, we need more reminders of God’s faithfulness than ever before.
It’s notable that the examples above are concrete and interpersonal.
We participate in the Lord’s Supper together, and it offers us a multisensory experience to help us remember.
The twelve stones at the Jordan River constituted a physical memorial.
The instruction of Deuteronomy encourages us to have conversations about God’s faithfulness and goodness in our homes.
Please note that the word “conversations” is PLURALIZED.
Meaning more than one –
But not just conversations … but full blown WORSHIP and PRAISE and PRAYER.
But not just one person conversing with the Lord, but a whole bunch of people, putting themselves in front of their “memorial stones” to remember the Lord.
For today’s Christians, every Sunday presents us with the opportunity to gather and remember with God’s people.
But we are going to need more than a weekly touchpoint to sustain ourselves.
What habits can I cultivate to remember God’s goodness?
How can I catalog His faithfulness to me and share that with others?
What “memorials” can I set up so that I can remember how God delivered me?
Opportunities to continuously see, instantly recall God’s faithfulness abound.
All we need to do is constantly, continuously look and instantly remember.
Revival at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky – 2023
I do hope and pray that Christians have stable and established faith in Christ.
I feel prayerful. Hopeful.
In fact, I’ve gotten choked up more than once over the last couple days at the thought that a genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit could be happening among our Methodist brothers and sisters.
So I have mainly been praying two things:
1. Oh, God. Let it be. Let your mercy pour down in genuine revival, and let these reports be true. And let it not end in Wilmore.
2. Pass me not, O gentle Savior. Hear my humble cry. While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by. Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry. While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.
Maybe you will be moved mightily to pray, praise and worship this way as well.
It is of the nature of revival that we cannot know the true extent of it until days, months, and even years afterward.
Acts 5:33-39Amplified Bible
33 Now when they heard this, they were infuriated and they intended to kill the apostles. 34 But a Pharisee named [a]Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law [of Moses], highly esteemed by all the people, stood up in the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) and ordered that the men be taken outside for a little while. 35 Then he said to the Council, “Men of Israel, be careful in regard to what you propose to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody [of importance], and a group of about four hundred men allied themselves with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas the Galilean rose up, [and led an uprising] during the time of the census, and drew people after him; he was also killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men [merely human in origin], it will fail and be destroyed; 39 but if it is of God [and it appears that it is], you will not be able to stop them; or else you may even be found fighting against God!”
The distinguishing marks of revival may begin with an outpouring of the Spirit of grace, but that is only the commencement if the work of the Holy Spirit is to prove real and to be authentic and unstoppable, and a major mover of people.
“How do you tell if it is really a work of God? It’s not how high you jump, it’s how straight and how far you will walk when you finally land.”
The last great spiritual awakening in America took place during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
It was a nation divided by war, and things were very dark.
But when things are really dark, God’s light can shine brightly.
Cover headlines from Time magazine went from “Is God Dead?” in 1968 to “Jesus Revolution” in 1971.
What a difference a few years can make, especially when God intervenes.
America needs a spiritual awakening, and the church needs a revival.
The World needs a spiritual awakening ….
An awakening takes place when God sovereignly pours out His Spirit and it impacts a culture.
That is what happened during the Jesus Revolution, and that is what happened during multiple spiritual awakenings in the long history of these United States, predating its establishment as a nation.
A revival, on the other hand, is what the church must experience.
A revival occurs when the church comes back to life, when it becomes what it was always meant to be.
It’s a returning to passion.
I think many times we overly mystify the idea of revival.
We don’t really need to.
Another word we could use for revival is restoration, and that is what the church needs.
Speaking at a conference in 1917, R. A. Torrey gave this prescription for revival:
Let a few of God’s people, they don’t need to be many, get thoroughly right with God themselves—the rest will count for nothing unless you start right there; then let them band themselves together to pray for a revival until God opens the heavens and comes down. Then let them put themselves at God’s disposal to use them as He sees fit. That will bring a revival to any church, any community.
We can’t organize a revival, but we can agonize for it in prayer.
We can call on God to send it.
We can call on the people to come, to consider and to receive God [Acts 2:37-47]
Draw near unto the Lord our God and the Lord will draw near to us.
Psalm 73:28 Amplified Bible
But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,
That I may tell of all Your works.
Ecclesiastes 5:1Amplified Bible
Your Attitude Toward God
5 Guard your steps and focus on what you are doing as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the [careless or irreverent] sacrifice of fools; for they are too ignorant to know they are doing evil.
Matthew 11:25-30Amplified Bible
Come to Me
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth [I openly and joyfully acknowledge Your great wisdom], that You have hidden these things [these spiritual truths] from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants [to new believers, to those seeking God’s will and purpose]. 26 Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Son except the Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son [deliberately] wills to reveal Him.
28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”
James 4:8Amplified Bible
8 Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your [unfaithful] hearts, you double-minded [people].
Where is our Hope for Revival and Remembrance?
Psalm 85 Amplified Bible
Prayer for God’s Mercy upon the Nation.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
85 O Lord, You have [at last] shown favor to Your land [of Canaan];
You have restored [from Babylon] the captives of Jacob (Israel).
You have forgiven the wickedness of Your people;
You have covered all their sin. Selah.
You have withdrawn all Your wrath,
You have turned away from Your burning anger.
Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your indignation toward us to cease.
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?
Will You not revive us and bring us to life again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your lovingkindness, O Lord,
And grant us Your salvation.
I will hear [with expectant hope] what God the Lord will say,
For He will speak peace to His people, to His [a]godly ones—
But let them not turn again to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who [reverently] fear Him [and obey Him with submissive wonder],
That glory [the manifest presence of God] may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and truth and faithfulness meet together;
Righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Truth springs from the earth,
And righteousness looks down from heaven.
Indeed, the Lord will give what is good,
And our land will yield its produce.
Righteousness will go before Him
And will make His footsteps into a way [in which to walk].
In a worship song from the early 2000s, singer/songwriter Brian Doerksen sings,
“Jesus, hope of the nations/ Jesus, comfort for all who mourn/ You are the source of heaven’s hope on earth.”
As believers in Christ, we recognize and worship Jesus as the true hope of the world, and yet it’s astounding how often we pin our hopes on human beings.
In all of our history books, it is clear that people are far more inclined to find hope in leaders, politicians, and celebrities rather than in the one true God.
Why do we do this?
Proverbs 11:4-8 warns that placing hope in humans is futile because any human power will come to nothing.
As the apostle Paul tells us, “There is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1).
By saying this, Paul is assuring believers that in all situations, even in the midst of national turmoil’s and global crises, God is the one who holds all authority.
Any human who has “power” has it only because God allows it to be so.
2 Chronicles 7:1-3Amplified Bible
The Shekinah Glory
7 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the [[a]Shekinah] glory and brilliance of the Lord filled the house. 2 The priests could not enter the house of the Lord because the glory and brilliance of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. 3 When all the people of Israel saw how the fire came down and saw the glory and brilliance of the Lord upon the house, they bowed down on the stone pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever.”
In other words, through our continuous praise and worship, all our hopes and all our desires must lie with the Only One who is on the throne of the universe.
Our prayers and our worship must be oriented toward Christ, for he is truly the only hope—the only one who can change minds and transform hearts, disperse powers, and bring edification, and redemption and restoration, to bring revival.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray ….
Creator God, you made every living thing, and you hold all things together. Lord, we your Children now pray for you bring restoration to this world that desperately needs your leadership and authority. Please use Your church and their lives as catalysts for renewal, restoration and revival. We have heard of Your great works; please do them again, “stones of remembrance” in our day. And all for the glory, honor and praise of Jesus Christ, our only crucified, Resurrected and returning Lord, Savior and King.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.