One of the Keys to Revival

I’m praying for revival for WBC, the Lakes Region, for Maine, for New England! Are you?! Ray Ortlund offers some encouraging words here about what we should be looking for.

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.  Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  Luke 6:36-38

Surely, this is one of our Lord’s ordained pathways into revival.

He is not saying we can earn a good measure of divine blessing.  But his grace leads us into more than a position of mercy before God.  His grace also leads us into participation in the mercy of God: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

A merciful heart feels for the offender.  A merciful mind enters the experience of the offender, to understand his or her weakness.  A merciful will chooses a generous outlook.  Our Father is like that.  That is what we believe and teach.  And gospel doctrine always creates a gospel culture.

Revival might not be as remote and mysterious and inaccessible as the inscrutable decrees of God.  It might be inches away, just on the other side of the walls of relational aloofness we ourselves create and tolerate.  But our Father didn’t tolerate them.  He broke them down by the mercies of the cross.  And Jesus is insisting on the obvious implications: “My gospel is the end of your self-justifying condemnations.  It is a new beginning of all-encompassing mercies.  I want you to be living proof of that.  I want you to experience the abundant blessings packed inside it.”

Jesus did not bring to us a reconciliation with God that goes no further.  There is nothing minimalist about the gospel.  He brought to us a reconciliation with God that creates hopeful new possibilities with everyone around, especially those who have wronged us.

What if we were to elevate Luke 6:36-38 to one of the major themes of our lives and churches and movements?  What if, rather than be mystified by these verses and hold them at arm’s length, we let them move toward us and redefine us?  Inevitably, the walls between us would start falling down by the overruling power of the Father’s mercy.  Then, Jesus says, we would experience increased blessing from above.  And not just a little blessing, but “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.”

That’s revival.

HT “Christ is Deeper Still”

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