Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 15:1-9
Memory Verse: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Introduction: After studying some of the very basic and simple concepts of Christianity in this series of lessons, who could say that we do not stand in dire need of revival? Many of us have felt the chilling winds of orthodoxy cooling our ardor for God. Too often we have detected an aura of complacency in our own religious surroundings. The cry of this age, therefore, should be “revival,” as lukewarmness and unbelief flourish and general crime constantly increases. Our prayer today should be for a revival in our churches that will turn people from the sin of indifference and unbelief to genuine faith and trust in God.
While revival and evangelism are not synonymous, neither are they completely separate concepts. They often are coincidental and simultaneous. King David made that clear, in individual cases at least, by his inspired prayer: “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee” (Psalm 51:12-13). David said simply that whenever he was revived spiritually and upheld by God’s Spirit, he would be successful in winning others to that same experience. How marvelous this truth is! What an avalanche of revival this prayer would start if it were the sincere prayer of all of us.
Perhaps our concept of revival today is too closely linked with the idea of a week of special meetings, featuring a guest speaker. Sometimes such a program does give vent to revival and spiritual refreshing if conducted properly. But generally speaking, our sights need to be aimed at the practical goal of a spiritual refreshing that permeates our individual lives in a permanent fashion. We need to pray for a revival that elevates us to the next higher rung of our “spiritual ladder” and completes a vital stage of development for us. Such a reviving provides continual and lasting benefits.
The practical results of true revival are many. A few of them include: better attendance at Sabbath School and worship services; more personal evangelism; a more equitable distribution of the work of the Church; a marked spiritual growth; increased Bible study; more fervent prayer; more zealous witnessing for Christ and His cause; and greater joy, peace, and happy anticipation in the present and future work of God’s kingdom. Since revival is so needful and its benefits so desirable, why not covenant together to pay the price of united revival this coming year? Of course, we cannot commit anyone else to this, but each individual can be responsible for himself. It will be well worth all efforts made.
- What led to the revival in King Josiah’s reign? 2 Chronicles 34:18-19.
- Was the revival after Israel’s return from captivity of the same nature? Nehemiah 8:9; 9:2-3, 33.
- Does the vision of God’s righteousness sometimes result in repentance and subsequent revival? Job 42:5-6, 10; Daniel 1:7-9. What part does “godly sorrow” do in bringing revival? 2 Corinthians 7:10.
- Although given to Israel nationally, couldn’t the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 be applicable to any local church, or group of churches? Discuss.
- How may the sentiment, desires, and requests of David’s prayers be used in preparation of our hearts for revival and spiritual refreshing? Psalm 51:5-13; 139:23-24. Discuss.
- In view of success in individual and collective revival, consider and discuss Joshua 7:7-13; Proverbs 28:13.
- According to Acts 2-3, was there a revival at Pentecost? Select special verses from these two chapters for discussion.
- What generally hinders revival and success in the spiritual life? Isaiah 59:1-2; Revelation 3:14-16.
- Do worldly pleasures, material prosperity, and plenty tend to dull zest for revival? Revelation 3:17. In view of this, discuss conditions at the “flood,” “Sodom,” and in the case of “a certain rich man.” Genesis 6; 18:23-33; 19:1-20; Luke 12:16-21. What warning is found in 1 John 2:15-16?
- Discuss revival accomplishments you would like to see in your church group. What plans do you suggest for such accomplishments?