Purity, unity, and then recovery; a three-step process to evangelism taught to us by King David centuries ago:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.” (Psalm 51:10-13)
Step 3 to evangelism, recovery, is found in verse 12:
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” (Psalm 51:11)
Confession and repentance, which lead to purity and unity, will always result in recovery, or better known as restoration. I need the joy of salvation I experienced when I first gave my life to Christ. When I got saved I wanted to tell everyone about it. When I recommitted my life to Christ I wanted to make sure all my family members came to Christ. And the desire and ability to do so came from God the Holy Spirit. This is a promise from God:
“I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.” (Isaiah 57:18)
The joy of salvation…that doesn’t just mean my salvation; it also means the joy of being involved in someone else’s salvation. To watch a loved one or close friend come to Christ is a wonderful gift from heaven, especially if you shared the gospel with him or her. The hard work of evangelism pays off at the harvest:
“He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:6)
When, through the power of the Holy Spirit you are able to overcome sin in your life and be reunited in sweet fellowship with Jesus, then you begin sharing the gospel with a new purpose. Where you were once not only avoiding sharing the gospel, but also avoiding reading your Bible, you are now walking anew and afresh in the Spirit.
“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.” (Psalm 18:35)
To be eternally protected by God; to be held up by the mighty right hand of Jesus Christ; to have the gentleness and humility of our Lord; that is a recovery that is too good to keep to oneself. And when I can no longer keep the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ to myself, I find myself sharing the gospel and doing the work of an evangelist.
Beloved, do you not see here the steps to the revival so badly needed in our nation? It begins first with me! And then, and only then does the Lord use me to tell others about Him. Revival comes to the church and it is an outpouring into the community. Revival doesn’t save the lost; you can only revive the once-living. The lost get saved because revival has come to the church! Hallelujah!!
Andrew Bonar was a great 19th Century Scottish preacher and I want to leave you with a quote from him for you to dwell on. Tomorrow we will wrap up this precious passage from Psalm 51 with a closer look at revival.
“Revivals begin with God’s own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones…Oh, what responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!”
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers