A Wisdom Retreat – June 23

Revival Starts with You

Matthew 5:16

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

How does the church gain the world’s attention? How will the local church catch the ears of those who so desperately need to hear the gospel? It will only happen when Christians begin to get real with their faith and start living it out before men.

People are watching you. So, when you say you will do something, do it. When you fail at something, admit it. Don’t claw and scrape and climb over others like everyone else. Trust that God is at work and settle for nothing less than the holiness and purity that He requires of you. Let this so establish itself in your character that it emanates from you before a needy and watchful world. If our gospel will change the world, it must first change us.

These words are from an Anglican bishop who lived a few generations ago. They were found among his last effects:

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older, I discovered the world would not change. So, I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But, it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family—those closest to me. But, alas, they would have none of it. Now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize, if I had only been changed, then by example, perhaps I could have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.

This is where we must begin. It must start with the person staring back at you from the mirror, the one willing to make any changes necessary—not for your own glory, but for the glory of God. Christ reminds us in Matthew 5 that “they [will] see your good works and glorify [the] Father in heaven.” Your ultimate purpose and joy will be in seeing others come to know the Savior as you have, for it is God who changes lives, and we are living testimonies of that.

For that reason, we are to be like mirrors in the world, reflecting His character. If the world is ever going to see God, they must first see Him . . . in us.

Prayer Point: Pray that you will be a living reflection of Jesus Christ to the world, as well as to your church. Then, pray that God will work in the hearts of Christians in your church, calling them to dedicate themselves in living holy lives, breaching the gap between the church and the world.

Extra Refreshment: Read Ephesians 2—reminding the Church how we were called out, and what we have been called to do.

Moving Forward in Reverse (Booklet)

In this eye-opening look at some of the setbacks Paul experienced in Rome, Stephen will teach us the humbling lesson that God often moves us forward in reverse. Things that seem to be setbacks or reversals in your life might actually be God working to move his plan forward.

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Dr. Eric Perry

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