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Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
People are wilting in the heat lately. Either that or they are watching their lives get swallowed up by flash floods. Some are experiencing great tragedy. I'm sure many feel as I have felt before in my life; like a rag doll with all the stuffing knocked out of it.
What does it take to revive? The word "revive" is translated from chayah, "to live," "to cause to live." In the Bible it is found in passages dealing with restoration to life (Genesis 45:27,e.g.), rebuilding (Nehemiah 4:2), restoration to well-being (Ps 85:6). In Habakkuk 3:2 it speaks of Yahweh's gracious work for His people as God is implored to revive His work in the midst of the years. The word michydh used in Ezra 9:8, 9 refers to preservation and means of life. In the NT the Greek anazao means "to live again." (Romans 7:9, 14:9) Christ died and rose and revived, lived again.
In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul exhorts Timothy to stir or kindle up as a fire the gift of God which was in Timothy by the laying on of Paul's hands, anazopureo. It is for us to "stir into flame" the gift of the Spirit which we have already received of God. We are not to let it go dormant, like some ember that is petering out.
So reviving is a return, a recovery to life from death or near death or apparent death. It's what happens when someone who has drowned or suffered calamitous illness is brought back from the brink of death. (See 1 Kings 17, Romans 14.) It's what happens when someone recovers from languishing illness or neglect or when one comes out of oblivion, obscurity, or depression. (Genesis 45) It's also what happens when people experience an awakening to spiritual matters. And keep in mind, sin can revive, as when the conscience is awakened and stirred by conviction of guilt. (Romans 7)
I was alive without the law once: but when
The commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
And the commandment, which was ordained to life,
I found to be unto death. Romans 7:9, 10
With reviving can come a re-comforting, a refreshing with joy or hope. (Psalm 85) If you've ever "come to the party," you understand what it is to revive. So, what does it take to have revival unto life?
Grace is the power of revival. It takes grace, God granting grace. Repentance is the path of revival; we have to repent of sin and have our minds renewed unto righteousness. Life, as we have seen, is the purpose of revival. This brings us to faith, but faith in what?
Revelation of truth is the faith of revival, for by believing the truth as revealed by God, we revive; we are restored. We must believe in the truth of resurrection. We need resurrection faith, not just once a year in the spring, but all the time.
Something happens; we melt, we get depressed, we languish. In the life and atoning death of Jesus Christ the power of sin, the power of death, the power of Satan, the power of sickness, the power of evil, the power of the world, and the power of fear are broken.
Jesus rose from the dead. His followers didn't get it immediately. Even though the stone had been removed, the body was absent, angels appeared, several women and some men testified, not everyone was convinced. Fears remained. Thomas had to see to believe. Jesus had to confirm to His disciples His Lordship. These had met the Lamb, enjoyed fellowship with the Lamb from day one, followed the Lamb and watched Him die on the Cross, but they had to continue to follow the Lamb wherever He goes…to the risen Jesus. Anastasis. Jesus turned the tables on the enemy, God's enemies. He died that we might live, revive, be restored to life, walk in newness of life. Jesus authored resurrection faith.
Abraham believed that nothing was impossible for God. In Genesis 22 he says, "We will worship and then we will come back to you." (Genesis 22.5) He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God. He was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. He was fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. (Romans 4.18-22)
And what about Habakkuk? The prophet, whose name means "embracer" or "wrestler," queries why God would allow such injustice against His own people, such violence and suffering. But the nation had violated the stipulations of the covenant. God knows! It is the people who should look and see and be astonished at the judgment of God. Though Habakkuk braced himself for the Lord's rebuke, he is answered with a vision of hope, a vision contrasting the righteous by faith with the proud. Like Abraham, Habakkuk wonders how God will be true to His promise if the people of God get wiped out. The answer? The just shall live by faith. (Habakkuk 2:4)
The just shall live by faith. We could express it: the justified shall live by his steadfast trust. The gift of life continues to be received by faith. Those who trust God's grace for their very existence presently and continuously shall live. Those who do this will survive the devastating judgments of God. Who are the just? (Romans) How do the just live? (Galatians) What is it to live by faith? (Hebrews) After the loss of luxuries, after the loss of necessities, after the loss of all things, God's grace endures. We need to move into resurrection faith and say with Paul,
"… I count all things loss for
the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…
and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law,
but that which is through the faith of Christ…that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection,
and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;
if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." (Philippians 3.8-11)
Resurrection faith is: knowing the hope to which God has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for those who believe. (Ephesians 1.15-23) Resurrection faith is embracing not only the promises of God but also God Himself. Doubting is always easier than having faith in what God says. May we find power, God's power, to redeem our lives and transform them into something beautiful in Christ. If we relinquish our hold on ourselves and embrace Christ, we find a love, the love of God, raising us up, overcoming the power of the grave, giving us beauty for ashes. We revive by resurrection faith, by believing revelation truth.
After 19 years, we at MCM thank you who have prayed for us, gone with us, given of your time, talents, and money, encouraged us, and stayed the course with us.
We thank you for giving. Having completed a mission to North Africa, we head for South America and Israel next. Our Barnabas Project is expanding. Craighouse is growing. We welcome and need your generous gifts as guided by the Holy Spirit. You are touching lives through your gifts to Mary Craig Ministries. God is blessing MCM tremendously, and we are happy for those of you who partake of this blessing.
Serving the Lord of Resurrection Life,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org for the latest articles and words received. Order books from our catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. Mc Nab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests. Mary Craig Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation founded in 1993. Federal ID 65-0429517.
am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believes in Me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live;
and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
Do you believe this?" (John 11.25, 26)
Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.
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