All posts by Alexandra Ghaly

How to Promote a Revival

The following lecture was the third in a series preached by Charles G. Finney to his own congregation at the Chatham Chapel in New York in 1835. The editor of The Evangelist took detailed notes and published the lectures that same year.

By 1868, over 80,000 copies had been printed in English. Having been translated into French and Welsh, the lectures also spread across Europe and impacted thousands of souls. A dear brother has made all of these precious lectures available online for free, including both print and audio recordings.

 LECTURES ON REVIVALS OF RELIGION
by The Rev. CHARLES G. FINNEY
LECTURE III
HOW TO PROMOTE A REVIVAL

TEXT. —Break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. –HOSEA X. 12.

THE Jews were a nation of farmers, and it is therefore a common thing in the Scriptures to refer for illustrations to their occupation, and to the scenes with which farmers and shepherds are familiar. The prophet Hosea addresses them as a nation of backsliders, and reproves them for their idolatry, and threatens them with the judgments of God. I have showed you in my first lecture what a revival is not–what it is–and the agencies to be employed in promoting it; and in my second, when it is needed–its importance–and when it may be expected. My design in this lecture is to show,

HOW A REVIVAL IS TO BE PROMOTED.

A revival consists of two parts; as it respects the church, and as it respects the ungodly. I shall speak to-night of a revival in the church. Fallow ground is ground which has once been tilled, but which now lies waste, and needs to be broken up and mellowed, before it is suited to receive grain. I shall show, as it respects a revival in the church,

1. What it is to break up the fallow ground, in the sense of the text.
2. How it is to be performed. Continue reading How to Promote a Revival

Giving to Jesus: A Christmas Message

As we head into Christmas, it is good to be on guard against the temptation to worldliness and materialism. Let’s consider how the wise men, King Herod, and the Sanhedrin responded to God giving his Son to a lost and dying world.

The wise men recognized that Jesus was God’s gift to the world, including them. As Pastor Ray stated in the December 19 broadcast, these wise men were not part of the Sanhedrin, and they were probably pagans. They did not outwardly belong to the people of God. But they recognized that the Messiah was sent for the world, and that included them.

The wise men brought gifts to Jesus. Have you given anything to Jesus this holiday season? Or have you been so caught up in buying gifts for other people that you have neglected to give to Jesus? Who has gotten more of your money: retailers, or Jesus?

The wise men brought precious gifts to Jesus: frankincense, myrrh, and gold. Have you given your gold to Jesus—have you given him what is most precious and expensive to you? Or have you given him just a little bit, and what you comfortably could have gone without, and spent the rest on others and yourself?

The wise men put their faces on the ground before Jesus. The wise men visited Jesus in Bethlehem, though it is uncertain from the Scripture if this was immediately after his birth or if some time had passed. Either way, Jesus was a young child–possibly an infant, and probably no older than two years old. A lot of humility is needed for a grown man, in the presence of others, to bow down before an infant or toddler. And, if the wise men did visit Jesus during the census time, their faces would have been on the floor of a stable. What would their faces have been in? What would it have smelled like? Dirt would be the best option. Have you given up your sense of being somebody before Jesus? Have you given up the pride that would lead you to feel shame at how low you would have to go in order to honestly worship God?

King Herod and the ruling Jews of the Sanhedrin wanted to kill Jesus. These men recognized that Jesus was a threat to their authority, power, and control. Indeed, with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., their reign was thoroughly destroyed. Now, the kingdom of God, with Jesus Christ as its head, is being brought in the earth. What is your response to all this? Have you given yourself fully to join the ranks of Christ and his saints? Or is Jesus a threat to you—someone who demands that you renounce control of your own life, which control you believe is rightfully yours? Are you part of the rebellion against the kingdom of Christ? If Jesus were to appear before you now, would you sooner kill him than submit to him? How do your actions this past week respond to this question?

Give to Jesus because you love him. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to consider how, in your actions, you can honestly thank Jesus for being your salvation. If you’ve been caught up in the shopping and buying, get alone with God and allow the Holy Spirit to soften your heart. Consider what it cost Jesus, and still costs him, to save men and women. Stay in prayer until you find that your natural response is to give Jesus everything that you have because you love him.

Beloved, may you be blessed in Jesus Christ this Christmas!