Pastor's Corner - July 21st
Finally, Jonah reaches the city of Nineveh and preaches a call to repentance. Then the power of God’s great love sweeps through the streets and fills every alley. This message begins to steep in every soul. Every citizen (including the king and the cattle) cover themselves in sackcloths to fast to the Lord. The power of our grace is in full swing. This is revival.
I can’t help but wonder what a revival would look like in the greater Marion County. Just imagine the Spirit sweeping down the Main Streets of Pella, Knoxville and etc. Hymns being song of God’s great rescue in every shop on the corner. Stories of broken homes being restored and lost souls being found. Light shining in every dark space in our communities. This is revival.
But it must be noted that repentance plays a quintessential role in every revival. We know repentance requires turning away from all that holds us back (i.e. idols, addiction, abuse, and materialism etc.) and turning to God’s great love. Revivals often begin with one person. Like Jonah, one person receives a message from God, repents and turns their lives over to God. Which can cause the surrounding people to sit up and take notice. Then like a mighty flame, others catch fire and the good news spreads. This is revival.
Maybe you are like me and you dream about a revival swelling in our city and beyond. If so, what does the God of Nineveh need to revive in our own hearts? Let’s turn away from all that hinders us and run with abandon towards God’s love! Perhaps others will take notice and follow us. This is revival!
~Pastor Chris Allen
The Final Installment
Today is the final installment in my five-week series on the Lessons I Have Learned From Being a Rebel.
Lesson five has to do with rebels taking on a long-term view of change. In most places and with many people, change comes slowly. Even those changes that the rebel would count as critically important. Incremental change is still change! Rebels should tape that statement to the top of the computer screen to temper the fiery e-mail they are tempted to write/send when their proposed change isn’t embraced more enthusiastically.
In fact, incremental change (in most instances) is the best kind of change, because it mitigates against unintended consequences. It is difficult to anticipate how any proposed change will affect other behaviors. We may think we know, but we don’t. It is likely that sweeping change would create other challenges that the rebel never anticipated. Therefore,
Lesson FIVE – rebels learn to restrain their insistence on radical change. They see the benefits of incremental change, knowing that this kind of transformation is more manageable and effective.
Add this lesson to the previous ones, and you might just become the kind of rebel that does more than annoy people.
Lesson ONE – rebels who are remembered (for goodness sake), are not just against things as they are, they are diligently giving themselves to things as they should be.
Lesson TWO – the best rebels understand that respecting all people is fundamental in the pursuit of any goal, and under the Christian banner, love might even demand that we honor the “opposing” person over and above the cause.
Lesson THREE – a passionate rebel must be persistent in the cause and patient with the people who don’t feel it as deeply as the rebel does. The rebel still needs them. If you’re the rebel – don’t alienate people. Lead them.
Lesson FOUR – strategically, it is essential for rebels to authentically affirm what does not need changing before advocating for the things that do need changing.
~ Pastor Piet