December 8

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 8
     III John 1
     Habakkuk 3
     Luke 22
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''O Lord, I have heard your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years, make it known; in wrath remember mercy." (Habakkuk 3:2)  ·
 
PRAYING WITH AN ANCIENT PROPHET
            In our nation today, there is no hope outside of a genuine Heaven-sent revival. It is indeed revival for survivalin America and in any other country where Christians live and serve the Lord. The classic prayer for revival was that of Habakkuk in Chapter 3. If ever there was an hour in the history of the Christian church when all of God's people ought to join an ancient prophet in prayer, it is now.
            Through the ages, God's people have joined Habakkuk in prayer, asking God for revival, praying that He would cause His Word to live again.  God 's people -whether they are a congregation, church, mission, school, family, or even an individual sometimes leave their first love as did the church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:4).            Difficulties arise, time passes, and emphasis changes, key people move away and - almost unnoticed - the life and zeal for the Lord have vanished.
Habakkuk's prayer for revival is remarkable for its scope of thought and piety. In Habakkuk's prayer, he recognized the need for taking God's Word seriously in verse 2. He made the direct request for revival, and made an appeal for mercy, not for what we think we deserve (verse 2). Habakkuk included an acknowledgment of the great power God has over His entire creation (verses 3-7), and also acknowledged that God, in righteous anger, punishes sinful men and nations (verses 8-12).
In the midst of his great plea for mercy and revival, Habakkuk gave praise to God for saving his people, and acknowledged an acceptance of God's will for the future (verses 13-16).
            The great prophet affirmed his faith in God whatever events would come, and affirmed that God is our strength, the source of our walk, and the source of our blessings.
            It blesses me to see that the prophet was willing to praise God regardless of the answer to his prayer or the outcome of what happened in Judah. He closes out his great prayer with acknowledging that though there be no fruit on the branches, and no herd in the stalls, he will give praise to God and rejoice in the Lord.
            We need revival in the modem church. This probably means that you need revival in your life. Let me suggest 10 things that we ask God to produce in our lives today which would be the product of genuine revival.
    1.             A renewed living faith
    2.             A new commitment to God to be faithful in worship and church attendance.
    3.             A greater zeal and desire to study God's Word and to pray.
    4.             A renewed effort to win souls and participate in evangelism. 
    5.             A putting away of sins, including criticism, grumbling, and gossip.
    6.             A renewed joy in the Lord.
    7.             A greater spirit of love and forbearance among God's people.
    8.             A greater impact of witness in the community and nation.
    9.             A rising love and praise to God for His abundant goodness.
  10.          A loyalty to sound doctrine.
Let us pray that we, too,may experience true revival and ''walk on my high hills'' (verse 19) again.            It all must begin, however, with a prayer for revival.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            The Republic of Kiribati in the Pacific has only about 90,000 people. At one time, there was a strong congregational church, but it grew weaker because it was only nominal Christianity. Today, evangelical Christians are growing in number,largely through the witness of the Church of God with rapidly growing congregations.
            There are 33 pastors and a Bible School with 79 students. The Assembly of God also has a growing presence. Pray that every island of this Republic may have a clear, resident, Gospel witness.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
            ''I will not permit any man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."
Booker T. Washington