An Article of Faith
As we continue: Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5-7) clearly reveals the essential elements for personal revival. If you will live in light of these truths, you can experience daily, continuous revival. To fail to heed Christ’s words will lead to fruitlessness and despair.
Carefully read each Scripture and search your heart in light of Christ’s words that they might bring you to a greater repentance and a hunger to be conformed to the image of Christ. As you proceed, circle the areas of greatest need and seek God for cleansing through confession and repentance for revival.
Matthew 5:33-37 (NASB): “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”
Do I make oaths? Do I feel the necessity to make up for a lack of integrity by assuring people that what I’m saying is really true? Do I ever fail to speak with honesty and integrity? Do I exaggerate or “stretch the truth?”
Matthew 5:38-42 (NASB): “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”
Am I taking revenge on anyone by my words or actions? Even subtly? Am I failing to love them aggressively, merely tolerating them?
Matthew 5:43-48 (NASB): “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Am I giving to my enemies, loving them, praying for them, greeting them? Am I seeking to be “prefect” or complete in every area of my life even as my Heavenly Father is perfect? (Taken and adapted from: OneCry: A Nationwide Call for Spiritual Awakening. Visit www.onecry.com.)
“If My people,” declares the LORD, “who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV.)
Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.