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 6:1 (NASB) – “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” Am I practicing my good works to be seen by men? Am I anxious to let people know, one way or another, how spiritual I am – what religious activities I’m involved in?
Matthew 6:2-4 (NASB) – “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” When I give, do I make sure others know about it? Am I secretly pleased when they find out?
Matthew 6:5-6 (NASB) – “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” When I pray, am I trying to impress others? Do I love to pray publicly so that others can hear me and be impressed? Do I pray to my Heavenly Father in genuine communion with Him?
Matthew 6:7-8 (NASB) – “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Do I use meaningless repetition in prayer? Do I secretly think I can impress God with my many words or long moments spent in prayer? Am I resting and depending on my own efforts and abilities to gain God’s attention rather than the merits of Christ alone? (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.