From Liz Groman
Ephesians 1:3-6 PHILLIPS Praise be to God for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven! For consider what he has done—before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care. He planned, in his purpose of love, that we should be adopted as his own children through Jesus Christ—that we might learn to praise that glorious generosity of his which has made us welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the Son.
HYMN - “Here is Love”
Here is love, vast as the ocean, Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our ransom, Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember? Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten, Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion, Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers, Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice Kissed a guilty world in love.
Let me all Thy love accepting, Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory, Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me, Thou Thyself hast set me free.
In Thy truth Thou dost direct me By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting, As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless, Drawing out my heart to Thee.
This hymn is called the Love Song of the Revival, the most treasured and often sung song of the Welsh Revival of 1904-1906; it expresses how hearts responded to the redemptive power of God’s love unleashed during that remarkable and miraculous revival. This was a Pentecostal movement - repent, be redeemed, be baptized in the Holy Spirit and share the Gospel wherever you go. Like all true revivals, the Message was simple and all about the redemptive power of God’s love. Over 100,000 people gave their lives to Christ in the first six months, a great number of these were rough and irreverent coal miners. It is said that the ponies used in the mines had to be retrained to respond to kind and gentle commands because so many of the miners no longer used curses/swearing. During this time a great number of drinking establishments went bankrupt and crime was reduced so significantly that the police and judges often found themselves without work. This demonstration of God’s grace and love, having Acts 2:38 as its signature, resulted in repentance, confession and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit for enduement of power from on high. This revival was the forerunner of the subsequent worldwide Pentecostal revivals of the 20th Century, including Azusa Street here in California. One by one they chose to be “in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care.” One by one they recognized “that glorious generosity of His (Father God) which has made us welcome in the everlasting love He bears towards the Son.” One by one they recognized, embraced and owned their place in the Father’s love for them - “Grace and love, like mighty rivers, poured incessant from above, And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice kissed a guilty world in love.” This simple but mighty move of God was a manifestation of love and power which completely transformed thousands of lives one-by-one.
Revival happens individually, each heart accepting/embracing/owning that kiss from Jesus. I can remember when my heart was first flooded with His overwhelming presence, the sensation of floating in the sea of His love/grace/peace, the weight of my sin/depression/anger being simply and completely washed away, of being swept up into God’s glory by His grace! How do I ever get to a place where I forget, where I trade Him/His presence for anything of this world, where my response becomes dull, where I hesitate to share Jesus as the only answer that really makes any difference? The Holy Spirit has been stirring the embers of His first revival in my heart, asking me to return to my first love by feeding His Fire, by spending more time with Him while serving Him and others rather than myself, by praying that I might be an instrument in the Redeemer’s hand used to unleash that overwhelming outpouring of His love in hearts - one-by-one - and that I might be faithful and true to Him all the days of my life.
We sing another song similar to the one above, another one that should arrest me from the distractions of this world:
How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss - The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life - I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything, No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart - His wounds have paid my ransom.
Lord, You are God, almighty, everlasting, omnipotent, omniscient, and yet You cared for me, even before I cared for You. You woo me back when I wander and become distracted, You forgive me when I ask and restore me in Your love/peace/righteousness by grace. How wide, how deep, how vast is Your love for me! I am so grateful for the Cross, the price paid for me to be firmly and forever Your child with all the privileges of family. Forgive me for letting the fire You set in me to burn low. Stir up and rekindle the flame that I might fully and completely cooperate with the Holy Spirit to use the gifts You have given me to reveal Christ to each one I meet. Lord, endure me with power and anointing to be an instrument of revival in those around me. May many others join me in this prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray.