FIRST-PERSON: Seeking revival
TAYLORS, S.C. (BP)--In recent days, God has given me the opportunity to speak in various churches, entities and organizations around our country. This has been a wonderful experience which has encouraged me to see the true heartbeat of many Southern Baptists.
I can tell you that there is a deep desire across our convention for the positive presentation of the life-transforming message of Christ. People want to move ahead in unity to reach this world for Christ. I am excited about the hope that I see springing up all across our nation.
I have spoken in several places about the need for revival. I call this one of the three “Rs” which are needed desperately for the future of our convention. Those three Rs are rightness, revival and relevancy.
I am praying that God will send a Holy Ghost revival upon the churches and people of our convention. It is our only hope! Without revival, we will not be able to see unity, church transformation or increased baptisms.
Recently, I spoke at the First Baptist Church of Dallas as that congregation dedicated its new Criswell Center. There are those around our convention who would say that this church has seen its best days. It has had a storied past under the capable leadership of great men such as George W. Truett and W.A. Criswell, as well as others in recent days. However, I want to tell you that this church has hope. They truly believe that they can make a difference in the heart of that great city. God bless First Baptist Dallas. May revival come to that wonderful church and begin a revival in that wonderful city.
Yet another recent speaking engagement was at the Community Mission Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. This predominantly African-American congregation is led by the able pastoral leadership of Rev. Furman Gatewood. Here is a church seeking revival. This small group of wonderful believers is trying to make a difference in their community. Simply put, there is hope there.
2 Chronicles 7:14 outlines that which needs to be accomplished in order for revival to come. Obviously, revival is a gift from God. However, in that strategic verse He outlines what needs to happen from our side of the equation. Remember these words: "If ... My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."
Let us pray, and beg God for revival. Let us do that which God outlines so that He might bless us once again.
Frank Page is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. Visit his website at www.sbc.net/PresidentsPage.