Items For Prayer And Praise
By Lois J. Stucky
“Be prepared!” This is a worthy motto for the Boy Scouts of America. “Always prepared!” is a noble motto for the U.S. Marine Corp. How many of us Christians have a motto of being prepared? We ought to! It is God Himself who commands us to prepare. He is no capricious God doing things at random, but He requires due preparation to be made for the great events which He plans.
Looking forward to the glorious Kingdom of Christ coming to this earth, God spoke through Isaiah (40:3) and said: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
Through Malachi God again spoke about preparing the way (3:1). Four hundred silent years later, the aged Zacharias spoke under mighty inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he declared that the miracle baby now held in the arms of Elizabeth, was the prophet who would prepare the way for the Christ (Luke 1:76). Jesus confirmed that John the Baptist had come to “prepare the way” (Luke 7:27).
John’s message of preparation to the people was, “repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4). Matthew echoes John’s message, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (3:1). Luke details even more the preparation that the fiery John the Baptist demanded: “Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.” Rid yourself of hypocrisy and excuses, he thundered, and he listed specific sins for which they must repent (Luke 3:7-14).
Christ’s Body, the Church, is to prepare today for the glorious coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ. First, the Church herself must prepare; then she has a vital message for the nonbelievers, to be preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. Revival is for the preparation of the Church, and there is also preparation to be made for revival. Sister Moore never tired of reminding the Herald staff that there is a John the Baptist company called to proclaim as faithfully as he did, the need to repent and make ready.
From around the world come letters of readers whose area is extremely dry and barren spiritually or is steeped in witchcraft. They feel held in a vice by the powers of darkness. Others are among the small minority of Christians in their country and are experiencing restriction and persecution. Can revival come even there? Is anything too hard for God? No! He tells us that He is not willing that any should perish. He is not just passively unwilling. He is agonizingly unwilling, actively unwilling--doing wonderful acts of mercy and grace in order that men might come to repentance.
Joel tells us, after judgment had been proclaimed: “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil” (Joel 2:12-14).
Oh, what a God we serve! A holy and righteous God to whom is due all honor and obedience; yet merciful and forgiving when we humbly turn to Him in repentance. There are preparations for us to make in order to open the way for His movings in great, revival power throughout things. Hard hearts will melt; sin-blinded eyes will see; ears deaf to the Gospel will hear. Let us ask and expect great things. Let us prepare now for revival and for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ! Revival is on God’s agenda, but there must be those who will make the necessary preparations. Joel tells us above what they are.
*For the salvation of many Jewish souls, and for God’s overruling in affairs in the Middle East to get His will done.
*That God will help His people to get very much in earnest in seeking Him for revival and in preparing their hearts for it. Ask God to use this issue to that end.
*For the preaching of the Gospel to the unreached multitudes around the world. Pray God will prepare their hearts and anoint the preaching of the Word so that many, many will come to Christ to save them from their sins.