Awaken the Church & Culture to Jesus!
A Summer Sermon Series by Dr. Michael Lewis
AWAKEN is the call of the Spirit to the heart of every child of God. The Spirit is calling us to life, light, and love. What is spiritual awakening and what does it look like in a believer’s life, a church, a community or a nation?
The Awakening America Alliance identified in ’20 Indicators of Spiritual Awakening’ what a contemporary spiritual awakening would look like in America in the church and in the culture. This series of sermons will challenge the members of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, to awaken to the realization that the only hope for our nation is a revived church which is fully alive by God’s Spirit to shine the light and love of Jesus.
The world is dying while the church is sleeping, and the urgent need of our day is AWAKE. The Working the Word challenges will focus on calling members to united prayer, personal confession of sin and repentance, and seeking spiritual outcomes which impact our community.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, pastor & president of the National Day of Prayer said the following:
- True revival is nothing less and nothing more than the manifest presence of God in our lives. It is when Jesus is free to be who He wants to be in, through, and around us.
- A surrendered pastor and a surrendered church will experience spiritual revival, especially when both are surrendered at the same time.
- We must learn to pray in surrender: Lord, I give 100% of me to 100% of You so that 100% of You will work through 100% of me!
- A spiritual breakthrough begins with personally surrendering oneself fully to God, transferring all ownership to the one true Owner, Jesus Christ. We do not need to grab, but to release. We do not live with our hands in fists, but with our hands open. We will never choose to let God have His way with us if we continue to hang on to our own desires, our own dreams, and our own bondage.
- Surrendering to God is abandoning all that we have in order to receive all that God possesses.
- Stop being content living life, doing family, working in the marketplace, and doing ministry through the local church without the power of God.
Sunday, June 23, 2019 – AWAKEN to the Call (1 Peter 4:17; 2 Chronicles 7:14)
Sunday, July 7, 2019 – AWAKEN to Jesus (Revelation 3:20)
Sunday, July 14, 2019 – AWAKEN Now (Romans 13:11)
Sunday, July 21, 2019 – AWAKEN to Light (Ephesians 5:6-14; Matthew 5:14-16)
Sunday, July 28, 2019 – AWAKEN to Love (John 13:34, 35)
“What would a contemporary spiritual awakening look like in America…in our church and culture?” Each of the 20 indicators includes an outline for “Praying God’s Word” as we unite the church’s fervent prayer for a Christ Awakening.
20 INDICATORS OF AWAKENING – http://cloud2.snappages.com/e7b93f3cc61fd4957a0933f5792057957887f857/Na tional%20Pr ayer%20Accord%20Overview_1.pdf
AWAKENING IN THE CHURCH
Where does Spiritual Awakening Begin? 1 Peter 4:17; 2 Chronicles 7:14
1 Peter 4:7-8, 17 – “The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer. 8Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. For the time has come for to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?” If we ever needed spiritual awakening, it is now! DOWNSTREAM in our world, we find the symptoms and signs of church irrelevance, fragmented relationships, cultural decay, moral decline, and love growing cold –but…UPSTREAM from such symptoms, we find hope! Reflecting on past “Great Awakenings,” we find hope in four specific initiatives as His Spirit leads:
AWAKENING TO SPIRITUAL FERVOR
What would it look like for a Lukewarm Church to become Hot for Jesus? Revelation 3 – Church of Laodicea – A Lukewarm Church is reflected in a lull of Spiritual Awareness in Culture / A Spiritual Fire of Awakening begins when the church answers the door and lets Jesus on the inside.
AWAKENING TO URGENCY
What are the Indicators of Awakening in America? Romans 13:11 – key text – cover the whole chapter – looking at indicators in the church and the culture
ILLUS – Since 1947, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has depicted on its cover what is called the Doomsday Clock. This clock registers how close the world is to nuclear apocalypse by the proximity of the minute hand to midnight. These nuclear scientists weigh both positive and negative factors in the world and make their determination about how close we are to ruin.
The last time the clock changed was in March of 2002. After considering the continued threat of terrorism, the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and the action or non-action of nations in regard to peace, the team of scientists adjusted the clock to read seven minutes to midnight. (source: Claude King) In their estimation, we’re dancing on the edge of disaster.
AWAKENING TO REPENTANCE
Isaiah 55; Isaiah 64; Jeremiah 2:13; Psalm 24
AWAKENING TO GOD’S PRESENCE
Ezekiel 22:30 – Where has the glory gone?
AWAKENING TO LOVE
Matthew 5:16; John 13: 34 – Letting our Light and Love be seen by All! Our Worship, Witness, Walk, Work – BE LIGHT – Love One Another Movement – 2 Chron. 20:1-30 – When King Jehoshaphat saw a vast army coming against the nation, he called the people together to fast and seek help from the Lord. God responded and saved the people. 2 Chron. 34:14-35:19 – When King Josiah heard God’s Word read, he tore his robes in anguish realizing how much his nation had offended God by violating His commands. Josiah humbled himself before the Lord and then called the people together and guided them toward repentance. And God spared that generation from destruction
Stories of Great Awakenings occurring
HAYSTACK PRAYER MEETING – In 1806, there were five college students who began to pray twice a week for a mighty move of God to occur. The second Great Awakening had affected at least one of these five students. College student Samuel Mills’ father had served as pastor of a church that had been touched powerfully by this awakening. These five students of the Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, had come together on a hot Saturday afternoon in August for their prayer meeting. They were going to discuss William Carey’s missionary manifesto, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens. On their way to their prayer meeting, a major rainstorm began, filled with wind, lightning, and thunder. They noticed a large haystack, which would provide an opportunity to seek shelter underneath from the wind, rain, and lightning. It was in that setting, after discussing Carey’s missionary manifesto, they went before God in prayer. Samuel Mills proposed they would go on mission to India. While three of the five agreed with Mills to focus on reaching Asia, it was Harvey Loomis who believed deeply they must focus on reaching America first.
Beginning with what is now known as the Haystack Prayer Meeting, two years later, in 1808, a group who became known as The Brethren was formulated. These five young men and others focused on prayer and missions. In 1810, after they graduated, they requested that a group send them to India as missionaries. The General Association of Massachusetts formed the first official missions organization in the United States in June of 1810. It was called The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Adoniram Judson and his wife, as well as Luther Rice, were some of the first missionaries commissioned and sent across the ocean by this new mission board. It was Judson who became known as the father of Baptist foreign missions.
It all began in a prayer meeting under a haystack. After praying under the haystack that afternoon, these five young men sang a hymn together. It was then Samuel Mills said loudly over the rain and the wind, “We can do this, if we will!” That moment changed those men forever. Many historians would tell you that all mission organizations trace their history back to the Haystack Prayer Meeting in some way. Yes, these men turned the world upside down. And it all began in a prayer meeting under a haystack.
At the place where this meeting occurred, a monument stands today, commemorating this historic God moment. At the top of the monument is the phrase, THE FIELD IS THE WORLD. Underneath those words, it says, “The birthplace of American foreign missions. 1806.” This great gospel advancement all occurred because five college students cried out to God in prayer.