I had the marvelous privilege of pastoring the First Baptist Church of Weaver, Alabama for seven years. It was one of the happiest periods of my life. The people were loving, supportive and caring. Weaver was not a large congregation, but it was a congregation with a big heart and a big vision. One of the things I dreamed of doing was hosting a “Great Preachers Event.” The church gave full support and we launched an event we called, “Great Preachers in America” which was held each fall. We saw and heard some of the greatest biblical expositors of my lifetime. To name a few who preached in this event: Dr. Stephen F. Olford, my friend and mentor for 35 years; Dr. David Olford, president of Olford Ministries International; Dr. Lewis Drummond, was, at the time Professor of Evangelism at Beeson Divinity School; Dr. Eric Alexander, Glasgow Scotland, a noted Keswick Speaker; Dr. John Phillips, Bible teacher and author of Exploring the Bible Commentaries; Dr. Fred Luter, pastor of the famed Franklin Ave. Baptist Church in New Orleans. Fred came to Weaver many times and became a great friend to our church family. Dr. Ben Haden was the first preacher to preach in the Great Preachers series and probably drew the largest crowd. Dr. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Dr. Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, and Dr. Tom Elliff, then president of the Southern Baptist Convention. And there were more…
In that period of time there were many young people in the church who were being drawn to a closer walk with the Lord…and to Gospel ministry. One of those young people was J.D. Weed. J.D. was an exceptional student, with a brilliant mind and a heart for God. He went to University of Mobile and then to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is now pastor of the Union Baptist Church in Pamplico, SC. I will have the joy and privilege of spending a few days with J.D., his family and his congregation in October. I am praying that the Lord will abundantly bless our days of ministry together.
Pray for young men and women of our day who have given themselves to the Lord and His work. We live in difficult times. Those in the Lord’s work need renewed strength and courage everyday.
The Welsh Revival, 1904-05, is one of the most powerful demonstrations of God’s power to bring revival to His people. Over one hundred thousand souls came to Christ in Wales in less than nine months. As the revival spread it made global impact ushering thousands more into the Kingdom of God.
On the human side of the story a young man, Evan Roberts, was a principle instrument. At the very early age of 13 he developed a heart burden for revival and for ten years he prayed for revival. Revival came.
Evan Roberts gave four requirements for revival that became associated with the Welsh Revival and it’s continuing influence. The requirements Roberts listed then are relevant today:
- Confess all known sin
- Repentance and restitution
- Obedience and surrender to the Holy Spirit
- Public Confession of Christ
These may seem like simple things, but in God’s way of thinking and acting each of these is a very important requirement for revival. God’s blessings are conditional. If you and I desire to experience the blessings of God upon our lives then we must live by his principles and His biblical standards. If you desire to have a closer walk with Christ the four requirements listed by Roberts is a good place to start.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, led a very disciplined life. He was particularly disciplined in matters pertaining to his walk with God. With a strong emphasis on personal holiness he devised a list of questions to be used in mentoring members of “The Holy Club”. These questions were first seen in 1729 or 1730, but they are still relevant today. Read them and decide how you are doing spiritually.
- Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?
- Can I be trusted?
- Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
- Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
- Did the Bible live in me today?
- Do I give the Bible time to speak to me every day?
- Am I enjoying prayer?
- When did I last speak to someone else of my faith?
- Do I pray about the money I spend?
- Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
- Do I disobey God in anything?
- Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
- Am I defeated in any part of my life?
- Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
- How do I spend my spare time?
- Am I proud?
- Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
- Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward, or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
- Do I grumble or complain constantly?
- Is Christ real to me?