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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Signs of Spiritual Awakening Pt. 1

(Taken from the Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus series.)

“A few days later, when again entered Capernaum; the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.”

                                                                                                            Mark 2:1-2

Over the past several weeks we have discussed three keys to spiritual awakening including: repentance, leaving everything connected to our old sinful life, and embracing the authority of Christ’s Word.

However, how does a church gauge whether or not revival (awakening) is taking root? What does it look like when it begins to happen? The second chapter of Mark helps us to understand the signs.

Some may say, from an initial observation of the passage, that the presence of a large crowd is a key indication of a great move of God; however, we must bear in mind that although a genuine move of God is going to attract people; so will a concert or good football game.

Some may point to the energy, excitement, and zeal surrounding the event as an indication of revival; yet again these may accompany a genuine move of God; nevertheless they are easily replicated by many secular forms of entertainment.  

Looking at the passage, one of the first real tangible signs of awakening is a hunger for the Word of God! People of varying background, economic status, and social groups all pressed in, willing to pack in (standing room only) to hear the words of Jesus. No real awakening can be sustained in our lives without a growing hunger for the Word of God.

When revival becomes preoccupied with signs, wonders, and intense worship; while becoming devoid of the Word of God; the integrity of the revival cannot be sustained.

Praise and worship can lift our faith, but they don’t produce it. Signs and wonders can lift our faith, but they don’t produce it. Faith is the by-product of God’s Word:

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”      

                                                                                    Romans 10:17

At the very heart of a great awakening is going to be a heightened sensitivity to Scripture, a greater commitment to sound doctrine, and increased proclamation of God’s Holy Word.


Pastor Scott Burr                                                                    


Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Path to Spiritual Awakening Pt.3

(Taken from the Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus series.)

“They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.”

                                                                                                Mark 1:21-23

Once we have embraced repentance and the willingness to leave everything connected with our old sinful life behind; the final step towards spiritual awakening is to embrace the authority of Christ’s word.

As Jesus preached to those gathered in the synagogue, a man possessed by an evil spirit, began to oppose Him. Satan and sinners, alike, seem to get very uncomfortable when the authoritative word of God is preached. This is because true preaching expresses and impresses the authority of Jesus Christ.

Satan knows that the Word of God is life altering and transformative. That is why he opposes it. What I find interesting about this story is that the man, who was the most vocal in his opposition, was the one who was the most transformed:

“Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?  Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy one of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.”

Mark 1:23-26

Immediately this man’s life was changed. Transformation is not designed to be a 50 year process, where you give up one sin at a time, as you feel you are ready. That’s not transformation, that’s procrastination. Too many people try to hide behind the “I am a work in progress” excuse as their reason for not submitting to Christ’s word in every area of their lives.

It is only when we submit ourselves to the authority of Christ’s teaching that we experience deliverance in our lives.


Here is a sobering thought: When Jesus spoke to that demon, did He expect that demon to respond the His Word? Of course He did!

 Why then do we believe that Jesus is willing to be more lenient with us? Why do we believe that we can operate in disobedience to His Word and live any way we want? In this case, the demon acted more Christian that some of us do. That demon wasted no time responding to Christ’s directive, because he knew the power and authority of Jesus Christ.

Transformation and spiritual awakening will not come simply because we want it to.  It comes when we repent, leave behind their old sinful life, and embrace Christ’s commands then the results become evident.


Pastor Scott Burr