“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.” Revelation 3.1, 2
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival XII
The Rev. Patrick Fairbairn, Minister of Bridgeton
“But let it never be forgotten by the people of God, that the removal of the hindrances in question is their immediate and personal concern; they are not to wait till the world rights itself, but consider themselves peculiarly charged with rectifying, by every means in their power, that which is disordered; not only as members of the church of Christ must they employ the spiritual weapons with which they are furnished, but as members of a present society, which is overrun with so many forms and elements of evil, it is their imperative duty to be ever witnessing against the evil, and as far as the influence of their example and authority can reach to cast up, and prepare the way, and take up the stumbling blocks out of the way, that when God is pleased to revive us again, his word may have free course and be glorified.”
We will only be a people who are “ever witnessing” to the evil of our society and exercising a powerful “influence of their example and authority” when we are a people who are revived. There is always work to be done in overcoming evil with good in our lives and times (Rom. 12.21). God has redeemed us for good works, and He intends that we should be zealous in the performance of them (Eph. 2.10). We must both prepare the Lord’s field for sowing the good seed, and tend the field once it is sowed, lest the tares of the evil one choke out the work we have done. As the people of God live their own Kingdom experience in the world, they challenge everything that is evil, confirm all that is good, and remind the world that there is a Judge before Whom we must all give an answer one day. The task of God’s shepherds is to equip the people of God for good works in every area of life. But for the shepherds to do this, and the people of God to embrace their teaching, we must be revived.
In your community, where is the light of good works especially needed at this time? Are you equipping the people in your care to address this need?
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All quotations in this series are taken from Ministers of Scotland,Lectures on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts, ed. (Wheaton: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1980). Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.