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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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We Need Renewal and Revival!

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Why is there so much complacency in the Adventist Church? I mean, we have the truth, but we’re not preaching it the way we should. Worse than that, we’ve become so familiar with the Word of God that we aren’t even living by what we know to be right. We need spiritual renewal and revival. How can we get it?


Steve Answers:

Usually when I hear "We need spiritual renewal and revival," it comes from somebody who’s frustrated that more people aren’t sincere or enthusiastic about spiritual things. I’ve felt that way. And sometimes I’ve heard others say that type of thing when I wasn’t spiritually on fire myself.

Has the same been true for you–sometimes you’re hot, sometimes lukewarm, sometimes cold? Or do you find yourself to be constantly a source of inspiration to others, proclaiming a consistent testimony, perpetually serving others, and listening to those who are distraught?

A broad question like "Why is there so much complacency in the Adventist Church?" deserves a response. But I’m not sure that you and I have the same experience with Adventists, or even if we’ve been to the same Adventist churches. I can make some guesses as to why you or others feel as though the church is complacent:

1. Jesus hasn’t returned, and it’s hard to wait any longer.

2. Life has become too boring.

3. The church seems to be for old people.

4. Members don’t care about "truth"–they just want to have fun.

Try creating a list of your own. Try creating one with your youth group or even some adults.

I think you’ll find that Jesus’ parable about the sower or farmer will provide some answers to your questions. You can find it in Matthew 13:1-23. Verse 15 says, "This people’s heart has become callused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes."

Verses 18-23 explain the parable. The seed represents the good news about God’s kingdom that gets spread all over the place. But sometimes those who hear it are hardened, and the devil snatches the good news away.

Some who hear the good news respond with joy, but they quickly lose their liveliness because it’s a shallow experience that hasn’t grown any roots. Basically, once some tough times come, they quit religion.

Others who hear the good news respond positively. But then the things of this world take precedence, and the good news gets choked out.

The bottom line is that good soil produces a good harvest.

Usually we place guilt on people and tell them to try harder or to get more serious or to put forth more energy toward God. It might last for a short time. But according to the parable, the problem is with the soil.

What is needed is proper soil preparation. If your heart is hard, it needs to be plowed up and turned over and probably broken up quite a bit. If you’re living in rocky soil, the rocks need to be removed in order for the good news about the kingdom to take root. Or if you’re mixing the things of the world with the good news of the kingdom, then the kingdom will get squeezed out.

If you want a spiritual crop, you need to prepare the soil. Are you ready to lead the way and have your life be turned upside down, sifted, weeded, and some things removed? If not, don’t ask others to do it either. But if you are ready, why not lead the way by first being an example? Then, when others see the good that results, they’ll be directed to God (see Matthew 5:16). 



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