For those you who were unable to attend our recent women’s conference Women Passionate for God’s Glory: Lessons for Today from Women of Yesterday, I wanted to give you a little taste of the theme of the conference by sharing with you Sharon James’ opening words.
As you read, try to imagine Sharon speaking in her wonderful British accent. Better yet, listen to her, and enjoy for yourself! —Valori Maresco
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
What exactly do we mean when we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?
I remember when I was little learning the children’s catechism, and that said that we’re praying for men on earth to do God’s will as the angels do in heaven. And that’s actually about right. We’re praying for God to come in power to change the hearts and minds of everybody on earth to love him and give him glory, which is what he created everybody on earth to do.
And that leads us directly into our three themes for this weekend. Revival is the first theme. What is revival? Well it’s simply a description for those times when God comes near in greater power. This can happen on a personal, individual level. God can draw near showing us his great holiness, convicting us of our own need for ongoing repentance and change.
But through church history, there have been times where God has drawn near in power on a wider level and at these times of widespread awareness of God’s real presence, many people are convicted and converted. It’s a little bit as if at those times the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth, the fast forward button is pressed and there’s stronger, quicker movement of the kingdom of Christ on earth. And these times of revival invariably lead to God’s people being given a greater passion for holiness. It’s as if there is an awareness that God is right here with us and we just don’t want to do, or say, or think, or feel, anything that would displease him.
And those feelings—those emotions—invariably lead to our second theme of the weekend and that is the theme of mission. Because inevitably, at that point, we grow in desire that everybody should know this great and wonderful God. That everybody should know forgiveness.
And revival also, always, invariably results in a passion for holiness. And we’ll conclude the weekend tomorrow morning with that theme.
Now we’re going to look this weekend at the lives of just three women. And each one lived through times of real spiritual renewal. And as a result each one had a concern for mission, and each had a passion for holiness.
But the woman we’re going to look at tonight, Sarah Edwards, we’re going to focus on the theme of revival . . .
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