The title for today’s encouragement came from a joke I heard some time ago that went something like this:
Two pastors were exchanging the latest news. One said, “Did you hear about the revival we had at our church?”
“No,” replied the other pastor. “How many new members did you add to your rolls?”
“None,” the first pastor exclaimed, “but we had some very helpful and necessary subtractions!”
Here is a word of encouragement for us all. If we ever find ourselves in the midst of a revival, let’s make sure we are on the side of addition and not subtraction! The book of Acts shows us that the early church was marked by both kinds of “revival,” as the Sovereign Lord both added to and subtracted from the church.
You might remember that 3,000 were added to the church, and then 5,000 more. What a revival that must have been! But we must never overlook the growth of the church that took place by divine subtraction also. In the fifth chapter of Acts, we read about Ananias and Sapphira, who came under the divine discipline of the Almighty and were removed from the church.
Revival isn’t a matter of collective church growth only; it begins in the heart of the believer. We can start our own revival by adding something to our personal walk with Christ or by subtracting something. Here are a few examples of some good things to add that can strengthen our walk with Christ:
- Daily devotional time
- Consistent prayer
- Regular church attendance
- Volunteer for a service project
- Join a Bible study
- Regular rest
- Go on a mission trip
- Daily exercise program
Here are a few things that are good to subtract that just might be hindering our walk with Christ:
- Television time
- Internet time
- Burning the candle at both ends
- Spending more than we make
There may be several other things you can identify to add or subtract in your own life. Take some time to consider just how God would have you start your own revival in your life. You can be certain of two things: it will be for your ultimate good and God’s glory.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!