Lead article by Pastor Mark Finley former editor at large of the Adventist Review. This article was published February 10, 2011.
A Revival is an ongoing experience in the spiritual journey of each Christian and in the life of the church. Revival is the renewal of the spiritual energies of the soul. It has to do with a new commitment to Jesus every day. It leads us to a deeper experience in prayer, a more diligent study of God’s Word, and a life of service and witness. A heart hungering for spiritual revival is a heart that longs for a more intimate experience with Jesus. It isn’t satisfied with a shallow, superficial experience. It craves much more.
Shortly before His death Jesus prayed, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). If I were paraphrasing this passage in the context of revival, I would say, “And this is true revival: to really know God and His Son, Jesus Christ.” Revival is about knowing Jesus intimately; about fellowship with the Savior.
But is that all there is to it? If we pray and study our Bibles more, will this automatically lead us into a deeper relationship with Jesus? It might, or might not. It is possible to pray and study the Bible for hours and still not be any closer to Jesus; it largely depends on our motives as we pray and study God’s Word.
Imagine a group of people 2,000 years ago who spent hours praying and studying Scripture, yet were instrumental in putting our Lord to death. If spirituality were determined by the number of hours one prayed or studied Scripture, the Pharisees should have been the most spiritual people on the planet. But they plotted to crucify our Lord. Their egotistical pride resulted in totally misunderstanding the essence of true religion.
Any so-called revival that focuses on “my spiritual experience” alone also misses the mark. If it develops attitudes critical of those who may not measure up to “my standard of holiness,” it’s certainly not genuine spirituality. If the emphasis of revival is merely to change external behavior rather than to experience a change of heart, something is wrong.
Changed hearts lead to changed behavior. Genuine revival never leads to self-centeredness. It always leads to a selfless concern for others. When our hearts are renewed with God’s grace, we long to bless and serve others. All genuine revival leads to a renewed emphasis on mission and service.
On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on a church that was praying for power to reach the world with the message of salvation (see Acts 2:1-4). Christ’s followers recognized their need of divine power to carry out His command to proclaim the gospel. Commenting on the disciples’ experience, Ellen White made this powerful statement: “What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? The glad tidings of a risen Savior were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. As the disciples proclaimed the message of redeeming grace, hearts yielded to the power of this message. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Backsliders were reconverted. Sinners united with believers in seeking the pearl of great price. Some who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions” (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 48).
The purpose of revival is to fill our hearts with such a love for Jesus that we long to share Him with everyone possible. In genuine revival our own hearts are awakened to His goodness, His compassion, His forgiveness and power. We are so charmed by His love and transformed by His grace that we cannot be silent.
The purpose of revival is to draw us so close to Jesus that His love overflows from our lives to others. Revival: For what? All true revival leads us out of a preoccupation with ourselves to lives of witness and service. It leads us into our communities to share Jesus’ love in word and deed, to make an everlasting difference for Christ and His kingdom.
I pray that the Seventh-day Adventist Church experiences this heaven-sent revival of latter-rain power to share His message of love and truth in this climactic hour of earth’s history.
By Mark A. Finley, former editor at large of the Adventist Review. This article was published in the Adventist Review on February 10, 2011.
CONFERENCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS AT A GLANCE
24: Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day
30 - 31: Back to School Revival Joint
31: Youth Baptismal Sabbath
31: SBC Bible Connection Finals
SOUTH BAHAMAS CONFERENCE HOST WORKERS MEETING: On Thursday August 24, 2019, employees of South Bahamas Conference gathered at Bahamas Academy, Marshall Road for their annual Workers’ meeting. The morning began as pastors and teachers sang hymns of praise to God followed by a powerful devotional thought from Pastor Alvarico Moss. Guest Presenter for the occasion, Bro. Leabner Forbes of the Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church, did an outstanding job motivating the team. The worker force spent time in prayer together and our commitment as a church to do evangelism was reinforced. --Administration.
Adventist Book & Nutrition Center/ABNC
The Adventist Book & Nutrition Center is having a back to school one-day storewide sale on August 29th, 2019 with special hours from 8:00 a.m - 6:30 p.m.
ATCU PUSH INITIATIVE
The prayer focus of The Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) for the week, August 25-31, 2019: The Incarcerated and their Family Members.
ADVENTIST LAYMEN’S & SERVICES INDUSTRIES/ASI -- IAD - ASI CONVENTION
This morning scores of Business Owners and Professionals from throughout the Inter-American Division have gathered to worship God in Spirit and in truth. The Convention began on the evening of Wednesday August 21st and our guests were welcomed to the shores of the Bahamas by Government and Church officials. For the past three days attendees heard praise reports and participated in informative workshops about how to share Jesus in the marketplace. All members are invited to share in this special worship service in the Grand Ballroom at the Atlantis, Paradise Island. The guest speaker is Pastor John Bradshaw from the It Is Written Television Broadcast.
CHILDREN & ADOLESCENTS MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT
September 14 & 15 – Child Preachers Workshop (Register now at your local church). Deadline: August 26, 2019. For more information, please enquire from your local CHAM Leaders. --Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, C.H.A.M Director.
Third Quarter (July - September)
“WE” (Women Empowerment) – Q3 Forecast:
24 – Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day (All Churches)
25 – WM Local Leaders Meeting @ 9:30 a.m. - SBC Office
4 - God Covers Me (All Churches)
TBA – Zone 3 Community Outreach
21 – SBC GEMS God in Shoes, “A Pillow and a Prayer” - Community Outreach
28 – Philadelphia Church Women’s Ministries Emphasis Day
Save the Date: The 2019 Women’s Ministries Conclave will be held on October 18 & 19, 2019 under the theme: ‘God’s Beloved Daughters: Rescued, Redeemed, Restored & Released’. You cannot afford to miss this one of a kind worship experience.
Warfare Wednesdays: The Women’s Ministries Department extends an invitation to all women in the South Bahamas Conference to take a minute to “pause and pray” with us at 12:00 noon each Wednesday. This collective effort not only enrich our prayer lives but the results of these unified prayers are unmeasurable. You may contact your local leader for more information on this wonderful initiative.
Special Notes: All local Women’s Ministries Leaders are asked to meet at the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) Office on Sunday August 25, 2019 at 9: 30a.m for an important meeting.
ATCU WOMEN’S RETREAT: All non-Bahamians traveling to the Atlantic Caribbean Union Women’s Retreat, being held in South Caicos on November 1-3, 2019 are asked to contact Mrs. Tanya Miller at the SBC Office for information relating to the special Visa needed for entry.
DONATION REQUEST: Used, But In Good Condition Devotionals. Kindly donate these to your local Women’s Ministries Leaders for distribution during our community outreach projects this year. --Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director.
YOUTH DEPARTMENT TIDBITS
Adventist Youth Awards (AYA)
The Adventist Youth (Buffet) Award Ceremony will be held at the Breezes Hotel on Sunday, December 15, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.
Tickets are available to all members at the ABNC or from Briel Jacques for the Early Bird Cost of $60.00 until October 1, 2019. The late bird ticket is $80.00 after October 2, 2019.
Local Church boards are asked to submit nominations for Awards by Monday, September 30th, 2019.
AYA will also recognize the contribution of Leaders for the 70th Pathfinder Anniversary.
BACK 2 SCHOOL REVIVAL 2019: Theme: ‘Make Your Move’ Date: Friday - Sabbath, August 30-31, 2019 Venue: Message of Hope Adventist Church, Wulff Road Guest Speaker: Pastor Vandeon Griffin Associate Youth & Young Adult Director North American Division
--Pastor Jamal Franklyn, Youth Director.
MINISTERIAL DEPARTMENT A.L.E.R.T
In conjunction with the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Evangelism Strategic Plan, the Ministerial Department presents ALERT (Advance Leadership Evangelism & Retention Training) under the theme: Reaching Millennials - The Paradigm Shift.”
This specialized training is designed to teach members a variety of evangelistic methods effectively. Guest presenters for the symposium will be Dr. Jesse Wilson, and Henoc Paulicin, along with local pastors and laymen from the South and North Bahamas Conferences. Presentation Topics include: Leading God’s Church In A Changing World, Evangelizing CEO’s, Bridging The Gap Between Boomers And Millennials, Ministry In The Market Place, Business Tips For Christian Entrepreneurs, Praise & Worship- Ministry Not Entertainment, The Art Of Building Great Relationships, Ministry Via Social Media and More… The date for ALERT is September 13-15, 2019, at the National Training Agency on Gladstone Road. Registration is $100.00. –Pastor T. Basil Sturrup, Ministerial Director.
Are you between the ages 15 - 30 years old and have the ability and love for singing?
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR FURTHER DETAILS
The Music Committee of the South Bahamas invites you to join us and a Guest Workshop Clinician in a Music Workshop from Thursday September 26 – Sabbath September 28, 2019. This workshop will culminate in a Grand Concert on Sabbath September 28, 2019.
Annette Dorsett, Music Coordinator, South Bahamas Conference.
PRAYER MINISTRIES--JOINT PRAYER MEETINGS
All members are invited to participate in all of our joint prayer meetings for the remainder of the year. Please note that each service will be held at 6 o’clock in the morning.
IMPORTANT MEETING: All prayer team coordinators are asked to attend a very special meeting at the Conference office on Tuesday 27, 2019 at 6:30p.m. Thanks in advance for your support. – Pastor Leonardo Rahming, Prayer Coordinator.
BLESSED HOPE CHURCH SOUTH ANDROS CHURCH BUILDING PROJECT
Calling one and all! This summer Blessed Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church is in its building completion drive. South Androsians and its descendants are asking you to share the hope of Jesus by donating materials, or monetary gifts of any amount to this effort. Please contact us by email at [email protected] -- Elder Lukanduh Gardiner.
Join the ‘Friends of Vanessa Clarke’ for a night of praise and worship on Sunday, August 25, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at The New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. This medical benefit concert is being held to support this Artist that has blessed the Adventist Church for almost 30 years with her music ministry. Guest artists will include: Harmonious Praise, Praise Reunion Ensemble, Youth choirs, Allison Rolle, Nadia Rodríguez Bueno, Sunae Russell and more. For tickets call 426-0516. –Ms. Eustacia Jennings.
Please Email Weekly Announcements
By Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.
Visit the Conference website:
SUN SETS NEXT SABBATH
August 31, 2019 AT 7:29 P.M.