Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas 
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Questions I've Wanted to Ask God

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When Jesus Shows Up
by Tom Goodman
March 20, 2013

What happens to a life or a church when Jesus shows up?

Don't get me wrong.  Jesus is always with us, but when we speak of certain circumstances or events in life, we tend to say, "Wow, God showed up!"  That's the way we speak about a powerful worship service at church or a youth retreat when a record number of students commit to Christ.  That's even the way Forrest Gump described a hurricane that made him the most successful shrimp boat captain on the Gulf coast:  "God showed up!"

Almost 275 years ago, the early American pastor and scholar Jonathan Edwards wrote a book called A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God.  It was a template for judging when genuine revival had come to a life or a community.  He was trying to answer the question, "What does life look like when Jesus shows up?"

That's what I think we can learn from Matthew 21.  There we read of three dramatic acts:  Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, he casts merchants out of the Temple, and he curses a fig tree.  The first story is about our loyalty, the second story is about our worship, and the third story is about our productivity.

Those are the evidences of revival.

Churches don't tend to hold annual springtime "revival services" these days, but you'll still hear long-time churchgoers use the word "revival" to describe an event on the church calendar.  Ah, there's so much more to the word, friends!  A revived believer has a fresh loyalty to Christ's authority, a renewed commitment to worship, and a visible increase in fruitfulness.  That, praise God, can happen anytime!

Maybe even this Sunday.  Join us this Palm Sunday @ 10 for a study of Matthew 21.  We're not calling it a "revival service," exactly.  But we pray for revival to fall.  Be pleased, Lord, to grant it.

Sweet Life Dessert Comedy Theater.  There was a line at the ticket table last Sunday.  You don't want these two shows to sell out before you get tickets for you and your friends.  Get your tickets here.


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