I am really looking forward to our new series, “TXT”. We will take a 3 week look at the Bible, its themes, organization, how we got it and push hard for everyone to read the Bible daily. No book in my library or in the history of the world carries more weight! This book is a message from God and has the power to change lives when it is applied.
I used to work for an evangelist/revivalist named Manley Beasley. This man lived a life of faith and God used him in HUGE ways. When I met with him in his office I would ask questions and he would tell me stories of revivals. He described the settings and results of the Welsh Revival, the Shantung revival and the two great awakenings in the United States. It was very cool for me to hear about what happens when people give God full control. Stories like the coal mines shutting down for a time during the Welsh revival because the miners language changed so much- the mules didn’t understand them. I also watched him give huge amounts of money to missionaries around the world. His answer to one question I asked continues to ring in my ears. I asked him what did he see that caused those revivals to end. He said there were several causes but the biggest drag on the revival became its focus. Manley described worship services that became more and more focused on stories about what people were sensing and feeling God was doing and leading them to do. This meant there was less and less preaching about what God said about their life styles. Here was the problem Manley explained, “people began to elevate personal experience over Biblical teaching and they began to drift.” He explained that, “our experiences need to always be evaluated in light of the scripture and NEVER interpret the scripture based on our circumstances.” That has been a reminder that has stayed with me through out ministry. One of my prayers is for God to use me to teach the Bible in such a way that people apply the scriptures and not merely learn about them. This weekend we launch “TXT”. I want you to bring your cell phones (turn them on silent) and text in any questions you may have about the teaching. We will also be broadcasting on Wednesday nights on www.churchatthebay.tv at 8PM. This series will ROCK!