EDITOR'S NOTE: This devotional offers 365 days of content that is run in perpetuity year-to-year. Unfortunately, there is no February 29 edition available to us, so after today, we'll see you again on March 1! In the meantime on Leap Year itself, we suggest checking in at crosswalk.com/devotionals for your devotional needs! Sorry for the inconvenience!
Now, What Really Went Wrong?
Won't you revive us again? (Psalms 85:6)
What is the real cause of America's current spiritual and moral crisis?
In previous messages, I cited several forces, or movements, such as Marxism, atheism and humanism, aided by anti-biblical court decisions, which have contributed to the problem. But it may surprise you to learn that the real problem has not been any of these things.
In the words of Pogo, the comic strip character, "We have met the enemy, and it is us." The real problem has been the church!
Lukewarmness and impotence in the church of Jesus Christ for the most part has been the real culprit. This has resulted in a loss of spiritual power, the power of the Holy Spirit, who is willing and eager to fill us and manifest Himself through us to a lost and hurting world, if we would just surrender and totally commit ourselves to our Lord. An on-fire church would have prevented most of the problems our culture faces today.
With this, there has been a lack of emphasis of personal holiness in the church. In survey after survey, researchers find that the lifestyles of those who claim to be born-again Christians are virtually indistinguishable from those of nonbelievers. Faith in God in America, researcher Eric Johnson explains, can be defined as "extremely superficial and convenient rather than obedient and committed."
Too often our churches function like therapy groups, filled with individuals seeking remedies for their "felt needs." One group of parishioners told their minister, "Make us cry, or make us laugh, but please don't make us change."
In spite of the present dismal picture, I am convinced that a great spiritual renewal, revival and harvest are coming and, in fact, have already begun. More about this in future messages.
I believe the church of the living God, filled with His Holy Spirit, will explode like it did in the book of Acts. It is the same Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is just waiting on us.
The comic strip character, Pogo, also said, "We are overwhelmed by insurmountable opportunity." That is the church today.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.