Posts Tagged 'correction'



In the book of Revelation, Jesus spoke to the Church of Ephesus saying, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2: 2 – 5)


Jesus commends the Ephesian Church for their good works, patience, spiritual discernment, and avoidance of evil. He also exhorts them to return to their first love; a state of being exemplified by an overwhelming zeal for the gospel message. This scripture represents a type of communication known as an ‘exhortation.’ The definition of an exhortation is, ‘an address or communication emphatically urging someone to do something; in a biblical context, exhortation more specifically relates to the correction of some behavior.’ The practice of exhortation is an integral part of any healthy church and can lead to wonderful revivals.

Many years ago an evangelist named D.L. Moody entered a small town hoping to experience a revival. However, for at least a week nothing remarkable occurred. The meetings were devoid of power. And yet one day he chose to exhort those in attendance; suggesting that one of the participants was harboring an unforgiving spirit. The chairman of the committee suddenly stood up and left the meeting in full view of the audience. The arrow had struck its mark, piercing the heart of the group’s leader. Apparently he had been having trouble with someone for about six months. That night he hunted the man down and asked for his forgiveness. The chairman abruptly returned to Moody. With tears in his eyes he said, “I thank God you ever came here.” That evening the inquiry room was thronged with people and the chairman committed his remaining life to faithful service. Eventually he became one of the greatest Christian laborers Moody had ever known.

The practice of exhortation, exemplified by Christ in this verse, is meant to correct and strengthen the Church. Those who have lost their zeal are encouraged to repent and take hold of the passion they once possessed for spreading the gospel. For those seeking to live a Christian life, a lack of enthusiasm is unacceptable. We need to release our fears and step out in faith. Our duty as believers, is to share the message of salvation with others, and to further Christ’s coming kingdom.

“Lord Heavenly Father, fill our hearts with a supernatural passion; a zeal that never fades. If we have wandered, guide us back to our first love. Give us the courage to boldly speak Your truth and to accurately present the gospel message to others. Fill us with more of Your Holy Spirit. For it is only through Your Spirit that a revival can occur, and the newness of life can be attained through the sacrifice of Your son upon the cross. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!



“But if I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness because I go to My Father and you see me no more; of judgement, because the ruler of this world is judged.” (John 16: 5 – 11)


In this scripture Jesus contemplates the future arrival of the Holy Spirit (the indwelling of God that exists within the heart of every believer; sent to mankind after Christ’s ascension into heaven.) According to the Lord, this powerful spiritual entity convicts the world of sin. What then is conviction? Conviction is the recognition of guilt and subsequent expression of remorse that accompanies any evil act or ungodly behavior. Although conviction is emotionally taxing, when experienced by a believer, this shameful imposition is far more helpful than harmful. God uses conviction to shape and mold our behavior. Guilt then leads us to abandon sin and embrace repentance; thus making us more like our Creator.

Sociology professor Anthony Campolo recalls a deeply moving incident that happened in a Christian junior high camp where he served. One of the campers, a boy with spastic paralysis, was the object of heartless ridicule. When he would ask a question, the boys would deliberately answer in a halting, mimicking way. One night his cabin group chose him to lead the devotions before the entire camp. It was one more effort to have some “fun” at his expense. Unashamedly the spastic boy stood up, and in his strained, slurred manner—each word coming with enormous effort—he expressed a simple phrase, “Jesus loves me—and I love Jesus!” That was all. Conviction immediately fell upon those junior high students. Many of them began to cry. Revival had gripped the camp. Years afterward, Campolo still meets men in the ministry who came to Christ because of that testimony.

Like those young campers, God is still using conviction to create conversions and to strengthen and edify those who already believe. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the lines between right and wrong are no longer blurry; they have been redrawn; making God’s will easier to understand and obey. When we do something sinful or unjust, we are chastised by the Lord; corrected and driven to repentance and purification. Like any good Father, He is training us; molding and shaping us into a more ideal image; the image of His perfect Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we always seek after the Lord and never ignore our convictions.

“Lord Heavenly Father, fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we might recognize and experience the convictions that You have placed upon our hearts. Give us a willingness to change and the ability to understand Your will and to be transformed by it. If we have grown dull or become stubborn, may we rediscover a passion for accomplishing Your will. You truly are an awesome and amazing God. To You belongs all the glory and honor. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.” God bless all of you!

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