One of the greatest revivals of all time is recorded in Nehemiah 8-10. You may remember Nehemiah, not only as the author of the sixteenth book of the Old Testament that bears his name, but also as the trusted cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, who cried out to God when Jerusalem, both its city and citizens, lay in ruin.
After the city and its walls had been restored, the people gathered in the town square and told Ezra, the scribe, to “bring the Book” (Nehemiah 8:1). What happened next is unbelievable! For over a week the entire city came and stood, for the major portion of each day, doing nothing but listening to Ezra read from the Book. When that was done, Nehemiah says, “the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and having dust on their heads ... They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the wickedness of their fathers. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God” (Nehemiah 9:1-3).
It gets better. When they finished their time of confession, Nehemiah says the people put together a “binding agreement,” (Nehemiah 9:38) putting in writing their confession of sin and detailing their promises and commitments to God. It is so powerful and overwhelming, Nehemiah takes an entire chapter (C/10) to record all they wrote down. And the final line said this: “We will NOT NEGLECT the house of our GOD.”
The formula for revival hasn’t changed. It all begins when you bring the Book! Whether you’re talking about revival in a church, a marriage, an individual life, a city, a relationship or a nation, it can’t and won’t begin until you bring the Book!
Why do you suppose the liberals, humanists and atheists fight so hard against the Bible? Why do they do everything they possibly can to get it out of our schools, our cities, our government, our judicial system and our way of life? Because they know all too well what happens when you bring the Book!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” In other words, when you bring the Book, great things begin to happen.
Paul encouraged his young son in the faith, Timothy, to “Preach the Word!” (2 Timothy 4:2) Why? Because Paul knew what would happen in people’s lives when Timothy would bring the Book and preach it.
Forty-four years ago, here in this community, a small group of people decided to start a church called Arlington Christian Church (now Crossroads). And guess what they did? They brought the Book! And look what’s happened.
Today we’re more committed than ever to bring the Book! So, whether you come to worship on the weekend, attend a Connect Group on a weeknight, come to a Sunday study, a women’s Bible study, singles’ group, men’s event, or participate in one of our dozens of ministries, you can count on it ... we’re going to bring the Book!
After having the remarkable privilege of spending most of the past two weeks in the Holy Land, the land of our Lord, I hope to see you in worship this Sunday morning.
And, by the way ... bring the Book!
© 2014. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.