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Return to the Word of God: The Commonality in Judah's Revivals

There were five revival periods during the times of the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. These were all identified by a return to the Word of God. They began with a return to the Word of God; revival followed which eventuated in a great moral reformation: (1) Asa—2 Chronicles 14–16 ; (2) Jehoshaphat—2 Chronicles 17–20 ; (3) Joash—2 Chronicles 23–24 ; (4) Hezekiah—2 Chronicles 29–32 ; (5) Josiah—2 Chronicles 34–35 . These periods were the only occasions of blessing in the dark era of the divided kingdoms.

J. Vernon McGee
Making the Midweek  Service Significant
Dallas Theological Seminary. (1954; 2002).
Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 111
From the Theological Journals Library

Text Selection: Freedom or Verse-by-Verse

From John Piper, commenting on how a pastor (or teaching church leader) must think about text selection. This was written in the first months of his pastorate at Bethlehem Baptist. It's a very good balance that gives some insight into how Piper has sought to "teach the whole counsel of God":

Two principles have to be balanced out. One is that we preserve the freedom of the Holy Spirit to interrupt and alter our plans. We must not be so locked into a verse-by-verse exposition of this book that he cannot hit us with another text from time to time that we may need to hear even more. That is the principle of freedom.

The other principle to keep in balance with it is the principle of discipline. Preachers are sinners who, like all sinners, tend to preach what they like and avoid what they don’t like. So we must find a way not to be so selective. Luke tells us in Acts 20:26f. what Paul said to the Ephesians when he left and what I want to be able to say to you when my work here is done: “I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” A preacher cannot say that, if he rides one or two hobbyhorses while avoiding other teachings of Scripture. One of the best ways to fulfill the principle of discipline is to preach through a book of the Bible.

These two principles, freedom and discipline, are in tension because it is not always easy to tell whether a desire to interrupt a series comes from the Spirit or from a fear of the next text. But there is no escape from this tension and so all I can promise is that I will do my best under God to listen to the prompting of the Spirit and to declare the whole counsel of God.

John Piper
The Aim of Dr. Luke
Sermon from November 9, 1980

HT: Unashamed Workman

Keywords: preaching