The Ottumwa Courier

June 26, 2013

Thank God for renewal

Ottumwa Courier

---- — Thank God for renewal

Throughout the years, many churches have prayed for God’s Spirit to bring renewal and revival to the nation. God has answered those prayers many times in the life-giving power of Jesus Christ, who said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has annointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” (Luke 4:18).

Before there can be revival and renewal within us, we need to repent and seek to change from an oppressive people to a people living in God’s freedom through Jesus Christ. In the past, we have repented for how we have discriminated against others based on their race, sex or disabilities, and God has brought renewal and revival for our churches and nation leading to laws for equality.

God has again recently brought about renewal and revival when a nationally recognized conservative evangelical Christian organization recently repented of their past actions in how they treated gays, lesbians, transgender and bisexual individuals. For years, Exodus International was convinced that homosexuality was wrong and that people needed to change or they would go to hell. This past week, the president of Exodus International announced that they have closed their doors, repented and made an apology to all those individuals that they have oppressed over the years. Do an online search of Exodus International for more information. Yes, God’s life-giving spirit through Jesus Christ is bringing renewal and revival to the nation and the church. It may not be the revival and renewal that some Christians wanted, but then the Pharisees didn’t want Jesus to reach out and welcome others either.

Yes, as we celebrate yet another Independence Day as a nation, I give thanks to our freedom in Christ that continues to bring renewal and revival to our nation. I would encourage the Courier to pick up the articles that have been printed in other newspapers regarding the announcement from Exodus International last week and print an article in our local paper and open ourselves up to God’s renewing spirit.

Pastor Ron Barnett