One of the marks of revival is of course people coming to believe in and follow Jesus. This has various names to describe it -conversion, regeneration, the new birth (this is a good talk called 'What happen's in the New Birth' that explains what it is), salvation, 'being saved' and so on but they all denote a sense of both an event and an experience. In other words, in response to the proclamation of Christ people repent and believe on him.
For my Pentecost sermon I revisited the conversion story of C T Studd as told in Norman Grubb's book Cricketer and pioneer which puts words to one such conversion event:
“ But my friend exclaimed, ‘ Oh my child if anyone has had a warning from God, you have; Give him your heart and nothing will ever disturb the peace of mind he will give you’ I was not conscious of wanting any such thing, but unlike my usual self, instead of mocking at such words but myself kneeling and saying ‘ I have never decided for God but I will tonight’ Then I realized I knew the devil as a person, as he actually seemed to come to my side, torturing me by bringing to remembrance all the times I had mocked and scoffed and said I would never love nor yield my allegiance to overshadow me and a voice, oh so different, asked ‘ Child, what do you want?’ To get to God but I can’t’ for their seemed a vertitable great gulf fixed, and I like Bunyan, with so great a load on me that I could not move. Suddenly close to me was raised the cross with Jesus Christ nailed upon it, and with riven-side, and I saw blood flow. Quickly the words came to me….’Why wast though there? And immediately a voice replied, ‘ With my stripes you are healed. The vision of the cross disappeared, my burden too, and I arose. My friend greeted my with’ well what is it to be?’ I said ‘ I have seen Calvary and henceforth he shall be my Lord and my God” Page 73
Tim Challies has a timely piece on the great Welsh hymn Guide me O thou Great Jehovah' . Do sing it this new day and do pray for the people of Cwmbran, for Richard Taylor and all God is doing in that place.