I am a committed Christian, actively involved in serving Christ inside and outside my home, the second daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham. I am not just a nominal churchgoer but am presently engaged in a ministry of my own through which I call others to repentance of sin. Yet I have discovered that this shepherd is also a sheep, this teacher is also a disciple, and this “saint” is also a sinner. Therefore, I know the cross isn’t just for “them”; it’s for me.
The cross is for you, too. Whoever you are—whether your parents were Christians or of some other religion, whether you were raised inside or outside the church, regardless how successful you are or how miserably you’ve failed—I guarantee that you need repentance from sin. You may well be unaware of the specific sin in your life, yet the symptoms are there because sin diminishes your joy, hinders your fellowship with God, dilutes the power of your prayers and witness, and dulls the sharp edge of your commitment. It robs you of the vitality of your Christian faith.
Every time I read Fresh Encounter, I am convicted. Some sin that has been lurking in the shadows of my heart is exposed in the light of the truth contained in this volume. As uncomfortable as it makes me, I praise God for the revelation that leads me once again to the foot of the cross, where I repent of that sin in particular and ask for cleansing and a refilling of the Holy Spirit.
The beauty of Fresh Encounter is that it will enable you to search your own heart, too, and see if anything there is offensive to God (Ps. 139:23-24). I have found it effective not only in my own life but also in the life of my ministry staff as they delved into this study together. As my staff works with me to bring revival to the hearts of God’s people, they must not miss out on it for themselves. This book has had a crucial role in helping all of us at Angel Ministries maintain revival in our own lives
Fresh Encounter has also been a strategic tool in preparing for our “Just Give Me Jesus” revivals, which we hold in arenas throughout the world. When a team of women indicates they are praying about inviting me to hold a revival in their area, I ask them to go through this study as a way of preparing their hearts as well as focusing their minds on genuine revival. As they complete this book, they understand that real revival includes evangelism but is not limited to it. And as they work for revival, they do so not only with willing hands but also with clean hearts.
In my book I Saw the LORD, I describe revival in the following way:
For some, revival provokes images of sawdust trails, emotional outbursts, off-key singing, finger-pointing preaching, and hell-fire praying. But the revival I’m talking about—the revival God is calling you and me to experience—is something completely different. It’s authentic, personal revival.
Personal revival is…
Jesus in you
And Jesus around you
And Jesus through you
And Jesus under you
And Jesus over you
And Jesus before you
And Jesus behind you.
Personal revival is just Jesus…
Jesus on your mind,
Jesus filling your heart,
Jesus overflowing from your lips.1
As you begin this book, my prayer is that you will have a Fresh Encounter with Him.
—Anne Graham Lotz
Blackaby, Henry T., Claude V. King, Richard Blackaby, and Anne Graham Lotz. 2009. Fresh Encounter: God’s Plan for Your Spiritual Awakening Revised. Nashville, TN: B&H Books.
We have just released a new Bible Study based on Henry Blackaby’s book amazing book, Fresh Encounter These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
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