Pressing Need for Personal Reformation
While 2017 will see us mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, the fact should not be overlooked that the Church of Jesus Christ today needs reformation. With this truth in mind, 2 Chronicles 7:14 has been burning into my heart of late: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Convinced that these words outline the kind of reformation we need, I turned to Benson’s Commentary – and found this valuable insert: “If my people shall humble themselves, and pray, &c. — Thus national repentance and reformation are required. God expects, that if his people, who are called by his name, have dishonoured his name by their iniquity, they should honour it by accepting the punishment of their iniquity. They must humble themselves under his hand, must pray for the removal of the judgment, must seek his face and favour: and yet all this will not be sufficient, unless they turn from their wicked ways, and return to him from whom they have revolted. National mercy is then promised, Then will I hear from heaven, &c. — God will first forgive their sin, which brought the judgment upon them, and then will heal their land, and redress their grievances.” Appreciating relevant quotations is one thing of course; applying them to our lives through sustained prayer and honest effort is the difficult – though necessary – part.