Agape Night

During revivals there is tremendous joy and anticipation. The USS Barry Revival was no exception. The frequent conversions were preceded by anticipation, excitement, and prayers filled with hope.

Mahe, Seyshelle Islands August 11, 1979
Mahe, Seyshelle Islands
August 11, 1979

This atmosphere of joy and exuberance is similar to what parents experience with the birth of their prayed for and much awaited child. The fawning that takes place after the birth, and all the preparation and care that goes into the life of that new child completely fills the home with joy and activity. We would wake up most mornings, eagerly looking forward to seeing what God was going to do that day—anticipation! Expectancy and anticipation is a sure sign that a believer is living in a revived state.

During the USS Barry Revival we were also filled with great anticipation as we looked forward to our next Bible study. When we were at sea, we were anxiously looking forward to the day when we would return to port and again meet with mature disciple-makers who would challenge us in our walk with the Lord, as well as us being able to receive more in-depth teaching from the Word of God. When our ship was in port in Mayport, we frequented the Agape Christian Bookstore in Jacksonville.This bookstore had a Tuesday night Bible study in their back room. The spiritual insight we were gleaning from those anointed teachers continually stoked our fires.

Benteng: Cliff Diving Newport, RI July 1981
Chet: Cliff Diving
Newport, RI
July 1981

On one particular Tuesday, during the workday, David came up to where I was working in the Oil and Water Chemistry Lab, and with a smile on his face that stretched from ear to ear, he said to me, “Hey Chet! Do you know what tonight is?” I didn’t know what he was talking about, so I said, “No, what’s tonight?” He replied: “Tonight is Agape Night!” David, and all of us were like new babies, sincerely desiring, hungering, and thirsting for the Word of God.

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” (1 Pet. 2:2)

One sure sign of a genuine revival is that there will always be expectation, anticipation, and desire to hear and receive God’s Word.

So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret.” (Lk. 5:1)

And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases.” (Lk. 6:17)

Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.” (Lk. 15:1)

And were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.” (Lk. 19:48)

Then early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.” (Lk. 21:38)

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