“The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’ The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, ‘Rule in the midst of Your enemies.’
“‘Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn,
“Your youth are to You as the dew.’” (Psa 110:1-3)
Some time back I shared a bit about the Jesus movement of the 60s and the early 70s. The Jesus movement was a precursor to the charismatic movement. One difference was the idealism of these ‘kids’. Oh yes, they were fraught with problems, made many mistakes, and had strange slogans, such as, ‘Make love, not war.’ But their idealism was a thing of the heart.
Anyway, I felt it would be good to use that earlier journal entry as a platform for what I want to share today. What I wish to do with this journal entry is to reach deep into your heart by way of learning the most important lesson in life.
You can decide what the most important lesson in life is for you.
There they were, a boy and a girl hitchhiking
It was 1971, and I was on my way to Lafayette, Louisiana. We had just completed our last revival. The Lord was doing a major overhaul in my spiritual life, and it was time for some time off. My former company had asked me to come back to work with them. So, off I went to scope out everything.
It never bothered me to pick up hitchhikers if my family wasn’t with me. As a youngster myself, I had hitchhiked all across the country from California to Louisiana.
The two young people got in the car. I asked, ‘Where are you going?’ ‘To the Maranatha House across from USL.’ (University of South Louisiana.)
“I’ll take you there.” And that’s where our friendship began. These kids were part of the tail end of the Jesus movement of the 60s. The Maranatha House was an unofficial sorority for campus kids. (It was known earlier as the Mustard Seed.)
Young People Can Make You Love them
One of my favorite Psalms is 110. And I dearly love David’s statement about young people; “Your youth are to You [God] as the dew.”
This is a statement of refreshing. The heart of God is refreshed with the idealism of His youth.
How I fell in love with these young people. They were so noble-minded in their antiestablishmentarianism. But their love for Jesus was refreshing and even a bit disarming. It wasn’t long before they ask me to share Bible studies with them. What a joy. They would sit around me on the floor in rapt attention. They were all like sponges.
Now I must tell a precious story. At that time I was still involved in a very conservative Pentecostal church group. As things went a number of the Jesus kids asked me if I would baptize them. Checking with the pastor to make sure it was alright to use the church baptistery, he gave his OK.
It was on a Saturday. Several of the church people wanted to see the baptism. They heard of my work with these young people. But there was a problem that I had not readied anyone for. In fact I hadn’t even thought about it.
I had failed to tell the Jesus kids how to dress. Here they came with their swim suits, some two-pieced for the girls and shorts for the guys. You should have seen the faces of the church folk. Chins began to drop and eyes were wide open.
It was certainly a new experience for everyone. The Jesus kids got to meet the church kids. (By the way the Jesus kids were often mocked at by being called, ‘Jesus freaks.’ We could use a few Jesus freaks today.)
Oh yes, we don’t need to be reminded. The Jesus kids did have their own struggles and failures just as we do. But they could make beautiful music. Their love for Jesus radiated. I guess you could compare them to diamonds in the rough. Aren’t we all? Oh how I could tell some hilarious stores about these kids. Maybe some other time.
Well, if you would like to see what the Jesus kids looked like back in the 60s and the 70s, here is a clip you will truly enjoy. Just look at their faces and the sincerity in their worship.
Listen to the group, ‘Children of the Day’. ‘For Those Tears I Died.’
Does God Really Understand Our Tears
Sometimes a song will reach deeper into our heart than anything else. Let’s move forward a few years and listen to another group who loves Jesus dearly. This song was from a Christian group of whom the Jewish mother found Jesus Christ as the love of her life.
This song is entitled, ‘He Understands My Tears.’ It is by ‘the Isaacs.’
The most important lesson about life’s struggles
The point is that we all sin. We all miss the mark. We all have issues that have been the cause of our own failings. It is like the apostle wrote,
“There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turn aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.”(Rom3:10-12 nasb)
Did you catch it? There is not a person on this planet who can claim personal righteousness before God. Did you know that Paul called himself the chief of sinners?
So, what is the object lesson that Jesus gave us. It is found in this simple statement,
“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7 nasb)
What does this mean? It means to stop pointing your finger at others when you yourself have your own struggles and failings and sin issues.
The Lord was not excusing sin. He was dealing with two very important issues. His first words were to the accusers of the woman caught in adultery. Those who dragged her before Jesus were guilty of a sin that is the most damaging to anyone who claims to be a believer. It is the sin of self-righteousness.
What about the woman? Her sin was not self-righteousness. Jesus also had words for her. See if His words tell you anything:
“Straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.’” (Joh 8:10-11 nasb)
Again did you catch it? The only one who could have condemned her was Jesus, and He would not. He did not come to condemn her, but to save her. Jesus came to help her get her life straightened out.
Why did Jesus not condemn her? It is because of the story behind the cross. Jesus ministered grace to this hurting woman.
This is exactly what the Psalmist-Prophet said the Messiah would do. Psalm 45 has been considered a Messianic Psalm, by both the ancient Hebrew people of God and by the Christian Church.
Listen to some of the language:
“My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
“You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.
“… Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.” (Psa 45:1-7)
This Psalm is quoted from in Hebrews 1. But it is also seen in action when Jesus spoke in the synagogue of Nazareth. What did the people hear?
“And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?’” (Luk 4:22)
Lord, save us from ourselves
Our job is not to go about condemning people. We are in the business of helping to save people. It is like the preacher who said, ‘We preach best when we preach out of our own wounds.’
“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged…” (John 3:17 nasb)
We need someone who can reach into our lives and save us from ourselves, from our foolish mistakes, from our own self-destructions, as well as from all the destructive forces at work in the world. We need grace! We need a mighty Savior. And that is what Jesus came to give us. Jesus saves eternally.
This is what Paul was talking about when he said that the letter kills, while the Spirit gives us life.
The Lord give us His Holy Spirit to help us walk the journey of life. There are too many situations in life where only the Spirit of the Lord can help us to maneuver correctly. Our problem is that we tend to beat each other up with the letter, or even beat ourselves up, and not allow the Lord to bring healing where it belongs.
So, does God understand our tears?
Yes He does. He actually weeps with us. He knows our heart, our pain, our struggles. But He also knows our future. The Lord decided in eternity passed that He would be our Savior. And He decided in eternity that He would give us the victory of the cross, and that no weapon ever formed against us would ever prosper.
He decided to take our place in this sin filled world, and to share with us His place in His eternal kingdom.
This is why I often make the statement, ‘Jesus saved us. Jesus is saving us. Jesus will save us.’
What about the Jesus kids?
Well, we are those kids. People will always be the same. Maybe it is a good sign that the world calls us ‘Jesus freaks.’ We should consider it a great honor.
I will never lose my love for ministering to those the world sees as misfits. Seems I will always have the heart of an evangelist.
Think about it.