Tag: youth

Cheering Them On 

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Lately I’ve come to realize that I haven’t always been very encouraging when it comes to the younger generation.

It’s not as though I’ve said bad things to them, or about them. But I’ve not always viewed them as worthy of my “praise”, if you know what I mean.

After all, how could they be as spiritual as my generation? 

This younger bunch doesn’t look like me and they don’t talk like I do. And they seem to understand technology like they invented it.

I’ve acted like “How can the Kingdom of God continue with all of the spiritual giants dying off?” Like my generation is the only one that ever walked with God.

But you know what? People probably felt the same way about my generation. Yes, we were once very young and inexperienced.

Lately I’ve spent time with some young kids. And my, do they seem young. But I started thinking how important it is for me to keep my negative thoughts to myself. In fact, I need to bury the negativity and start cheering them on!

The writer of Hebrews wrote a word that, I believe, was supposed to be encouraging to us all.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)

“Since we are surrounded…” seems to indicate a group of spectators, fans, standing alongside a track where those in the race are running. The group isn’t screaming at them, “You’ll never make it!” “We ran differently when we carried the baton.” “I can’t believe God would ever trust you to carry the baton!”

No! The group, the great cloud of witnesses is CHEERING THEM ON! Cheering you and I on!

The cheering helps us run better, work harder, and be our very best for the King and His Kingdom. 

Don’t you think it would encourage younger generations if we became their cheerleaders and helpers (if they ask), instead of their know-it-all critics?

I sure do.

That’s why I’m gonna quit finding fault with people because they’re young. I’m cheering on this group of believers, and praying they accomplish much more than I ever dreamed of – for the Kingdom of Righteousness.

Hey, I’m not finished working. And I know how great it feels when someone tells me they believe in me and what I’m trying to accomplish.

So, call me a working cheerleader. Working with all my heart, while at the same time, cheering on my younger (some a lot younger) brothers and sisters.

Yeah! Go get ’em, kids!

Love At A Public School

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The heart of my Father was experienced today. The deep, deep, love of Jesus. And you know what? It’s Monday.

Church on Monday? No. I wasn’t in church. I was at a public school. Yes, I said PUBLIC school.

So how does one experience God’s heart of love at a public school? I don’t know. I only know that I did.

It seems to me that every time, lately anyway, I have really sensed Father’s love it has been at the most unexpected moments; I mean, I didn’t schedule the experience or manipulate the “atmosphere” so as to produce an overwhelming revelation of His love for His people. I wasn’t singing a specific worship chorus, though I thoroughly enjoy doing such. Even singing the song, “He loves us” hasn’t produced the raw experience of His love that I had this afternoon.

Love at a public school.

Would you like to know more about the setting in which I had such an overwhelming experience of the love of God? Like I said, I was at a public school. The school had been informed that a certain church group from another state was going to be on campus to picket the teachers, youth, pastors, and everyone else in the city. The group is well known for its attacks on every human being who dares to walk on two legs. And they were coming to this particular school to let the students and everyone else know just how much God hated them.

I would call that audacious, if I didn’t think a different word might be more descriptive. A word such as “wrong”.

I don’t know how many people attended the event; I do know there were hundreds. Teenagers were out in force, as the picketers were scheduled to arrive over the lunch hour. Teens and adults; some carrying signs, others acting out their message. Bikers, photographers, Christians, atheists, straight, gay, and some who were kind of “fill-in-the-blank” kind of people. Every one in attendance had a message for the group from Kansas, “You are not welcome here.”

As I walked the grounds, praying that the Lord would somehow reach this young and promising generation, I saw three girls; each holding a sign. It didn’t take my lightning fast mind very long to figure out their world view. But just as quickly as I understood the message of their signs, the revelation of God’s love for these young people overwhelmed my heart. A love completely beyond my comprehension. And definitely unexpected.

I experienced this extraordinary love of God one other time since becoming a child of God back in 1975. It was about 2 years ago, in a hospital room not too far from where I was standing this afternoon. A pastor friend had asked me to accompany him as he visited a couple in the hospital. I didn’t know anything about the couple other than they were gay and one was dying from AIDS complications.

When we arrived at the room, what I thought would be a simple hospital visit turned into a visitation from God. Maybe not for everyone else, but certainly for me. God visited me with a sense of His love like I’d never before felt.

One of the young men stood before the pastor weeping, as his partner and love of his life had just died. And I could sense God weeping for the young man; not because the guy was gay but because He wanted so much to show the man His great love.

And that’s what I experienced today. The deep, deep, love of Jesus for this world. Straight or gay, young or old, refined or uncouth; it doesn’t matter.

Jesus’ love is more than a doctrine. It’s more than the password we use for Christian fellowship.

It is something that can truly change our world; one life at a time.

It’s changing me. Changing the way I look at people, and the way I pray for people.

It has a way of making me feel very uncomfortable around certain people; like I’m doing something wrong by talking with people who are so different from me. And ENJOYING it!

The love of Jesus. If allowed to run its course it will reach places thought to be unreachable. It will put to death the things within us that hinder God’s work. Things like hatred, bigotry, envy, and pride. The love of Jesus melts away visions of our own self-righteousness and grandeur, and reveals just how much we need our great God.

I realized today my own inability to love people as I should. But today, especially today, the love of God was shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit.

Love at a public school.

How He loves us!

“For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5 NLT)

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