This morning I joined with a group of people to sing songs of worship and listen to the teaching of God’s word. The service was streamed live into our home from Harvest Christian Fellowship in California.
The gathering was directed at remembering the early days at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa California where thousands of young people sat on the floor, in the pews and wherever an empty place could be found. We were filled with excitement and anticipation at what we believed God would do in our midst. We were never disappointed and on every occasion, God showed up and blew our minds with His love and power.
Guitars and keyboards played three cord songs with very simple lyrics that anyone could learn. We lifted our hands and our hearts and tears flowed out as we felt the love of God all around us and overwhelmed us in every way.
Our primary purpose for getting together in those early days, over 40 years ago, was to express our love for Jesus because of the great things He had done for us.
Our lives were centered around the fact that we had read the words of Jesus in the New Testament and had fallen in love with Him. That was all that church was about back then, and I believe that there is a desire in the world for this kind of intimacy with Jesus, once again.
Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside California under pastor Greg Laurie, has been taking his fellowship back to those early days at Calvary Chapel in the past several weeks. The fellowship at Harvest is teaching the old songs from the 70’s to the young people who attend, and the simplicity of knowing and loving Jesus that brings peace and a lasting joy.
For myself and those who were a part of that incredible time, this love has only intensified over the last four decades. Today I love Jesus significantly more than I did in those early days. Over the years, as I have continued to read through the New Testament in the New Living Translation, I have found that these feelings of love and my confidence in the word of God has intensified year after year.
Today, religion and church have become dry and dull for many people. A great number of young people find no relevance in the traditional church service. I know a little about this because I found the same experience in the early 70’s. That all changed when I joined a group of other young people sitting on the floor and singing simple songs of worship to Jesus because of our hearts that were filled with love for Him.
It is my thought, and also many others who were there in the early “Jesus People Movement,” that this generation is ready today for a similar experience. Of course this new work that the Lord will do will be unique and distinct for this generation, but the purpose is still the same: to draw near to God and worship Him in Spirit and truth. To get back to a simple study of the Bible by reading it through and talking about the text and applying to our lives.
This was my experience 44 years ago, and I am certain the the hearts of people today are no different than ours were in those days of the late 60’s and through the 70’s. We were searching for answers and purpose in our lives. We did not find satisfaction in the world, but we did find everything we needed in a new and living relationship with Jesus.
We who came out of the Jesus People Movement have been praying for this generation that there will be a return to a simple worship of Jesus and a discovery of the new life in Him that is available to every person.
We need a Jesus Revival in this generation and it all comes down to just one thing: Falling In Love With Jesus.
The Hebrew Prophets promised that Jesus—the Messiah—would come the first time, and He did. Jesus completed our salvation and then promised to come again, and He will. The years that have passed since Jesus first appearance on earth—until the present day—have been for the purpose of giving people an opportunity to learn who He is, and provide the world with an opportunity to make a decision to follow Jesus and receive the precious salvation He died to give us.
If you have fallen away from the Lord and no longer feel as you once did, remember that He has not moved. It is we who lose our fire and desire and fall away. As simple as it sounds, all we need to do in order to stay close to Jesus is to take the first step and move in His direction. Each day that we open up our Bible and read the words that Jesus left for us, we will stay close and not lose our desire to continue.
You need to eat every day to live. You also need to feast on God’s word if you want to live spiritually.
People who have fallen away can often trace their condition to a slow and gradual lack of Bible reading. Once this happens, when doubts and fears come along, we have no reservoir of hope to carry us through our times of difficulty.
Jesus Said There Are Four Types Of People Who Hear His Words:
- One: those who hear Him, but the devil comes and steals away these words. The heart is hard and the mind confused and they cannot continue.
- Two: Those who hear the words, but the cares and concerns of this world, and the pursuit of earthly things, pull us away from Jesus and His words.
- Three: those who experience trials and difficulties, persecutions and hardships. These things cause the heart to harden and take us away from Jesus and His word.
- Four: those who hear the words of Jesus, believe and then go on to follow Him no matter what. They bear fruit in their life by leading others to Jesus and retain a hope and faith that cannot be diminished or destroyed.
In this present time there are many who are from the first three categories who once heard about Jesus and believed, but now no longer follow Him. These people were excited and wanted to continue. Unfortunately a hard heart, the cares of this life and their pursuit of money and the things of this world, took them away. Some found that once they followed Jesus, all their friends abandoned them. They were laughed at and mocked for trusting in Jesus and the Bible. They gave up and fell away.
Then there are those who just fell in love. They didn’t listen to the world or people. They followed Jesus because they knew His words are the truth. They understood that no one ever spoke as Jesus has; no one ever loved the way that Jesus has loved.
These people followed Him at the beginning, and they still follow Him now.
I am praying for this generation; that people will open up the New Testament and read the Gospel of John, the book of Romans and Hebrews, and the smaller letters of Paul; Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians; the Words of Peter, James and John.
There is a very easy translation that is now available; the 2015 New Living Translation that is the easiest and most enjoyable version of the Bible that I have ever read. Pick up your own copy and just start reading Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John and think about what He is saying. I promise you that Jesus’ words will change everything in your life.
Full Disclosure: I do not get paid to tell you about the New Living Translation and this is not an advertisement. I just want those who are struggling to find this translation, and in it, discover that the scriptures will come alive in a new and exciting way. I know this because even after 44 years of reading the Bible, this simple translation did this for me.
I am praying for you who are struggling right now and are willing to come back and look at Jesus again—without the commentaries and opinions of other people. Read Jesus’ words for yourself and see if what He said 2,000 years ago, is not the most relevant and inspiring words you have ever read.
 From Matthew 13:18-23
Categories: Expecting Jesus Return, Going to Church but unsaved, Living For Jesus, Overcoming trials, Pleasing the Lord, Robert Clifton Robinson, Studying the Word of God, The Condition of the Heart, The Jesus People, To Love Jesus, Watching for Jesus return