When Jesus Breaks the Rules
So many of our teens around the world are labeled as “Hard-headed” “Rebellious” and “Good-For-Nothing” by their parents, teacher, and even their peers at a young age. When problems arise that cause them to face disciplinary action in the school system and even the judicial system, those have invested in the lives of these young people are left devastated, disappointed, and disillusioned, losing hope that any positive change will come for that child. When a teen becomes a parent, gets involved with drugs/alcohol, commits a crime, or drops out of school, blaming the parents, economic level, or outside influences are considered. The symptoms and irritants are identified but the root cause of the problem is never addressed. Even if a young person is doing well by family and community standards, the danger of that child going down the wrong path and ending up with a life in shambles or even dead is always lurking.
Struggling young people are old that they need an “attitude adjustment” but aren’t ever shown how to accomplish that. As if adjusting the attitude will take care of the fact that they may be living in one parent households, living below poverty level, or have no one they can trust with the changes going on in their bodies or abuse/neglect that they have suffered. Even teens brought up with both parents, all financial needs met, and ideal conditions may still be influenced by their peers or coping with rejection and low self-esteem that would cause them to make poor choices that will change the course of their lives. It is not IQ levels that keeps a child on the right path, some of the brightest kids have willingly put their futures’ at risk. It is not the devotion of the parent, although in some cases it could make a difference, but in some cases stricter rules and monitoring just causes division in the home because of the resentment and bitterness that sets in under those conditions.
What then is the remedy to this epidemic among our young people? I personally believe that to deal with a “messed up” situation requires all involved to get “messy” before the “clean-up” process can take place. The way a lot of young people exist is by their own admission similar to a state of death. That is why it is no surprise that suicide, murder, drug overdose, and even tragic accidents due to reckless/impaired judgment seems to be cutting our young people off at a rapid pace. As a Christian there are many things we can do to help our youth: It starts at home with a loving nurturing environment, teaching the Word, praying for and with them, telling them who they are (building self -esteem and respect) and inviting Jesus to step in.
We can all agree that God is a God of order- everything has a time, season, and place. Most of us can agree that His laws are righteous and His judgments are just. The rules (Commandments) that He gave us are there for a reason and should be followed to have a life pleasing unto Him. But what do you do when God breaks the very same rules that He gave us to follow? What would cause Him to act in such a way? The truth of the matter is God’s love for young people transcends any rule, law, or command every time! In Ezekiel 44:25 one of the rules for priests to follow is given to “Not defile themselves by coming near a dead person.” Yet Jesus in Luke 8:54 touched Jairus’ daughter hand, healing her and bringing her back to life. Jairus’ daughter had been pronounced dead, dead to the point that when Jesus told the mourners gathered around her that she was alive and only sleeping, they mocked him. As a priest he had no business even going near her, let alone touching her, but He got “messy” for her. Moved by love, He broke the rules to give her the life that was promised to her even before she was in her mother’s womb. Jesus risked His reputation as a Priest, His ministry, His relationships (because if He was considered unclean no one would come near Him), He risked losing His Disciples & followers, and He risked offending people and being misunderstood. Jesus put it all on the line to bring this dead girl back to life.
Another example of Jesus’ willingness to love beyond reason, beyond rules is in Luke 7:14-15. Jesus goes to the coffin of a widow’s dead son, touches the coffin, and told the young man to arise! Not only did He get messy by going near, and touching what would defile Him, He spoke life into this young man and death had to flee! This is precisely what the “lost causes” and “too far gone” teens need. If we are honest about it, this is what everyone needs. It is true that not everyone is called to this type of unreasonable involvement with those that are hurting, angry, and in terrible situations out of their control. I as I write this am challenged with how I am going to live this out in my own life. But I firmly believe that with God all things are possible, and He will lead and guide us those we are to be His vessel to pour His love out on to them. My charge to you is to lift up our young people, pray for them when you see them doing wrong, speak life & love to them, and be transparent & honest with them sharing your mistakes and failures so that they don’t have to learn those lessons the hard way. Be patient, forgiving, and even long suffering under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to how them that you are truly in their corner.
Let Us Pray: Father God in the Mighty name of Jesus, thank you for every child, teen and young adult in our lives. Lord thank You for blessing them, keeping them, protecting them, providing for them, and sending loving people and your angels to watch over them. Thank You for anointing them and endowing them with spiritual and natural gifts, talents, skills, and abilities in the Mighty Name of Jesus. Lord God please keep our young people safe, keep them from the distractions of peer pressure, drugs and alcohol, premarital sex, selling drugs, gang activity, committing crimes, pornography, being disrespectful to those in authority, addictions and fetishes of all kinds, and lifestyle choices that are not pleasing to you. Lord please draw those young people who are not saved unto You to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Fill them with Your Holy Spirit and enable them to live for You while they are young. Lord please heal and deliver them from sins, sickness and disease, depression, abuse, bad habits, bad behavior, bad attitudes, and lack of vision in the Mighty Name of Jesus. Lord give them a hope and a future in You. Raise them up as leaders, positive influences, and awesome examples of Your grace, glory, and majesty in the earth. Lord grant them wisdom and knowledge like Daniel, give them dreams and visions like Joseph, set them apart like Esther, anoint and favor them like David, and display to the world how pleased You are with them like Jesus! Please place a hedge of protection round them, even when they go places they shouldn’t go or do things they shouldn’t do. Infuse the Word in to their heart so that they will not go far from it. Lord reveal Yourself to them so that will know without any doubt that You are real and Your Word is true. Lord we love You, we thank You for all that we asked and believe that it is done in the Mighty Name of Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name we pray AMEN!
I would like to end this message by saying there is hope! I have been fortunate to meet an amazing group of young adults, who are sincere in their relationship with God and committed to creating a bright future for themselves. There is power in prayer! Below there is a brief prayer for our young people. Thank you for reading this Mid-Week Message, please feel free to share, forward, and tweet this if you believe others would benefit from reading.
♥ Much Love ♥,