Thursday, June 1, 2017

Not Just Anybody

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Not Just Anybody
(Psalm 51)


“Did I ever tell you about the crazy Australian
who tried to throw away his boomerang?”



          While there are many beloved hymns about prayer, the most popular may be Help! by the Beatles.

          BTW, let’s clear up something right now.

          When John Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, he wasn’t boasting.  He was telling the truth!  Here’s the proof!  More people still listen to their music than sing prayer hymns in worship and any connection between most organized religions about Jesus are usually only coincidental to a relationship with Jesus by the book.

          For example, take a look at America when it comes to…


          Back to prayer, which we better put back into our classrooms, courtrooms, living rooms, and, yes, churches before it’s too late, Help! was written by Lennon on April 11, 1965 and lasted nearly a month as the #1 song on the charts. 

          Lennon said the song was personal, emotional, and desperate; which explains the exclamation point: “I was aware of myself back then…No acid…No nothing… Well, pot…I mean it…. It’s real!…It’s just me singing, ‘Help!’…I meant it…I was crying out for help…It was my fat Elvis period…I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was…I was fat and I was crying out for help.”

          Sounds like prayer to me:

          Help!  I need somebody.
          Help! Not just anybody.
          Help! You know I need someone.

          When I was younger, so much younger than today,
          I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
          But now these days are gone.
          I’m not so self-assured.
          Now I find I’ve changed my mind.
          I’ve opened up the door.


          And now my life has changed in, oh, so many ways.
          My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
          But every now and then I feel so insecure.
          I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

          Help! I need somebody.
          Help! Not just anybody.
          Help! You know I need someone.

          Yeah, sounds like prayer to me.

          It sounds like something in David’s psalms.

          You remember him.

          Popular like…

          Anyway, he also had his “fat Elvis period.”

          While he remains the greatest king in Israel’s history, showed it’s about the size of the fight in the dog not the size of the dog in the fight when he knocked out Goliath for the heavyweight championship of the world, and proved the prophet’s point that a heart for God is more effective in the long run than a diploma from…[You pick your favorite educational idolatry!], he’s also a perfect example of how God forgives and restores people who admit not hide their infidelities and try to live better lives out of respect for Him that also helps others.

          Say what you want about Lennon, Hillary, Trump, O’Reilly, Maddow, Matthews, and whoever’s on the latest popularity poop list; but David could be a real scumbag at times.

          While he was writing those prayer songs for worship, he was also into his day’s porn as a peeping Tom who got off watching women bathe; and got so hot and bothered about one that he used his political power position to knock her up while he conspired to knock off her husband.
          Oh, Pastor Bob, that’s too graphic for our tender religious ears!


          Let’s go to your computer’s browsing history and cable hook-up.

          C’mon, as we’ve quoted Him over and over and over again, it’s all about admitting before absolution.

          David knew the deal.

          We sin.

          God saves.

          What a great deal…with a big part of the deal being our gratitude for His salvation by grace through faith in Jesus.

          Truly, if we get it/Him, we’re so happy about being saved forever by being forgiven for the “fat Elvis period” things that we’ve done in time to insult Him and injure others that we try a little harder to get better about talking and walking like we’re respectfully grateful.

          If we get it/Him, we lament any missed opportunity to worship Him with lavish and exuberant and overcoming praise and thanks.

          Of course, no matter how good we become, we’re never good enough not to need Him to fill in the gap between our humanity and Him.

          In other words, we’ll always need Jesus as Savior even as we’re praying and trying to get better about Him being Lord of our lives.

          It’s those old-fashioned words justification and sanctification.

          We are justified – just as if we’d never sinned – by grace through faith in Jesus.

          We never stop sanctifying ourselves or praying and trying to get better about Him being Lord of lives in praise and thanks for Him being Savior of our lives by grace through faith in Jesus.

          Sanctification proves gratitude for justification.

          That’s why every day includes admittance/confession, penitence or trying to get better about Him by the book, and adoration and thanksgiving because He forgives the gaps even as He says He will help fill them in if we ask His favor, seek intimacy with Him, and keep knocking or asking and seeking.

          Look at Psalm 51.

          Essentially, it’s David admitting He did bad things – insulted God’s holiness and hurt others – and begging God’s help to get better with a loud supplication: “Help!”

          David knows He’s forgiven – and you can read more about how we know that feels in Psalm 32 because we’ve been a part of deal since conversion to Him – but wants to get better and better and better because he’s so happy about it.

          So, in effect, Psalm 51 is David’s big cry for Help!

          19 verses including these synonyms for Help! that bring Lennon’s confessed struggles to mind:

          Have mercy!
          Blot out!

          Wash me!

          Cleanse me!

          Purge me!

          Make me!

          Restore me!

          Deliver me!

          Create in me a clean heart!

          Simply, in short, Help!


          I hope Lennon figured that out.

          David did.

          Anybody who worships God gets it/Him.
          I think of a favorite story from John Maxwell.

          A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get out.

          A subjective person came along and said, “I feel for you down there.”

          An objective person came along and said, “It’s logical that someone would fall down into that pit.”

          A Pharisee said, “Only bad people fall into a pit.”

          Confucius said, “If you would have listened to me, you wouldn’t be in that pit.”

          Buddha said, “Your pit is only a state of mind.”

          I’ll add one.  Mohammed said, “You deserve to be in that pit but if you convert to me, I’ll help you.  If not, die, infidel!”

          A realist said, “Now that’s a pit!”

          A scientist calculated the pressure necessary, pound and square inches, to get him out of the pit.

          A geologist told him to appreciate and study the rock strata in the pit.

          An evolutionist said, “You will die in the pit so you can’t produce any more pit-falling offspring.”

          The county inspector said, “Did you have a permit to dig that pit?”

          A professor gave him a lecture on the elementary principles of the pit.

          A self-pitying person said, “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my pit!”

          An optimist said, “Things could get worse.”

          A pessimist said, “Things are going to get worse.”

          But Jesus saw the man in the pit, took him by the hand, and lifted the man out of the pit.

          Whether it’s John Lennon or King David or anyone before or after them like you or me, everybody spends time with Elvis in the pits of life; and everybody yells collectively, “Help!”

          Unlike the crazy Australian who tried to throw away his boomerang, we look up not around or within for deliverance.

          We know we need help but not just anybody’s will do.

          We know there is only one Lord who lived, died, rose, reigns, and lives forever to help.


          Knowing that/Him, we’ll give the last word to Him because He has it and we’ll repeat it for all of those desperate people crying out for help in life’s pits: “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for.  Keep on looking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.  You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?  Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake?  Of course not!  If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.”


Blessings and Love!


Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!









Rj said...

like the drunk who jumps down into the pit because he knows the way out...


Neil D. Cowling said...

Profound! Thanks!