Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Three Things I Love About My Mom (Part 2)

Read Part 1 here.

2. She taught me to pursue a "because God said so" kind of faith.

One of the most oft-repeated phrases of most moms is "because I said so." My mom said those words her share of times for sure! But mom often took it one step further and instilled in me a "because God said so," faith. The leading question, spoken or unspoken, when making a decision was, "what would God want us to do?"

I had the distinct advantage of growing up in a home where faith was a very active influence. My parents truly decided to follow Christ wholeheartedly when I was 5 or so, so my formative years were filled with an energized faith component.

Dad was discovering the adventure of life-altering changes from a hot-tempered, foul-mouthed football coach to a radical follower of Jesus. And mom was discovering the joys of following Christ day by day and involving herself in the ministry of a local church and life-giving Christian relationships.

I love the passage in Luke 5 when Jesus approaches the disciples, expert fisherman, and gives them some fishing advice. You can imagine how this encounter could go south. A carpenter telling fishermen how to fish! But I think Luke 5:5 contains 5 words that can transform a person's life forever. It comes in Peter's response to Jesus giving him this advice, he says, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

But because you say so...

What a great lesson in obedience. Everything inside me is saying, "I don't think this is right, I'm sure you're wrong Lord, this is my area God - this is my job, this is my family, this is my purchase, this is my decision ... but because you say so.

Mom taught me this same lesson - that success or failure as a Christ follower is contained in my ability to get my head around those 5 words.

1 comment:

Danny Lucas said...

"Because God Said So" would not be a bad epitaph.

But more than an ending is told in this post.

"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
~~~ 2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV

An ambassador takes the message from one country to another, and back again with the response. It is his duty.

This is a horizontal ambassador relationship.

There is another ambassador relationship, to which, followers of Jesus Christ are more closely aligned.

God is making HIS appeal through us.
How many generations have there been since Christ walked among fishermen to set up ambassadors?
Hold a baby infant in your arms, and you are holding the appeal of God through an your very arms, that infant.

What your mother, Mrs Joe Sanford, has done, is to make the appeal of God, namely....freedom through Jesus Christ, and sent the message on to the next generation, via an ambassador, .....a little guy named Derek.
["littler", per Kim] :)

Derek, in turn, is the new ambassador to make God's appeal to be reconciled to Him, the next generation
(and any in the current generation who have missed the message).

Mothers who accomplish this task, have performed all that God has asked of them. Food, shelter, and clothing, nourishment and love, can be done by many. But a mom who makes the appeal God requires, to save all persons through HIS ambassador from GOD.....has done her job.
This is not an easy task, and indeed, many parents fail today, leaving a generation at risk.

Some pastors of this present generation do not believe that the Holy Spirit can speak to the hearts of every person in the audience precisely where their heart is, and simultaneously as in Acts. They do not use scriptures, designed to explode the word of God in our hearts, using that truth to make us new creatures.

Many rely on the Word of Eugene Peterson, and his book "The Message", an interpretation in modern lingo, instead of the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit is polite enough to bow out of places where he is not welcome.

I see nothing wrong with reading Peterson for his "take" on a verse or more, but preaching from him kind of makes God's Word meaningless.

What is Peterson's "take" on this ambassador business that Derek's mom has amplified in a new generation, called her family?

"God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you. "
~~~ The Message; Eugene Peterson, related to God no more than you.

Mr. Peterson picks up on horizontal ambassadors, but fails to do the simple task Mrs. Sanford has accomplished rather splendidly, along with her hubby, Joe.
The Ambassador, Derek Sanford, is making God's appeal to be reconciled with a new generation.

Hold a tiny infant.
YOU will feel the same appeal without uttering a word.
And, if you utter, utter the Word of God instead of the Word of Eugene.
When the Word was made flesh (the original ambassador, if you will), He proclaimed to be the Way, the Light, the Truth.
Why accept the word from anyone less?

President Kennedy's Inaugural proclaimed: "Let the word go forth to a new generation...."
Too bad Mrs. Sanford was not his momma.

Good luck topping Part II, Derek.