Monday, January 30, 2012

Faith heroes...

I miss my heroes of faith.


I look around sometimes and wonder where they have all gone? The heroes of the faith that I grew up with were my dad and mom, and their friends. Almost all of them are in heaven now, Billy Graham is one of the few of that group left, and I know his eyes are looking upward these days.

There was so much strong faith among them, refusal of satan's darts, and genuine digging in to go deeper with God, in their lives. A determined desire to obey God no matter what the cost. The example of their lives were a lamp on my path, that illumined and pointed me in the right direction. The way they STOOD, all through the trials and joys of life, were an example that I now know is not typical. I assumed, during those younger years, that it would always be like that.

It isn't.


I am not God's grandchild... for many years I thought THEIR faith somehow covered me too.

We come, each of us, in our own way, to understand just what kind of a God we serve. We find Him and we understand, He deals with each of us, one by one, His created, and He KNOWS our hearts. No one rides into the kingdom on anyone elses coat tails.

I confess to being disappointed in so many who talk their faith, even in the pulpit, and who live differently than what they say. I know there are steady honest and faithful followers, but the heroes who showed me by their lives that nothing else but God mattered... they seem to be fewer in number.

I am struck anew as I continue this journey, with just how unusual was the 'faith of my fathers, and mothers'...

Having said that, I want to add this..

I have seen through many of YOU, the desire and the longing to be more... many of you through deep trials, some through their own study of His word, but I have been ministered to over and over by your words and your honesty, and I SEE Jesus in you. He has always had HIS people, and our hearts are joined on these pages. There is a fellowship of both the mundane and the deep heart in your words, all around this world.

Too often though, when I look around, and inside of myself... I see that dreaded 'lukewarm' word...

So what is the answer?

The answer is the same as it has always been.

JESUS


I read an excerpt from Tullian Tchividjian's book, and am so taken with the simple title, JESUS + NOTHING = EVERYTHING.



The baton has been passed from my parents generation, to me... to us, and JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER.


That is the answer. HE is the answer. He has promised that when we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him, and MORE of Him...



JESUS + NOTHING = EVERYTHING.




P.S... If my parents happened to be peeking through the clouds today, they would be chuckling at their middle child's sermon. :)

13 comments:

Debbie said...

I have so many things that I would love to say to this, but then I realized that you had really said them all.

I relate to the passionate desire to see a fire for the God of our faith, to see folks (in my real life) who are head over heels in love with Jesus Christ. Like you, I look inward often, especially lately, to test the waters of my own faith for their temperature.

Being in blog land has been such an encouragement to me that I can't even express. One would think that living in the heart of the Bible Belt, I would be surrounded by a huge cloud of witnesses on a daily basis. Yet, it has been through this little box on my desk that I have seen some of the greatest sincere passion.

We studied The Song of Moses and Miriam in Exodus 15 yesterday. One verse from the passage kept coming to mind as I read your post.

"The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him."

Sorry to write so much. This post really hit my heart.

Just Be Real said...

Amen Sonja. You are exactly right about what Tullian states, Jesus plus nothing equals everything. Tullian says that mostly every Sonday from the pulpit. He manages to work it in his sermon. God has truly blessed us with him as our pastor. He is a man after God's own heart. Blessings to you dear one.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Now are you the one who wrote our pastor's sermon yesterday? You are tracking. I was so convicted and at the same time rejoiced yesterday in his word. He used different examples, but they pointed the same as you.

I came to blog land today knowing my spirit would be lifted by Godly women who have walked through trials and still Praise Him.

Yesterday God set around me mid-age and older people..this is very unusual in our church...it is a young people's church.

I thanked the Lord for each of them...I said, "you know Lord for this age to be in church means they have found you faithful and they continue to praise you...through all that life has thrown at them" I am so convicted by this age being in the church..the empty nester who could be on vacation..etc...this means they have continued to be faithful.

There are heroes in the faith.

Thanks for sharing...I can now go pull out the cake that needs to go for the funeral dinner...and remember this post and be grateful for a Woman who is a hero of the faith in my eyes, being willing to speak God's truth to me today.
Hugs!!!

Farm Girl said...

Dear Sonja, I have wondered the same thing many times. I have wondered though what adversity will happen to make the Corrie Ten Booms, the Dietrich Bonhoeffers. In every age God raises up those people we in later generation look to with awe at the faith that stood the test. I am always afraid of being lukewarm. I am always afraid of looking back and not being fit for the kingdom. I am I admit afraid of adversity.
I guess we never know until we get there. We can only live day to day in the grace we are given. I guess that is why Jesus said that every single day we are to pick up our cross and follow Him and to be like that corn of wheat, to die so we may multiply.
One of the churches we went to when I was lots younger and searching for meat, the pastor spoke from the Daily Bread. I wonder how much of that has become the norm now.
Thank goodness for those men who preach Jesus today.
Sorry this is so long, but every thing you said was so true and really, you are one of those people who cause me to keep searching and to keep going forward in my faith.
So thank you!

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
Of course you are right.
Things were easier to see clearly before.
There were sharper lines between right and wrong. Even if I often fought the somewhat Pharisaic lines bitterly ( is it a sin to wear earrings or nail polish? The compromise being bright pink was allowed to "protect" the nails). a very wise woman, friend of my mother said, " It's not about how far you can move away from Christ and still be a Christian, but how close you can walk with Christ in your daily life.
I am trying. I'm also trying ot to get distracted by the sins of other Christians. The devil is very good at pointing them out to me.
Honestly, I think it's the string of hard trials which has kept me close to the Lord.
I simply cannot manage without him.
And when I feel I cannot take another step, I still say with Job,19 " 25 But as for me, I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He will witness at the last upon the dust;
26 And when after my skin this is destroyed, then without my flesh shall I see God;"

Sassy Granny ... said...

I sure relate! I scan the church's horizon for the likes of A.B. Simpson, Oswald Chambers, C.S. Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, and others that are among my own heroes. They're tough shoes to fill; and tough steps to follow. But surely there has never been a time such as this for walking tall & bold.

If your parents are chuckling over your sermon from heaven's balcony, then my parents are rolling on the floor with laughter about my love of the kitchen.

Hugs,
Kathleen

Sharon said...

You have spoken truth with courage. Just like the Warrior that you are!

I like God's math.

Here's another one: Jesus + Me = Everlasting Joy

GOD BLESS!

Debbie said...

Amen to this Sonja! Even though we may have been raised in a Christian home doesn't guarantee anything. We need a personal relationship with Jesus that grows over the years and through the good times and the hard times. I know I cling to Him more as I've been going through my challenges these past years.

You are a spiritual mentor for me and someone who walks their talk.

Love you,
Debbie

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I live with some of the same assumptions... that I'll always have my parents here (and all of my "ancients) around me to see me through this journey to the other side. Perhaps they will. Perhaps they'll make that journey before me. It's a sobering thought to think of myself as the standard-bearer for the next generation. I think of it each time my daughter wants to read the Bible with me and to do her kids' version of "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. She loves looking up the scriptures and talking about God in Sunday School (even when she's the only one).

She's the reason behind my sobering thoughts. I want to leave a faith-memory in her mind and spirit, even as your parents left in yours.

Enough rambling...

For the record, good sermons are eternal ones. What you've said here cannot help but be recorded in heaven. And therein, I imagine you receiving a pleasing nod from God today, as well as from your parents.

peace~elaine

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Sonja
How wonderfully true -

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

THANK YOU for reminding us of that.

Blessings to you - Marsha

Shirley said...

I'm often amazed at how our thoughts run along the same lines. For the past couple of weeks I've been thinking about how the generations before me have thinned, brining me and my generation closer to the front lines. Am I up to the task? It's sobering.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I have sat here reading and rereading your post, and I agree wholeheartedly with you. Although I must say, I too have learned so much from so many dedicated, committed women and men of God, in this blogging world. I am so continually amazed at how God works in today's world, despite us. I see how God teaches, instructs, guides, and continually gives Grace after Grace to all of us as His children. I like what Tullian states, and I agree. The older I get, the more I see how He becomes greater and greater and I become less and less.

I appreciate you so much Sonja. I am so thankful for the huge doses of honesty and inspiration that I find here on "bits and pieces". Thank you!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Correct. Jesus always was and forever will remain the answer. And there are no grandchildren of God, only CHILDREN OF GOD!!! Touché my dear. THANK YOU FOR VISITING! Anita