Sunday, February 10, 2008

Samoa Part 9: Samoan Sayings II

A Samoan proverbs reads E mana’o i ufi ae fefe i papa. A direct translation of this refers to one who wants to obtain yams but is afraid of the rocky obstacles that are in the way. We may apply this adage to one who wants all the blessings of the Gospel but is afraid to pay the price of discipleship. All too often we are able to talk the talk but are found lacking when asked to walk the walk. The pathway to exaltation is the same for all. One must live according to the principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and endure to the end or one cannot obtain that which the Gospel promises to the faithful—eternal life in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Another proverbial saying of the Samoan people reads Seu le manu ae taga’i i galu. Literally, it comes as a warning to one setting out to sea to catch sea birds: that as he nets a bird he ought to keep an eye out for approaching waves. Warning signs are readily seen on American coastlines cautioning us to be wary of “sneaker” waves; and the Samoan who goes to the shore to catch seabirds knows, as does the beachgoer, that any negligence on his part to watch out for “sneakers” may result in disaster.

In life, Satan is trying to sneak up on us with hopes that we are unaware of his insidious advances. He uses every conceivable method to conceal his approach—even going to the extent to label that which is evil good, that which is dark light, and that which is bitter sweet. We must be familiar with Satan’s catch-phrase temptations of “eat, drink and be merry” and protect ourselves by donning the whole armor of God.

Another saying goes like this: Toe timata le upega. Literally, it means to repair a fishing-net. However, in a Gospel context, one may relate this saying to the blessing of repentance. Each of our lives is a complex set of circumstances woven together like a net. When we err, or sin, we make tears in the nets of our lives. Some tears are small and others are large. A torn net is unfit for use in the fishing industry; so are we unfit for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven when our lives are torn with sin and transgression.

Fortunately, there is hope and a glorious prospect of redemption. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ” is the first of all principles and ordinances of the Gospel, and faith is an action word. Faith leads those who are the possessors of it to good works such as keeping the commandments of God. More specifically, faith moves us to repentance for our sins so that we may become more like Jesus Christ and that through the Atonement of Christ our lives may be made whole; our nets may be mended.


Siente said...

Hi, Nate, I saw your post and had a question. This isn't specifically about your church, but it's about religion in general, and since you know alot about religion, you have probly thought about this before. It's been buggin me for quite awhile.

Here's the question: since there are so many churches out there, and they disagree in some important ways, how can a person know for really shure when they are in the right religion? As I said, I've thought about this alot. At first, I thought, Well, if a person is in the wrong kind of church, and that person prayed really hard and talked to God alot and stuff, God would maybe tell them that they were in the wrong church, and maybe even tell them which one was the right one.

But then I thought, no, it probly doesn't work like that, cuz if God DID try to talk to the person (or have someone else talk to them, or send some stuff in their way for them to read or whatever), they would probly just think it was a test from the devil. And the more someone is really tyring to follow God, the less likely it is that they are going to pray and ask him if their religion is wrong.

So, what do you think? If God wanted to show you personally that your religion was the wrong one, is there any way that you would, like, actually ge tthe message? And if so, like, how would God be able to do that? I mean, how would you know whether it was just sposed to be a test of your faith or something?

Nate said...

Siente, I really enjoyed your comment. Instead of answering your questions here, I have posted my answers on my blog's main page under the title: How to Receive and Recognize Answers from God.


Cera said...

the Lord move in misterious ways. We are the ne generation and with the new generation upon us today we actually do find ourselves in that situation. I am 17 and heres what i've learnt throughout my walk with Jesus. There is no limit to your worship, whereever your spirit duwels and feels the comfort and warmth of the Holy Spirit is best for you. I attend a Full Gospel church which i love but then again its not about the church. The choice lies between you and God.