Our oldest child’s name is Maverick. He is a fun kid, he is 6 now, loves biking, playing video games with me and is always down for an impromptu wrestling match. We often get asked if we named him Maverick because we are big fans of the movie TopGun, the answer is no. Full disclosure, it wasn’t until a couple years ago that we finally sat down and watched Tom Cruise in his prime take the highway to the danger zone. The real reason we named our eldest son Maverick was because we liked what the name means.
According to Google, a Maverick is an unbranded cow, although interesting, this is not why we named him either. A Maverick, more often, is understood to be a person who does not go along with the culture or group, they are often considered to be an independent minded person. Now he certainly likes to live up to his name in our household, but our real hope and prayer is that he would live up to his name in the world. We want Maverick to live out what the Apostle Paul calls each one of us to in Romans. He says,
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2
We want all of our kids to be nonconformists in that sense, committed to Jesus and disinterested and unimpressed with the patterns and promises of this world. This is our hope and aim as parents and it is also my hope and prayer as a pastor. That each one of us would consider the things of this world rubbish compared to what God offers us in his Son Jesus Christ. I want us all to be a bunch of Mavericks, unbranded cows for Jesus (that might not catch on).
Paul gives a very helpful instruction to us, for how we can do this, and it’s by living ‘in view of God’s mercy.’ In order for us to delight in the things of God, rather than in the things of this world we need to live with God’s mercies in view. Honestly, right now it’s often hard to have his mercies in view. There are so many other things in view right now, COVID, politics, protests, church plans, playoff hockey, etc. These are important things but if we live our lives in view of them they will pattern us more into the way of the world than into the way of Christ.
So, what are you living in view of?
Paul describes the mercies of God like this in Ephesians 2:4-10:
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Fellow Christians, behold the God of mercy and live in view of them this day.