Monday, April 24, 2017

What Do I Really Believe?

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

The term “Statement of Faith” came up three times last week prompting me to ask myself, “What is it I really believe?” So for fun and as a discipline, I wrote my own statement of faith.  I gave myself three guidelines:  1) I wanted to avoid the “I believe…, I believe…,” format, 2) as much as it was possible, I wanted to avoid churchy words and 3) I didn’t want to regurgitate the well-established creeds of the church. I wanted to write a truly personal statement of what I believe, why I believe it, and how it has affected who I am and what I do.

This exercise has turned out to be an important and necessary step in the renewing of my spiritual fervor which I feel I have been lacking in for a long time now. If you’ve never taken the time to write your own statement of faith or haven’t done so in a while, I highly recommend it. If nothing else, it reminded me of how magnificent God is and how blessed I am that he loves me. It’s reminded me why I am a follower of Jesus and why I want to be more intent on my faith journey and in my relationship with the Lord.

My Statement of Faith (April 24, 2017)
I know there is one God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—because he has revealed himself to me in so many ways—through his inspired word the bible, in prayer, in fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters, in dreams, through worship and other disciplines of faith. 

God is the source of all that exist—the universe and all that is in it. In his own limitless power, God stepped out of his glorious existence and into humanity in the person of Jesus Christ to communicate his divinity, his nature and capacity of unending love for us in a way we could comprehend and then took upon himself the consequences of all sin, even mine, with Jesus’ death on the cross. God’s justice being satisfied, nothing, but our own free will granted to us by God himself, stands in the way of God’s love and mercy or his desire to be in relationship with every individual including me. Christ’s resurrection makes it possible and promises that we are able to enjoy that relationship forever. 

Before recognizing his supreme sovereignty and dedicating my life to his service, I was broken—a sinner, a hopeless, helpless human being apart from his mercy and grace. Yet he gently and relentlessly pursued me in love and softened my heart with his kindness. He healed the deep wounds of my past and gave my life value and purpose. He redeemed all the neglect, abuse, and grief of my past and transformed the brokenness of my life into a beacon of hope. He nurtured within me a deep compassion and empathy for those who are hurting. He’s developed in me the gift of creativity in its many facets to share the Good News of his grace and mercy with the world. I’m still a sinner but I’m made right with God by Christ’s sacrifice. As a child of God, I am no longer broken, hopeless or helpless. It is my great joy to share my life and my love for him with those around me. 

From the beginning, he had in mind for me to join with my brothers and sisters in the faith to worship him and with the Holy Spirit to work together as conduits of his love and grace both in word and deed. The Holy Spirit is our companion and guide, instilling in us the wisdom and power to accomplish God’s will. One day, Jesus will return to earth, eradicate sin and evil and establish his kingdom. God will once again live among us and we will enjoy his presence as he intended it to be in the beginning.

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