I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior.
It is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.
1 Timothy 1:15
I believe that He loved me, broken and sinful just as I was, and chose to die for me anyway.
For God demonstrated his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I believe my two most important jobs on this earth are to love God and love people.
“Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I believe I am meant to love people as Christ loved me, just as they are. I believe personal judgment gets in the way of this love and snubs the fact that His undeserved kindness drew me to salvation.
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
I believe that when I am focused on someone else’s sin or spiritual progress, I am often ignoring my own.
How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I believe that my personal judgments will be inherently flawed, as I am flawed.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”
I believe that we are called to even love those we consider to be enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I believe THAT kind of love is what we should be known for.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I believe that the fruit the Spirit produces in our lives is visible and love is part of that fruit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I believe God’s love stands in the gap when all else fails. I cannot fix or save anyone and it is not my job to do so. It is my job to love people deeply and openly and honestly enough that it gets them within reach of the One who can heal and change and save them.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I believe that it is my duty to steadfastly follow Christ’s example of sacrificial love.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
I believe that sometimes “the world” is Christian culture. We get distracted by what man says we should be doing and forget to allow God to tell us what we should be doing.
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.
I believe that we are not meant to be identical, cookie-cutter, automaton Christian-bots. We were created as individuals for different purposes. We see the world through the eyes He has given us, we touch the world through the hands He knit together. Different does not mean wrong.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
I believe it is my job to spur my fellow believers on to good works, in love.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I believe that my faith should inform my choices and actions, that prayers are not meant to make up for a lack of action.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Yet, I know that I fail regularly, but I continue pressing on towards Christ.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
There is so much brokenness and pain in the world, so much chaotic noise, so much ugliness that claims Christ’s name. Sometimes I need to remember these simple things and hold them tightly in my heart again.