What do you believe
I had no idea why God wanted me to do this. For six months I had been fighting Him! I did not even know what a blog was. How could I write a devotional five days a week? After fighting God for six months I agreed to begin this journey. The first miracle was I set (do not even know if that is the right word) up my own website through a computer program. I just wanted to write - not do all of this! Then came the “about” page on the web site! At first I thought that would be easy but the more I thought about it the more serious it became. I began to think about what I believe in. Anyone could write a blog but before I would read one I would want to know their beliefs. Years ago I had written my own mission statement. “To live my life in joy with a continuously growing relationship with God. Through listening and being obedient I will help further the Kingdom of God.” Then I decided I must have the prayer of Salvation. But the more I thought the more I decided this really doesn’t tell someone what I BELIEVE.
As I began to write my beliefs, I began to see that each statement made me go deeper. Each statement was important because of the previous statement. Once I began to write, “I believe in the One and only God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth” it all came out. Under “What I Believe” it says, “I believe in the One and only God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, who was conceived by the Holy spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and crucified under Pontius Pilate. I believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in salvation by the grace of God through the faith of Jesus Christ. I believe in the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life. I believe the bible is the living Word of God.”
I realized that all those years of reciting the Apostles Creed in church had helped me remember the basics of what I believe! I also realized that I have been reciting the Apostles Creed for many years - since I was 12 years old. I went through Confirmation class and we learned about our church's beliefs and we learned the Apostles Creed . (We will be celebrating our Confirmands this Sunday at the 9:45 service.) It is not Scripture, but it is a simple list of the great doctrines of the faith. It is a profession of faith - you are stating what you believe.
Shortly after Mike and I got married we visited his paternal grandmother who was Baptist because there was “no other way into Heaven!" She nor the rest of the family was pleased that I was Methodist. They seemed happier with the grandchildren that did not attend church! After Grandma got to know me, she told me one day, “you know why I never liked Methodists?” I was afraid to ask why - I was sure she had a list! She said, “because y’all say y’all believe in the Catholic church.” At that point in my life I could not have explained a lot but I did know the answer to this. I explained to her that we were not specifically saying the “Roman Catholic church”. We were declaring the body of Christ, the church as a whole across the world as one fellowship. The word “catholic” means universal. “Well, that is the first I have heard of that!,” was her response. She never had a problem with me being Methodist again! I am glad I knew what I believed in.
We need to know what we believe! As Pastor Tim said “we better know what we believe before the world tries to tell us!” In other words, if we do not know what we believe, we may believe anything! Even the Bible tells us we should know what we believe by knowing God’s Word. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” We all have a belief system whether we think we do or not. What we believe affects every area of our life and shapes every decision that we make. Yet, how many of us have taken the time to really think about what we accept as true?
2 Timothy 1:12-14, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” We are to guard God’s Word which has been entrusted to us!
In Romans 16:19, we are told, “Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” Each time we face a problem or a decision we need to know what God’s Word says. Knowing what we believe is essential in developing a sound system of beliefs founded on the truth of God’s Word. What do you believe?