When You Need to Remember What You First Believed

September 14, 2012 | 35 comments

Maybe it’s me.

But it’s seems really noisy in the world right now, like a lot of people can’t agree on a lot of things, and people are drawing lines and making boxes and picking sides and pointing fingers. And it’s not only the political arena. It’s happening in theological circles, too. And I know we can’t all agree on everything. That would make for a monochromatic, sterile world that lacks originality.

I celebrate differences. I believe we should voice them.

But sometimes, in the noisy spaces, I can lose sight of what I first believed.

I want to live the words that made me who I am; I want to live the words that are still making me.

So, this. Here today. …. This is what I believe.

MY FAITH STATEMENT 

I believe that being a Christian isn’t a thing we do only on Sundays, and that church isn’t something that just happens at the altar, and that grace abounds everywhere – sometimes where we least expect it.

I am a truth-seeker, a Bible-believer and a desperate grace-clinger.

I believe in a Savior who died for the outcast, the town drunk, the corporate executive, the doubter, the prostitute, the rude waitress, the junkie and the guy who cut me off in traffic. I believe in a Savior who died even for me.

I believe that even if people make fun of you – even if your own Christian community rolls its eyes at you – it’s still OK to be “on fire for Jesus,” to wear a Christian T-shirt, to call yourself a Jesus Freak and to raise your hands in church. And I also thinks it’s OK if you don’t.

I believe that every moment is an opportunity to spy grace, to offer love and to find a way to forgive. I believe all those things can happen anywhere: in funeral homes, in subway stations and in the sandbox at the park right after a mean kid throws sand in your toddler’s eye.

I also believe this: I am saved but still a sinner.

I believe in scandalous grace, and that the cross is the most priceless and costly gift the world has ever seen. I believe that it really is all because of Jesus.

I believe that Christ Jesus is more than a wise teacher, a fine philosopher or a miracle worker. I believe that He is God, the living Word, who became flesh. I believe He voluntarily atoned for my sin by dying on the cross. I believe He rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.

I believe the Holy Spirit is a divine Person.

I believe that the same Spirit who hovered over the waters and who inspired the prophets and who fell upon the first believers, is the very same Spirit who guides and empowers believers today.

I believe that salvation is a work of God’s free grace and is not the result of human works, “being good” or taking part in religious ceremonies.

I believe that God exists, yes … And I also know that He does. I talked to Him a few moments ago.

Lost people matter to God, and they matter to me.

I believe in miracles. I am one.

I’m a mess. And because of that, I believe I will always need forgiveness, until the last light of this life fades.

I believe that Jesus Christ is coming again.

And I believe that this is not the end,
and that there is hope for all people,
and that Love came to rescue the weak and
the broken and
the helpless and …
me.

And I — sinner falling now at His feet — believe that I will live with Him forever.

Friend, would you care to share your faith statement in the comment box? Or link to it, if you have it on your blog?

by | September 14, 2012 | 35 comments

35 Comments

  1. Christy Willard

    Your post pretty much sums it up for me! Well said. I even shared it on my FB page that’s how much I appreciated your words today. God bless!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’m so glad that it resonated with you, and that it encouraged you, Christy. I’m glad you’re here. ~ Jennifer

      Reply
  2. David Rupert

    A stunning declaration. I loved the paragraph about Christ being the savior of every messed up person out there..including me.

    Reply
    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      Thank you, David. Thank you for standing right next to me, sinner in need of grace.

      Reply
  3. mynamestartswithO

    LOVE THIS. So needed this. Truly God put this on your heart for so many. This is so timely for me especially. Going through some renewed “grief” from some fellow Christians. Been feeling very anxious. My sister recently passed away and things with family have been happening. But the past couple of days, since I’ve been feeling really anxious, I’ve been coming across posts, Tweets, etc that have been so encouraging to my heart and spirit, letting me know it’s not ME. And then this, your post today was like the icing on the cake. I took a moment to pray and tell God – and my sister – for the encouragement they’ve been sending my way…and then my sister’s favorite song ‘Spirit in the Sky’ started playing on the radio. I’m overwhelmed!!!

    Reply
    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      I’m so happy that God has been whispering over you during your time of need. Isn’t it a thing of beauty, to know how deeply cherished you are by a King?

      Grateful for you being here today.

      Reply
  4. mynamestartswithO

    oops…not “tell God – and my sister -“…that was supposed to be THANK! 🙂

    Reply
    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      Girl, Let me tell you something. I do far too much telling, and far too little thanking. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Megan Willome

    This is so good! You and I believe the same core things although we worship at different places on Sunday mornings and write different kinds of things on our blogs. I especially like your statment, “I believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person.”

    P.S. Thanks for your encouragement over at my place. I was stepping out on a limb with that one.

    Reply
    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      I like that about us, too, Megan. You’re very, very dear to me for more reasons than I can list in a little white box on a computer screen.

      Yes, that Holy Spirit is a Person. Not an “it.”

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Holley. A joy to have your beautiful smile here in the comment box today.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Grateful for you being here, Patricia. Thank you for your affirming words.

      Reply
  6. ro.ellott

    A thousands of thanks for His scandalous grace… yes and amen to all …standing with you on our Rock. blessings~

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I like standing next to you, ro. Thanks for being here.

      Reply
  7. Deidra

    I have to admit I’m struggling with this one. Not with what you wrote, but with all of the noise. I just want to be quiet. Or hang out in the basement with Jen Hatmaker. 🙂

    I applaud you for this step you’ve taken to make sense of the noise because I don’t know if quiet is the right answer.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I struggled writing it. I mean, if I don’t like all the noise, why add to it?

      But in the end, I felt like it is never bad to point back to my Savior. I hope that it is received in that way. Thanks D.

      Reply
    • His

      I get the struggle and the not knowing.

      Reply
      • His

        This comment was in response to Deidre.

        Reply
  8. Danelle

    I loved this Jennifer. You have blessed me today. And may I agree with Deidra. . I often just want to be quiet or hide out and that is the wrong answer. Isn’t it?

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I don’t think it’s the wrong answer at all. Like I told Deidra, I struggled with publishing this one … as if it might add to the noise. In the end, I felt comfortable because it’s pointing fully back to Christ.

      Reply
    • His

      It’s never the wrong answer, Danelle, when it’s at the leading of God.

      Reply
  9. Linda

    You have summed it up perfectly for me Jennifer. I’ve been really upset lately about the things you mentioned. It has gotten very noisey. My prayer in recent days has been for wisdom and discernment. I don’t want to lose His truth in all racket. Just to keep my eyes on Him.

    Reply
  10. Diane Bailey

    Your words of faith are speaking my heart to the Lord as well. Thank you for sharing your sweet love for the Lord.

    Reply
  11. Stefanie Brown (@stefanieybrown)

    I love, love, love this! I’m struggling to find words to describe the power of this post, Jennifer! You’ve challenged me. I need to put into writing EXACTLY what I believe, for my sake, if nothing else.
    Awesome!

    Reply
  12. Deborah Shaw

    I could not have stated my own personal beliefs any better. AMEN and AMEN!!

    Reply
  13. Carolyn

    Beautiful writing about our beautiful God. Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Missy

    “I want to live the words that made me who I am; I want to live the words that are still making me.” Yes, yes, and Amen! This post was a powerful and encouraging challenge to live as we profess to believe. Thank you!

    Reply
  15. Pam

    There is noise and there is…music. Thanks for the symphony of heart and love for Him, here. You sing what I believe (and all those here)…in perfect pitch.

    Reply
  16. Joanne Brunskill

    Jennifer,

    I love your faith statement.

    In particular, this resonates with me.

    “Lost people matter to God, and they matter to me.”

    I have found that usually it is our interactions with the “lost”…that helps us “find” the most excellence— within ourselves.

    Proof positive that God has a perfect plan for each of us. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing.

    Blessings,
    Joanne

    Reply
  17. Susan DiMickele

    Yeah, agreeing with the comments. I think I might just steal this and post it on my website. (Maybe you could charge a fee? Kidding.)

    In all serious, thanks for this. I don’t have a statement of faith on my blog and you’ve caused me to think about it more deeply. I think I like to write about fun and fluff and I gloss over the important stuff too often. Like why I got into this writing gig in the first place. But this is about so much more than writing. I too have been rescued by grace and I will never be the same. This makes me want to shoot it from the rooftops. (Good thing it’s late and I can’t get on my roof!)

    Reply
  18. kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing

    love it – Amen and Amen! in our lil island community – I was recently introduced as “God girl” – it wasn’t meant as a compliment (nor was it meant to be mean) – but the same people know where to go when they need love & at least i know they’ve heard the truth- God’s Word does not return void!!!

    Reply
  19. Eyvonne

    I’ve been thinking about writing a faith statement not only for people to know me, but also to clarify it in words for myself. This is no small undertaking! Thank you for the inspiration.

    Reply

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