This I Believe

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I am ashamed to claim faith in Jesus Christ, unworthy as I am
to bear that name and call myself a Christian. For my sake he was
crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered death and was buried.

I love the order and witness of the Christian faith;
the unassuming birth, disarming life, unjustifiable death,
and the deserted tomb that answer prophecy of Scripture.

A burning stick snatched from the fire, I believe I am more sinful
than I could imagine and more loved than I dare hope.*

Yet I worship at the altar of Self, and often insist and want and
worry as though there were no God. As though I were not loved.

I believe in right and wrong, and that I need saving from myself.
I need a God who is wiser than my purposes, deeper than my
hopelessness, higher than my dreams – a God who owes me nothing.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, Resurrection power
in this flesh and in the heart that fails me.

But how easily would I make my professions on a bed of nails,
not the carpet of ease and cultural civility of my times? On my deathbed
I will call myself Christian because grace will have won out in the end.

This I believe.

 

*This line a summation of the gospel by author and pastor Dr. Timothy Keller

141 thoughts on “This I Believe

  1. Your best post yet D. Praise the Lord – “while we were still helpless and weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man and perhaps for the good man one might even dare to die. But you showed your love for us, while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” Thank God He is risen, Happy Resurrection Day!

    – J

  2. I have a dream! Just when I believed my usefulness and spiritual ambitions had faded to pasture days, and somnolent nights, I have been inspired. I wish desperately to be accused of loving Him so much, it appears to be “outright homage.” Thank you!

  3. HW, I cannot bring myself to like this post. With all due respect to your faith and the heartfelt nature of your sentiments, if you are “a burning stick”, “more sinful than you could imagine”, worshiping at “the altar of Self”, and suffering from “hopelessness”, what chance is there for a good old-fashioned reprobate like myself? Thank goodness I’m an atheist otherwise I would be trembling at my fate.

    • Do you think I’m surprised? But how do you manage to make me laugh even in disagreements like this over divine judgment? Thank God – though again, you will differ – our gauge is only our (human gauge). Remember the criminal who hung alongside Jesus, who asked to be remembered in paradise? Who was pardoned? Many would consider him more reprobate than I – or you. The beauty of grace. I’m sorry I made the Gospel so unappealing to you. =)

  4. A perfect complement to your dance post ~ you have the freedom and spirit to make us care (and the humility as well). A question you asked can and should be asked by us all “how easily would I make my professions on a bed of nails, not the carpet of ease and cultural civility of my times?”

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  6. What a humble and genuine post!! I often question my role. Is it enough? Then I have remorse for my sins. But in the end I hope I will be a bit closer to the light your post made me think…

    • So very nice to hear. I almost added that it’s not about my performance. Jesus said, “It is finished.” I dare not try and add anything to it, not to earn His favor, at least. Thanks for letting me know.

      Xxx
      D.

  7. Diana, Oh to rest in God’s grace! That is where my struggle is. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and I know in my heart and mind that is enough. Still, I feel (and act) like I have to earn the grace of The Cross and pay Him back by “performing” for Him. Grace is beautiful as I am still learning the full depths of God’s grace for my life. Easter is my reminder that Jesus, with arms wide open, gives me His grace that never runs out.

    • I in fact was going to mention those arms wide, wide open, east to west. We’re springloaded to try and earn our way, Deb. He alone continues to get the glory if we rest in Grace. There is nothing we dare add to the finished work on the Cross.

      Xx
      D.

  8. “……unworthy as I am
    to bear that name and call myself a Christian.” I believe that in this world with so much denial of Christ it is better to say “I am proud to bear that name ‘Christian’, and I stand erect and strong under that banner.” And I am ashamed that I don’t stand as strong and as erect as you do.

    • I actually thought of that. Exactly how you put it. =) But I felt that the meaning (pretty much in line with yours) came through. That the reader will understand why it is I say I’m ashamed. Not because His is an unworthy name to bear but because I am unworthy of it. That is why I finished with grace and how it will win out in the end. Honest input is always welcome. Thank you.

      Diana

  9. I think it will win out in the end too, I understand your confusion, I think it is the same for most of us, and the fact that God knows that and loves us anyway says it all. Peace and love to you. Michelle

  10. Yes! Grace will win out in the end. Thank you for this post. Your amazing ability to speak from your heart touches the deep places in my heart too. you speak what others feel but dare not utter out loud. Blessings to you

  11. I don’t share your faith Diana, but I appreciate your expression of it, particularly this passage, which strikes me as profound, whatever faith we follow: ‘I need a God who is wiser than my purposes, deeper than my hopelessness, higher than my dreams – a God who owes me nothing’

  12. I was born a Jew, raised a Catholic, walked in New Age and found Jesus Christ. I loved what Andrea Stephenson said…never thought of it that way. ‘I need a God who is wiser than my purposes, deeper than my hopelessness, higher than my dreams – a God who owes me nothing’ That is my King…Jesus Christ and more.

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  14. And the Good Thief said:”We deserve to die for our crimes. But this man has done nothing wrong.” “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And at that moment the Good Thief was promised Heaven.
    Salvation is still there for those who stay in an honest to goodness fight for goodness.
    -Alan

  15. I think Ms. Stephenson is right—that line captures what most of us recognize at some level that we need: no matter what names we give our spirituality, we want and require something much larger than our little, insular selves to make us better than *we* can make ourselves. Lovely, Diana.
    xo

  16. i think you might be a little hard on yourself. everyone who lives makes mistakes, even terrible ones. there is nothing helpful holding on to your sins, calling yourself “sinful.” forgiveness truly begins when you forgive yourself. god forgives from the foundation of the universe, every nanosecond does she forgive in this ultimate way.

    anyway its a nice poem though. ❤

  17. There is no better deals offered anywhere than the hope of resurrection and atonement for our fallen selves. Until there is, I throw my hat in the ring with Jesus Christ. He is the only one who has shown he has the power to accomplish the task that we may re-unite with God

  18. I am not particularly religious, but I do believe in fate and there are forces in the universe that make the world turn and what it is. As such, I found this a beautiful read. You are very loyal to your faith, strongly believing in something that you can’t see but can only feel…then again, I think the best things in life can only be felt.

    • I appreciate your tapping in, Mabel. You didn’t have to, as I know you don’t share my worldview. How thoughtful of you to leave a kind word. I plan to write on the primacy of feelings, actually, in the next few months.

      Hugs,
      D.

      • We share different views, certainly. And I guess that’s why we learn from each other. Ah, you plan your blog posts ahead of time. I do that too…looking forward to reading them.

    • This beautiful feedback is greatly, greatly appreciated. The friend who sat me on WPress and taught me how to pilot this thing waited and waited (what turned out to be two years) for something like this from me. It came in its time. I was glad to be able to sound this song of faith before a throng of 10,000 as opposed to a lesser crowd. Many thanks for the support, my friend.

  19. Being living in India, I have friends in almost all the faiths so never felt anything special about any one faith in particular. But recently we did a stage play called ‘J.B’, written by Archibald MacLeish based on a biblical character Job. It is about God and Satan testing a human’s faith. Your post is a lovely account of what faith is and that’s why I recommend you to read or see it if possible. You’ll love it. If it can transform the thought process of someone who had very limited knowledge of Christianity, it will surely do wonders to your already inspiring faith 🙂
    Thank you for sharing, I really like to see that people like you still exist so the world is not that bad as it seems 🙂

  20. Mmmm Amen! I Love this post! Thanks for sharing and open about your belief – it’s rare these days to see posting like this as others tend to prethink what others may think of them when it comes to personal or religious wording and sharing your faith without apology!!!
    Yup…..I thank YOU!!!
    *Namaste

    • I shared it without apology because God is not ashamed to call us His own. Thank you for the support, Jill. This one’s been on the home page, which I finally updated this morning.

      Diana

      • I only saw it this morning as I was scrollong through updated WP app and had to, had to stop read and reply…and is true God created us with no shame and nada apology….it is the human race that needs to realise its no race atall or competition but life should be about Unity, Love and Harmony not war and hatred alot rooted from anciect religious divsion…and thats a whole nuther blog post!! 🙂 *so as before…Thanks for the update and sharing….continue to shine ya light!
        💛Jill x

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