Believing, Behaving, Becoming
As I have been engaged in various ministry responsibilities over the past few days, I have reflected upon the essence of the Christian life. I have been in meetings discussing the long-term vision of our church. I have conducted funerals. I have met with couples preparing for marriage. I have met with church members for various reasons.
In the midst of it all, I have been thinking about what it really means to be a follower of The Jesus Way. What is God doing in our lives? What is supposed to be happening?
Today, I would put it like this: We are believers. We believe in the truths revealed in the Word of God. Because of that, our behaviors are shaped and directed. As we live each day and follow those beliefs, we are becoming. We are becoming more like Christ!
Believing – As Christians, we are believers. We accept the truths about Jesus. We believe the story revealed in the Bible. We believe the God of the Bible is the only true God. We believe He created all there is. We believe the story of Israel is true and real. We believe in the prophets and the writings. We believe in the great plan of redemption as it unfolds in both Scripture and throughout time. We accept Jesus as the Messiah, the Promised One, the Anointed One—-the Son of God. We believe He died on the cross on our behalf. We believe God raised Him from the dead. We believe He has ascended to the Father. We believe the Holy Spirit has been given to us. We believe in the final judgment. We believe in the return of Jesus. We are believers!
Behaving – As followers of Jesus, we are supposed to live a certain way. Our behavior reflects and reveals our beliefs. We are to be guided each day by the authority of the Word of God, the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and the example of Jesus. We are to be busy in well-doing. We care for the needs of others. We seek to love others as we would have them to love us. We serve those in need. We care for those who are sick. We go to the ends of the earth to share the love of Jesus. We pray for God’s will. We seek to protect the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We bless our neighbors. We live in community with the people of God. We demonstrate humility and patience. We seek to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
Becoming – As we journey each day, our beliefs are put into action. We live real lives in real time. As we are engaging in life, God is shaping us. He is transforming us. We are on a journey of becoming. Our hearts are being transformed. God’s grace is changing us. We are experiencing victory over sin and temptation. We are getting better. We are growing. We are learning. We are progressing in our faith. We are seeing God’s hand at work. We are experiencing God’s glory being reflected through us. We are becoming more like Jesus!
So – Christians believe, we behave — and consequently, we are becoming!