What I believe

I believe God loves me, he is with me, and I need him to be with me.
I believe God can make more of me than I can make of myself.
I believe I don't have to prove I'm right. If I am right, God will defend me.
If I'm wrong, I can admit it and ask God for help.

For the curious, this is not a complete list of what I believe, but some key things.

Promises and assumptions

God's promises are good, they bring us life and hope.

But they can be badly interpreted to yield dangerous assumptions. We can assume that God's promises mean we'll almost always be successful and most things will go well. Then when they don't, we lose faith or we panic.

Paul says "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ." Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises. Jesus, aka Immanuel, "God with us." The most basic promise is not that we'll have pleasant circumstances, but that God will be with us in our circumstances.

So let us trust the promises, not what we assume the promises ought to mean.

Marriage and the Covenant

Several theologians and writers have written about marriage as a covenant. The latest one I've read is Tim Keller.

The marriage as covenant idea says marriage is to be viewed as a covenant between spouses, "a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other." Marriage is not a commercial contract, where you are willing to give something to get what you want, but the emphasis is on getting what you want, and you are willing to consider getting what you want from another vendor if they offer better quality or a better price.

This idea of marriage as a covenant shed a new light on Jeremiah's promise of the New Covenant. There's an odd phrase at the end of verse 32, "because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them.". Jeremiah 31:32

Jeremiah says God is the husband who resolves to stay committed and to make the covenant relationship work. If ever anyone could have said "You're not meeting my needs," or "We've grown apart," that would be God. But he doesn't start all over again with a new people, he keeps the ones he's chosen.

May God inspire us to faithfulness in our covenant relationships.

Thank you God

Thank you God. You speak truth, not in an archaic or dead sacred language that I have to memorize how it is pronounced, but in words I can understand. May those who do not understand come to understand.

Who am I?

In human terms, incomplete, puzzled, not fully understood. Others don't understand me. But a simplistic "to my own self be true" view is not the answer. The world doesn't understand me, but I understand myself all too well. I make too many excuses why I don't live up to my potential.

But in God's terms, I am loved, a valuable soul in process. He has committed himself to bring out my greatness. This maturing and forming process is a combination of hearing the inner cries of my heart, and also encouraging me to listen.

And so are you, my reader, a valuable soul in process. I wish you to understand the challenge and the depth of God's love for you.