By Pastor Kevin Van Wyk
The past couple months were packed with some great moments. We had 12 youth become Covenant Partners and two of these individuals were baptized as believers. It was a joy to see these youth profess Christ as their Lord and Savior and then commit to following him. The baptisms were unforgettable. Let me tell you, there is no reason I would ever go into a frozen lake, except for a moment like this. It made for a truly memorable profession of faith and I am grateful to have participated.
Our Covenant Partner Vows include confessions (core beliefs we affirm) and commitments (things we promise to do). Specifically, they are…
I believe in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; confess Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord; and accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the supreme authority for faith and life. I accept the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed as ecumenical expressions of the Christian faith.
I will trust Jesus as the only Savior and Lord, connect deeply with Jesus’ followers, grow to be like Jesus, serve sacrificially as Jesus did, reach out to the world with the love and truth of Jesus, and worship Jesus as the ruler of all.
I will maintain a life of prayer, study God’s Word, participate in the Lord’s supper, gather with believers regularly, use my spiritual gifts and financial resources to further the mission of Jesus through the local church, live a life pleasing to God and accept the spiritual guidance of the church leadership.
I will walk in a spirit of Christian love seeking unity, purity and peace within this congregation.
Last month, I shared a bit about what true believers should believe. In that post, I largely focused on what our Covenant Partners/member should believe, noting that understanding all the doctrines in the creeds aren’t necessarily essential to be saved.
The Bible uses the Greek word pisteuo and we translate that into English as believe, have faith, or trust. So, this is why we have included in the first commitment of our Covenant Partner Vows a promise to “trust Jesus as the only Savior and Lord…” We wanted to emphasize that Christianity is not just giving mental assent to the love and power of God, but that it is an ongoing reliance on Jesus who gave his life for us on the cross and now sits with the Father as our Lord. He pleaded with the disciple “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” (John 14:1 NLT)
This trust is lived out primarily in praying. Our vows go on to say “I will maintain a life of prayer…” This is a profound vow that should be taken as a privilege and blessing, not a burden. If we truly trust Jesus, we will go to him with every need and praise him for every blessing.
So, if you say you believe in Jesus, does your prayer life reflect that trust?
My guess is that nearly everyone reading this feels rather inadequate in this area. So, let me offer some very practical ways you solidify your trust in God through prayer…
Does cooking dinner matter more than prayer? Does showering? Pulling weeds? Mowing the lawn? Brushing your teeth? The good news is you can pray as you do them. But the habit above will help truly maintain a life of prayer.
Lord, Help us be a people of true faith, who trust you at every turn. Inspire us to pray. Nudge us by your spirit to make time to humbly come before your throne of grace. Amen.
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