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For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:10 NIV

When we think of our spiritual journey, we often think of the individual things we do to nurture our relationship with Christ. For example, we read, study, and pray, and we may also meditate, fast, and journal. The most essential individual activity, the first step that begins our journey, is accepting Christ. While this may have been done surrounded by others, it is a personal decision–it cannot be made for you.

In addition to those things we do individually, some things are done corporately. There are acts that we commonly do together, like Sunday morning worship and fellowship. In the Protestant tradition, two essential things must be done communally–they absolutely cannot be done by oneself, the sacraments of baptism and communion. In the words of St. Augustine, these sacraments are “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual graces.”

In our baptism, we profess–we make known to others–our acceptance of Christ and his grace at work within us. In the United Methodist Church, we do not re-baptize, but we periodically re-affirm (re-profess) our baptism. In Holy Communion, we are invited by Christ to come as a reconciled people to share at his table. In this sacred time together, we acknowledge the grace of God at work in each of us, confessing (professing) our weaknesses and accepting the strength that comes from sharing in the bread and wine.

As we go into the world to profess our faith, our lives are to be outward and visible signs of that inward grace that resides within. All that we think, say, and do are to reflect the glory of the Holy Spirit. Our continual profession is a growth in God’s sanctifying and perfecting grace as we strive to become more and more like Jesus.

Instead of a prayer, we will close with the words from the hymn, “Take My Life, and Let It Be.” (UMH 399)

Take my life and let it be

consecrated, Lord, to thee.

Take my moments and my days;

let them flow in ceaseless praise,

Take my hands and let them move

at the impulse of thy love.

Take my feet and let them be

swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing

always, only, for my King.

Take my lips and let them be

filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold;

not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use

every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine;

it shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart it is thine own;

it shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour

at thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself, and I will be

ever, only, all for thee.



Pastor Tim

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