Brother Ron Barnes
Founder and Pastor
Statement of Faith
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Virtue, how foolish I have been, forgetting you, not realizing you were given to me by the Father, then upon losing you through neglect I allowed vice to latch on, and then, in order to defeat vice's ugliness, I needed again to shamefully ask God for you. And then should I lose this new virtue as well? Virtue, my friend that you are, how I should hold your hand!
But what might you be, dear Virtue? Might you be humility? And, my humility, what shall I do to know you? As a virtue, humility, you have been shown to me by God, therefore you should be known, held, cherished, and lived by, within my frail time. Since you are a gift from God, dear humility, then I should know that by understanding you, I will also understand something more of God. Dear humility, God so clearly showed you to me in Christ's life, thus as God is truth, then so you must be as well.
Humility, I see that I should know you, for you come from God, but how shall I know you? If I am to want to know God, then I must ask to know him, for how else should the creator of the universe be known except to first be asked? Since you humility, a most precious virtue, come from God, then I must also ask God to let me know you. As a virtue from God, you humility, must be God's will and, now seeing this, I know that if I ask God to know you, and prove my question with my heartfelt desire, then God shall let me know you just as he would let me know him if I asked, even if only in a small way at first. So humility, to know you I shall have to ask God to know you.
I have seen you humility, in Christ, God Incarnate, when he came down from
heaven borne of the Virgin Mary, to then become the God-Man and, showing
complete humility so that we might also seek you, Christ offered himself as a
sacrifice on the alter of the Cross. You humility, as Christ clearly showed us,
must be one of the most perfect virtues and, I believe, you reach your summit in death, when at last I must give up all in weakness, all in complete trust and, knowing I am no longer capable of even the slightest control over my soul, I must then turn over my whole spirit completely and profoundly to God.
You humility, I see are good, for Christ showed us that you are, and as a gift
from God, you must be cherished by our actions. Since you are good, then other virtues are also good and, since you are true, then other virtues are also true.
But how might I know you more fully humility, since I have asked God to know you for his glory according to his will? To do that, I must understand you for what you are, for then I shall see you in God's light of truth. So what are you, ultimately, humility? Might I understand that, just as in death you reach your heights, then also in life you should as well? Should I not know then, that in death, just an instant before I see God, I must give in to you humility, ever so completely and, knowing this, I should then also attempt to attain you surely during my life so as to move toward God? Then humility, you tell me that in life I should know you by understanding I owe my life to God and, in knowing God to be the creator of all the universe, the world, and the life upon it, I also know that I owe all that exists apart from God, both seen and unseen, to God. Thus I see, to know you humility, I must also recognize that I am nothing, and also that there is nothing, apart from God. You humility, tell me that I owe all that I see, hear, do, and feel, to God, for without him, I would not exist at all.
You humility, tell me that all other gifts which I might have are given by God,
just the same as God gave me my very life. So, in using my other gifts, whom
should they please? Are my gifts to be used for my own pleasure? Not so, for you tell me humility, that these gifts shall be used for God's glory, not mine, for they came from God and they shall be returned to him. I see, in looking at you humility, that all I do is a gift from God, for even the fluttering movement of my eyelid in a twinkle of time is such. All gifts then, even if not perfected in me, are perfectly given by God as his will so desires, and so when used for God's glory, my gifts are perfect if given wholly back to God.
So in using our gifts, why might we worry over our human imperfections? If we have a gift, such as musical talent, knowing that God gave it, why should we be concerned with what others might think of it? Did not God send it to us and, as all that comes from God is all good, should we then not understand our gift back to God is also good, even if we make some small blunder in reproducing it? Since God gave us this gift of music, when we use it we must use it for God, then, only then, will it be perfected, regardless of what any human ear hears then tells the mind to think.
I see now, as you have allowed me humility, given by God, that music when played for the glory of God is always perfect in God's ears, because it originally came from God as did all else in the universe. I see know, humility, that I shall not worry if my slight imperfections creep in, for why should I? Am I concerned that someone might judge me? Am I concerned that someone might judge my music? But how could I feel this strange concern? For God, the all powerful all knowing master of the universe, gave me the music as a gift to give back to him. How foolish I am to worry what others might think, for God loves my music, for he gave it to me out of love, for love, to be used as love, to be returned to him perfectly, in love, just as he gave it perfectly to me with his love.
I see also, humility, that if God were to grant absolute perfection, I might
loose sight of you, and thus loose sight of God, foolishly thinking these gifts
came from within me. What should that be humility, but pride? And what should pride do to you, but destroy you humility, and then, it would destroy me, for to lose you in place of pride is to lose God. So, I see that my imperfections are also a gift from God, therefore I love them, for he gave them to me in all his goodness for a purpose and a reason. Whom is foolish enough to doubt that which the creator of the universe gave him? You humility, have taught me these things.
You humility, have helped me to see that imperfections are God's gift.
Imperfections destroy pride, the dangerous vice, which tends to choke you
humility, steadily and without mercy. You humility have allowed me to be
thankful to God for my life, with all its imperfections, for the means by which
Christ saves us remains hidden to the prideful, but shows itself to the humble
and imperfect. In this idea, I see that imperfections, when given to the glory
of God, become perfect. In this I see that imperfections are perfect, for they
bring us humility as Christ showed us in his life, thus, our imperfections bring
us to God, therefore they are good.
O God, thank you for humility and, since I see this gift from you more clearly, I shall not ever try to lose it. O God, thank you for all my life along with all my imperfections, for I should much more like to be for you than to be for the world. Amen.