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Posts Tagged ‘Baptism’

What A Well Pleased Life Looks Like

In a few short weeks, I will begin leading my annual services at a local campground.  I have been doing this since 2002, so this will make the fifteenth consecutive year that I have been doing this at this particular campground.

I spent about four years preaching and teaching through the gospel of John.  Since then I have been weaving my way through Paul’s letters.  I knew that I needed to do something different and I am returning to the gospels.  This year, and probably for a few summers, I will be making my way through Mark’s gospel.

One of the things that jumps out at you in the first chapter is Jesus’ baptism.  Like John, we all probably scratch our heads a bit at Jesus being baptized.  After all, if anyone didn’t need to be baptized, it’s Jesus.

That isn’t what stood out to me, though, this time.  No, it’s what the Father said to Jesus when He came out of the water.  He said, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased.”

That statement astounds me.

First, it was personal.  The Father said that Jesus was His beloved Son.  He didn’t just say you are a beloved Son.  No, the Father was a proud papa.  Think about when you see your own children do something that makes you proud.  You can hardly contain yourself.  This is that kind of moment for the Father.

Second, the Father was well pleased in Jesus.  Often when we tell our children they have pleased us, we tag a but on the end of it.  “You did great, but….you could have done better.”  None of that with Jesus.  The Father is simply please with Him.

Here’s the cool thing.  Because of what Jesus did on the cross, the Father has the same reaction when he sees those of us who have trusted Christ for salvation.

We are now joint heirs with Jesus.  We are God’s beloved children.  He is proud of us because when He looks upon us, we are covered by the blood of Jesus.

The Father is well pleased in us.  Just like Jesus.  No buts.  Just please.

What difference does that make?

We have the same inheritance as the One who died on the cross.

We live the same God pleasing life because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Those two thoughts should directly affect how we live our lives.  The heirs of royalty live differently that those who don’t.  When you please someone, your actions are different from when you don’t.

Jesus lived a life and died on the cross so that we can have the same benefits that He has with the Father.  Let’s start living like who we really already are and not like people who will get there some day.

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: , ,

Seeing The Holy Spirit At Work

January 20, 2015 4 comments

Sunday was a spectacular day at church.  We participated in one the greatest events that any church is able to be involved in.

We had a baptism.  Five, in fact.

Four teenagers were baptized at first.  Two young men.  Two young women.  It was awesome to see these youth give testimony to the faith they are claiming.

What happened next was something I have never seen.  We don’t adhere to a strict schedule.  We might run early one Sunday or a bit later the next.

One lady who is part of our church went down to speak to our pastor following the baptisms.  After a few moments, he told us that she wished to be baptized.  At that moment.  Unplanned.  Without the benefit of extra clothes being brought to church.

So what did we do?  We witnessed our fifth baptism of the day.

And we all clapped and hooted and hollered.  After all, if you can’t get excited about people witnessing to the power of Christ in their lives, what can you?

*****

Here’s what I have been thinking about for the past couple of days.

I grew up in a tradition where everyone followed pretty much the same path to salvation.  We waited until the invitation on Sunday morning, or during a revival meeting, went down and shook the pastor’s hand, prayed a prayer and got baptized when all of our aunts and cousins could be there to see it.

This one was different.

The Holy Spirit spoke to this lady at church through the baptism and led her to be baptized herself.

I saw two things.

I saw the power of baptism like I had never seen it.  I literally saw it totally differently than I had ever seen it before.  And I’ve seen a lot of baptisms.

I also saw the work of the Holy Spirit.  He spoke and this lady obeyed.  It was an awesome experience for us all.

My point?  Most of our church services are probably pretty much the same from Sunday to Sunday.  Sometimes, though, the Holy Spirit has something else in mind.

Have you ever seen the Holy Spirit do something totally unexpected at church?

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: ,

A New Family Is Created

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I have a good friend whose life changed the other day.  Let’s call him David since that’s his name.

David and his wife recently adopted a young man into their family.  They had been foster parents to this little fellow for a couple of years.  Since he is about three, they are about all he knows as far as family.

He has slowly become part of this family over these years that they have had him.  It was culminated by the legal declaration that he was permanently part of this family who he was already permanently in the hearts of.  With it came a new name and a new start to life.  The old life had passed away.  The new life had come.

A new family was created.

*****

Just over a year ago we began attending a new church.  For a year we have been faithful attending.  Slowly, but surely, we have grown within the body.  We have had new opportunities.  We have met new people and made new friends.

We recently had the chance to go through our church’s covenant class.  Basically, we and the church agree to stick together.  It’s a formal agreement, much like the covenants you find in the Bible.

Our church as a plan to do this as often as people want to covenant with the church.  It’s a new start to life within this church body.  The old life has passed away.  The new life has come.

A new family is created.

*****

God sent His Son to this earth to seek and save the lost.  For those who had been born, which surprisingly is all of us, He said that we must be born again.  We are called to believe and repent.  We are told to believe and be baptized.  We are justified by faith.  We are transformed by the renewing of our mind.  The old has passed away.  The new has come.

A new family is created.

Have you become part of the new family?  

First Church Year #14: Baptism

April 23, 2012 7 comments

Baptisms are some of my favorite services.  Yesterday I got to witness three children baptized at my church.  The joy of seeing these three publicly confess Christ coupled with the joy of seeing the happiness of their parents was wonderful.  Nothing else needs to be said about yesterday’s church services.

How was your church service?