On Sunday, we celebrated. Whoa, did we celebrate! Eight people were baptized in our churches (I say churches because it was a joint service between Open House and The Bridge Community, both of which I dearly love). It meant so much to me for several reasons. Let me go ahead and count the ways…
1. Our daughter Selah decided to follow Jesus and was baptized! YAY! I have seen her grow so much while we have been homeschooling. Quantity time is her main love language, and I have seen her flourish under that in ways I couldn’t have predicted. Also with the quantity time of homeschooling/not being busy outside of our home very much, we put our hearts and minds, therefore our attention and schedules, to spending time with the Lord. Since praying to receive Christ, she has quiet times and reads her Bible, as well as all the conversations, worship times, and Bible we do together. She shared her testimony (reading off of Post-It notes!) from the baptismal and it was just wonderful. The public thing wasn’t the best way for her to show me that she gets it though; she topped it a couple hours later. We were laying on the bed together taking a short nap and she said, “Mom, sometimes in my quiet time, I say to Jesus, ‘The precious blood, the precious blood. I know that’s gross, but it’s like a newborn baby, it comes out all gross, but it’s beautiful and wonderful.'” It’s all about the blood covering Jesus offers to us. There is so much more as she grows that she will understand and she will rededicate her life (I hope) a million times, because I certainly do…but she knew she needed Jesus to forgive her of her sins and she has yielded her life, attitude, wants, decisions, to Him. Every year that will evolve into more she is offering to Him, I pray. And in the same regard, every year will bring more that she can receive from Him!!!
2. My friend Loren was baptized and I got to share her testimony for her! She was a little shy to talk in front of everyone. I’m so excited and proud of her. She rededicated her life to the Lord just a couple of weeks ago in our small group; we walked through the Romans Road together because even though she has always believed in Jesus, which truly is enough, she had never had a specific time in her life where she called on Him and officially confessed with her mouth that He is her Lord and Savior. We called it her ammunition against Satan, who was causing her to question her salvation. Now she has a date where she made a profession and was baptized, and BY FAITH in God’s Word, we know that the covenant has been made. As Selah said, “Our relationship with Jesus is like a knot that cannot be untied.” Loren has made the decision to turn from specific sin that used to be in her life and live for the Lord, whatever He calls her to do. We will continue walking together and I’m excited about the younger Christian friends she is making. If anyone needs a girls college age small group in E-town, we have one!
3. It was one of the best days of my life because of what God taught me through the book I wrote about last week, Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman. Her perspective on death, burial, and resurrection is life giving and hope filled. She describes someone dying and being buried as a seed being planted into the ground, and how when Jesus returns, our bodies will be raised imperishable–we will bloom and live with Him and each other forever. We are in winter now, in so many ways…but spring is coming. Jesus is going to come back, just as surely as Jesus Himself beat death and rose from the grave. We are in winter right now, in death or at least a deep freeze, in a time of waiting, a time of advent, kind of like the gap between Malachi and Matthew…As much of a positive and happy person as I am because of the joy of the Lord I cannot escape and don’t want to escape the reality of the brutal world as it is right now. This is the season we’re in. We have to make sense of it Biblically to the best of our ability. And part of that making sense of it is knowing that when we are “buried with Him in baptism”, we die to our worldly way of viewing life in the flesh and we are “raised to walk in newness of life”, meaning that now we are alive to the spirit. Our Life becomes hidden with Christ in God. Our life (lower case l on purpose) is what it is, and God is surely reigning over those details as well, but our Life (upper case!) is of the spirit, it’s all about what we can’t see. Therefore, yes, we need food to keep our bodies alive, and yes, God has things for our bodies to accomplish on this earth, but our spiritual life needs to be kept alive and our body’s accomplishments will flow naturally without toil as our spiritual walk is our focus. We must be more attentive to the spirit than the flesh, and in that focus, both will thrive! In Heaven, we are spirit. To prepare for that, we must live as much in the spirit as possible.
Do I know what I’m talking about? Not totally! 🙂 But praise the Lord for His Spirit that takes us deeper daily, as deep as we will choose to go.