Saturday, May 10, 2008


A recent Sunday marked a milestone for both Justin and me. Over the course of our time here in Texas, we have become persuaded that it is time to be baptized. We have both been believers and followers of Christ since childhood, but neither of us has had an experience we could point to as a meaningful baptism. Justin's story is his own; below you can read my thoughts, shared with the 9am group just before my turn.

I am not sure how else to share my experience, as I don't think I yet comprehend the full significance of it. I think in my humanity I expected it to have made a bigger difference in the circumstances of my life, as if this were the last block to my forward movement. That did not happen in quite the way I guess I hoped. But I do feel a sense of contentment, that I know for sure that I obediently demonstrated something that was clearly asked of me. And the knowledge that God is pleased with my obedience, regardless of whether he sees it as something deserving of reward, is enough for me.

Believing in Jesus is more than accepting him as our Savior; it is also committing to make him our Lord, the one who controls our decisions, our dreams, our lives. First he saves us, then he spends a lifetime changing us to be more like him.

I asked Jesus to be my Savior at the age of 7, and have continued following him ever since. More than 27 years later, I am thankful that salvation was given at the beginning of my journey, and that God has been patient with me while I learn more and more about what it really means to make Jesus my Lord.

The church tradition I grew up with did not emphasize water baptism; therefore I was never really presented with the opportunity in a way that compelled me to respond. I feel my life has been a testimony to God's ongoing work, but I am now convinced that God is gently asking for this public demonstration of my faith. I am here to be baptized today because my understanding of God is growing once again.

This year has been another season in my journey of making Jesus my Lord. It has been one of the more challenging seasons of my life, but also one of the bigger seasons of growth. Today I am here because I want to take advantage of every scrap of God's blessing in my life. And I want to make sure there is no unfinished business on my part, in order to have an open channel to receive that blessing. I want to know God, and experience his power.

The apostle Paul expressed this thought much better than I can:
"Not that I have already obtained all this [knowing Christ and experiencing His power], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14
Today, I press on.

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