This past Sunday we had a beautiful Water Baptism Service with five wonderful candidates. Watching each one, new in their faith, lay down their old ways of living for a brighter future and publically declaring their desire to follow Christ was so encouraging to this old gal. It rekindled my own walk with the Lord and gave me a check in my Spirit to never take for granted all He has done for me. And what an incredible day to be baptised, on Resurrection Sunday!
As I listened to each testimony and heard each exuberant cheer as they emerged, the scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:17 kept circling in my mind. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT). Left in those waters Sunday morning were addictions, suicidal tendencies, mental torment, unfaithfulness, gossip, selfishness, greed, independence and worthlessness. What arose were completely new creations of beauty and utter dependence on Jesus and His power in them. Clean slates ready for a new and glorious history to be written.
A common thread woven through each declaration was that of an individual who showed them the love of Christ and spoke words of life to them. Time was taken to invest in their spiritual wellbeing and assist in life’s trials. There was a willingness to get messy and become emotionally vulnerable in order to win a soul for Jesus. Deep friendships were forged and mentorships built from which a multiplication of salvations will result.
Daughters, this impacted me greatly and caused me to reflect on my own interactions with those who do not yet know our Saviour Jesus Christ. Am I willing to invest, assist and forge such relationships? Am I driven to share my faith and pray for and with others? Am I okay with getting messy and vulnerable and real with people outside my comfort zone? Am I courageous enough to speak words of truth when necessary and love silently when needed? Am I committed to walking with others from a life of sin to a life of freedom?
Many times, I have heard my husband challenge his parishioners from the pulpit to intentionally have “unsaved” friends. We cannot afford to live in a “bubble” of Christianity whereby everything we do and everyone we know is of the Christian persuasion. Time is fleeting and people are dying without having experienced salvation.
Christ Himself associated with the worst of sinners in order to win them with His love. He communed with the lowly, the sick, the amoral, the outcast, the downtrodden, the destitute, because He simply loved them and longed to rescue them. The whole purpose for His humanity on earth was to save us all from our sinful flesh and restore our Spirits to Father God. Jesus was, and still is, wholly committed to our spiritual renewal and will “leave the 99” to find the “one” that has gone astray (Luke 15:4).
I am thankful for this past Sunday, not only for those who have been rejuvenated, but for the sharp reminder to heighten my efforts of impacting lives who are yet to meet Christ. To lead them to the saving knowledge of His death, burial and resurrection. To show them that a close relationship with Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is revolutionary and life changing. I want to be a spiritual big sister who has the privilege of seeing her younger spiritual sibling wash away their old life in the waters of baptism and emerge a new being, for the glory of God.
How do I do this? Just as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.”