The Birthday of our Baptism

Baptism

Today makes one year.

One year following the conclusion of my preliminary studies of the Bible.  You know — the ones that made me realize I had a lot more studying to do.

12 months since I wrote my letter to God – telling Him why I wanted to be baptized.

365 days since I publicly declared, “Jesus is Lord.”

Today is Brad’s and my Spiritual Birthday – or Birthday of our Baptism…

Truthfully, it kind of snuck up on me.  It was one of those things that I would think about every time I looked at the calendar.  And, when I made an appointment for this afternoon, I thought about picking up a special treat for dessert.  But, I certainly didn’t plan for anything special today.

As Brad was getting ready for work, I wished him a Happy Birthday, and it took him a bit to realize what I had meant.  After he made the connection, he asked if maybe we should have done something to celebrate.

So that got me thinking – and planning…  Maybe we should have a party??

Why not?  I have had parties for farfar less…

But, before I go into party planning mode, I thought I should do some reflecting on what I have learned over the past year as a Christian.  I am amazed at how much has changed and how differently I look at some things now.

Baptism is just the beginning…

Baptism didn’t miraculously give me all the knowledge in the Bible.  I learn something new every day.  Brad said just last weekend, baptism is just the beginning… And, I honestly didn’t expect to know everything within a year.   But, one of the reasons I hesitated to get baptized in the first place was because I didn’t feel like I knew enough.  I hadn’t read the whole Bible and I felt like a lot of kids in our church had more verses memorized than I did.  (Which is a great thing, by the way…) It was just that I had never really read the Bible before.  So, it took a little bit to wrap my brain around the fact that I didn’t need to be the finished product when I got baptized.  In fact, God realizes that we are just works in progress – and is, thankfully, very patient with us as we learn.

And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.                 Philippians 1:6

Baptism doesn’t erase all aches and pains – yet…

I am still me and still have my human body.  With that, comes the same aches and pains I have always had.  But, what excites me is the promise I now have that one day, I will hurt no more!  How wonderful will that be?  Paul talked about his struggles with that in 2 Corinthians.

For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down – when we die and leave these bodies – we will have wonderful new bodies in heaven, homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God himself, and not by human hands.  How weary we grow of our present bodies.  That is why we look forward eagerly to the day when we shall have heavenly bodies which we shall put on like new clothes.               2 Corinthians 5:1-2

I have struggled with pain in my back for years.  But, I take great comfort in knowing God has something so much better in store for me.

Baptism doesn’t fix all relationship issues – but I have a great handbook…

Now, I am finally a part of The Family of God. Read about what that means, here…)  For that, I couldn’t be more thankful.  But, whenever you add more people to the mix, things can get a little tricky.  So, although entering this amazing family is wonderful, it is still made up of human beings with sinful natures.  At some point, we are going to not see eye to eye.  There will be disagreements and feelings will be hurt.  But, because we are a part of The Family of God, thankfully, there is a lot of grace and love.  So even though I am not immune to my human tendencies and can still hurt and be hurt, I have the perfect handbook to guide me along the path.

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.                       1 Peter 3:8-9

Baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit

In my last post, Let Go – Let God, I talked about how the Holy Spirit really had some work to do after I was baptized.  And, truth be told, he’s far from done with his assignment…  I am so thankful that I have been blessed with this gift.  I just need to remember not to keep him on the shelf and not just take him down and listen when I think I should…

Are you so foolish? After beginning with the spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?                        Galatians 3:3

What I have noticed over the past year is that, if I listen to him – and stay in step with him – things go so much more smoothly.

Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing things that please God.  Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death.                           Romans 8:6-7

What I learned and am still learning…

I am still learning and hopefully will continue to learn until I am done on this earth.  And, I continue to pray for guidance and submission.  I know the biggest effect of being baptized is this –

I have been crucified with Christ; and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.                      Galatians 2:20

Amen.

Your thoughts?

What changed in your life after you were baptized?  How did you see the Spirit working in you?  I would love to hear about your experiences.  I can’t wait to hear from you all!

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4 Comments on "The Birthday of our Baptism"

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John
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Congratulations!

Brad Shultz
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Brad Shultz

Happy Birthday!