"Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."- Acts 2:38
Baptism weekends are one of my favorite times to be in the worship service. It is a beautiful opportunity to see how God is working in the lives of people in our church community, and their obedience to following His commands.
I remember when I decided to be baptized. I had been following God for about 6 years at that time, after giving my life to Him at the age of 17 at a Young Life camp. I had been baptized as a baby, and always thought that I did not need to be baptized again. It wasn’t until becoming a part of this church, and learning what the Bible says about baptism, that God began to stir in my heart. At first, I started questioning if my baptism as a baby really meant anything at all, because what I was hearing from teaching and studying my Bible was that people would repent of their sins first, and then be baptized. As I learned that baptism was an outward symbol of an inward change in a person’s heart to believe and trust in Jesus, I realized that my baptism as a baby was not actually a result of what God had done in my heart. The point when I gave up my life to follow Christ came 17 years after being baptized as a baby. At this point, the questions going through my head turned into a desire to be baptized again to show I believed in Jesus as my Savior.
This began the process of having the courage to actually follow through with being baptized. Through this process, I came to understand that I was struggling with an obedience issue. I had my own idea of what I wanted my baptism to be like, who I wanted to be there, but it eventually came down to the fact that God had revealed what He wanted me to do, and through faith I needed to obey Him. So Easter weekend in 2007, I was baptized.
This weekend, we have baptisms at each of our campuses at Grace. I feel blessed to be able to hear many stories of changed hearts and lives, and see the faithfulness to God's commands lived out. Praise God for pursuing hearts and changing lives!
- Nicky Darling, Elementary Coordinator