Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I want to. I really wish I could. I have tried. But I can’t. This decision...the most important decision our kids will ever make in their lifetimes...is theirs alone to make. My role as a parent is to love them, lead them, pray for them, and live out what God is doing in my life. But I will never have the power to control or manipulate what only God can do. Only God can draw my children to Himself, and only God can save them.
Which brings me to baptism. This coming weekend, we have an opportunity as a church to witness the saving power of our Lord in the baptism of believers. Baptism services are always amazing. It is a powerful thing to see and hear stories of how God has used others to point the way to Jesus. It is powerful as well to see friends and families surround those who have chosen to trust Christ and celebrate with them. But what is most powerful of all is the fact that God has moved and worked in people’s lives to redeem them. God has done what was necessary to secure this salvation that each of us was made for. God alone is mighty to save. And this weekend, when we witness this powerful act at every service on every campus, God alone should receive the glory and the praise.
As a parent, with children who are growing and learning and on the journey toward finding lifelong personal faith in Jesus, I have the privilege this weekend to give my kids a window into what God is up to in the lives of people. When we watch the video testimonies, we learn that it is important to know what God is up and to be able to communicate what He has done. When we watch each person go under the water, we get to see how important it is that our old self, with all it’s sin and selfishness, must die. When we release our held breath as we see the splashing water and the rising believer come up, we can point our kids to the truth that though we must die, as believers we are raised up into new life with Christ. We can watch together in that moment the reality that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Now that is something I CAN do as a parent. I can use the open window of baptism to give my kids a view into what God is really up to. What a blessing that God gives us baptism as an outward sign of an internal reality that he has done the work sufficient to save us. Be encouraged as you teach your children the truth that God alone can reach them and redeem them. You can only point them toward him.
-Ed Sweeny, Pastor of Families