Saved by the blood, washed in the water
On Easter Sunday, Nathan made the decision that he needed to be baptized. He had been studying all week in preparation for leading our Small Group in our study of Malachi. While studying, he had been reading about the temple priests who were doing the Lord's work with blemished hearts and motives. The Lord was angry with the priests for giving Him their second-best offerings and for not leading the people to serve the Lord with sincerity. Take a look at Malachi if you've never read it. The study of it has shown me just how easy it is to let myself become lazy with my service to the Lord!
After leading our small group, Nathan and I went down and participated in a wonderful service. Our good friends, K & P, had come to join us and our pastor, Bro. Scott, spoke about our Lord's death on the cross to pay for our sins. He spoke about the hope that we Christians have while walking this life because of Christ. When the time came for the altar call, Bro. Scott invited anyone that felt the need, to come down to the front and pray. Nathan headed down there, and later told me that he just felt like he had to go. He said that while he was praying, he remembered all the things he had learned while studying for class. And he felt that if he hadn't obeyed God by doing the one thing He asks us to do after accepting Him as our Savior (being baptized), then he was no better than those priests in Malachi!
A little background here: Nathan had accepted the Lord as his Savior while at a summer camp when he was a kid, but had no real discipleship or spiritual guidance at home. So, he grew up remembering the Lord kind of in the back of his mind until he joined the Air Force and moved here to Louisiana. He was never baptized after initially accepting Christ. After he had been here in La for a few years, Franklin Graham (Billy Graham's son), brought his ministry here for a Revival event at our local arena. Nathan, myself, my sister, and several of our friends all attended together. After a simple message from Franklin, there was an altar call. Nathan says he felt the draw to go down and recommit his life to the Lord and really start following Him, but he was hesitant. Fortunately, he whispered this hesitancy to my sister, and being the outgoing girl she is, she said, "Well, go on, and I'll go with you!" So down they went, and Nathan rededicated his life to the Lord.
Well, shortly after that experience, Nathan was deployed to Diego Garcia with the Air Force and, again, the opportunity for baptism slipped away. Life went on and a few years passed. Nathan would occasionally mention that he would like to be baptized, but I suppose it really wasn't in the forefront of either of our minds. Until Easter Sunday, 2009. That's when Nathan decided that the time had come. So, the arrangements were made, and the day for his baptism was set.
April 26, 2009, 11:00 a.m. service!
My parents were there along with several of our friends (even a few watching on TV screens in the nursery!) to be witnesses to Nathan's obedience and to covenant to pray for him in his walk with the Lord. Of course, I was able to get a few pictures of his special day!
This is Bro. Scott pointing out all the friends and family that were standing in the audience to support him! (Bro. Scott asks friends & family to stand during baptism so that the one up there in the dunking booth can see just how many people are promising to encourage & pray for them).
Bro. Scott explaining the ordinance of baptism. Nathan is about to be washed in the water! With this act, he's publicly declaring that he has decided to follow Christ and that his old self is being buried (lowered into the water) and he is rising a new creation (coming up out of the water) to live a new life in Him. Praise God!
Congratulations, Honey! I'm so proud of you!