Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Jax's Salvation & Baptism
This is Jax's baptism last Sunday night. What a special night for us! Look at my sweet little boy! I took his hand to walk him to the front when Butch called his name, and he looked at me and said "I can go by myself, Mom." Those moments kill me! He did. He went on his own, and climbed in that baptistry without fear.
I have to testify as to what God has done in his heart. When Emma was baptized, he freaked out! It appeared to be the most terrifying thing to him! He would tell us ALL the time, "I don't want to be baptized!" Emma would try to talk to him about being saved, and he would just say "But I don't want to be baptized!"
In his own time, he began asking lots of questions, and he discovered that we had something he didn't have. Salvation. He grew in his understanding of his sinful state, and what Jesus did for him. He developed a faith, even at five-years-old, in what it meant to trust Jesus. We talked about salvation just about everyday through his AWANAS verses, and our family Bible study and prayer. When he realized "hey, this is for me! This applies to me!" we couldn't hold him back. He was just five, and in my flesh, I wanted to give it more time. But last December, he was ready, and he basically told me on a Sunday at home he was praying to ask Jesus in his heart right then. I could join him or not, but he was praying! Wow! His eagerness to be a child of God was intense! He did pray, and he told everyone that very day that he was a "son of the King!" The Holy Spirit came and filled my son that day. The scripture says He will. I could see it immediately. All the fear he had about baptism evaporated. He never flinched in his desire to follow through with baptism, and even being a grown-up doubter, I thought some of that fear might re-surface as it came closer. It did not. He was excited about it. This was just God, because he is not my child that wants to be the center of attention or upfront. I have a few of those, but that's not Jax. He would rather hide behind Emma. But you can see him in this picture, brave and excited. He was also so excited to take his first Lord's Supper that night.
This picture looks scary, like they're holding him under. They're not, I promise.
We baptize by immersion, because that's exactly as Jesus did it and told us to do it.
It does not save us. It is a command in scripture, and he says to do it following your conversion, but it is an outward testimony to what has happenned in your heart. I am realizing more and more that it's not enough to experience the power of God in your life and keep it to yourself. We're supposed to proclaim it to everyone! We're supposed to publicly proclaim His faithfulness! Baptism does that.
Jax has gone from death to life. Just as Jesus taught Nicodemus in John 3, he's been born again. I gave birth to him, and it was one of the greatest days of my life. But the joy of seeing true salvation in my children is unparalleled. Jax has a hunger for the Lord. He loves God's Word. He loves to pray. These are fruits of his salvation and the child-like faith that Jesus tells us to have. I do see a pure and untainted faith in my children that I myself long for. There's no greater blessing than to see that in your children! Walking and living their whole lives for Jesus is their only hope! If we are making ANYTHING...education, sports, healthy lifestyles, whatever, more important than this, we are MISSING IT! There are many good things to teach our kids, but this is PARAMOUNT!
Here are some verses I am praying over Jax.
I will sing of your love and justice.
I will praise you, LORD, with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life —
when will you come to my aid?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all crooked dealings;
I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.
1 Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
I am asking God to help him live a blameless life. I want him to serve the Lord with an undivided heart. I am overwhelmed that He has delivered my child from the depths of the grave. I am asking God for big things for my children. Not big worldly successes, but I'm not going to concede that my children must make a string of foolish decisions or rebel against us and the Lord later in life as a normal part of growing up. NO! I want him to walk in the path of righteousness and NOT depart from it. He will make mistakes. He will sin. But I want him to live in the abundant life promised to all of us who are believers. I want him to be a mighty worker in God's kingdom.
God has saved our Jax. Our hearts are full of gratitude to the Lord, and we take our job of teaching and discipling him very seriously. Praise God that I don't have to do that in my own strength. Praise God that that responsibility doesn't rest on me alone as a Mom, but that my husband leads us in that. I can only humbly pray that God would become more famous and glorified through our lives as a family.
That's what it's all about.