This morning at church Mike and I were baptized! We were both baptized as infants but feel that our faith has grown so much in the last year. We wanted to be baptized again as a public committment of our faith. 8 people were baptized during our service this morning and it was neat to hear each individual story. Mike and I told our stories together, as we each were a stong influence on the other’s growth. Many of you couldn’t be there this morning to hear our story so here’s a bit of what we shared.
We both grew up going to church but until recently we were just going through the motions. We went to church because that’s what you do on Sundays. We didn’t apply the things we learned at church to our lives and went on living the way we wanted to live. Last fall we started our marriage counseling and were encouraged to start reading the Bible. Once we started we couldn’t get enough. As Mike said, “Huh… it turns out there’s some pretty interesting and applicable stuff in that book.” We were learning a lot from the bible but the big change for us came during a particular marriage counseling time when we got right down to it: what do we have to do to get to heaven? Give us the list so we can start crossing them off! I remember Mike saying he was skeptical of living like a Christian because it seemed impossible to be that perfect. We quickly learned that there isn’t a huge long list. Jesus has offered each of us a gift and all we have to do is accept it, and put our faith in him. That was it!?! You mean God doesn’t expect us to be perfect?! That was the ah-ha! moment for us. Right there in the church office we prayed and accepted Jesus as our savior, asked his forgiveness for our many, many sins, and thanked him for his gift, his son, who died for us.
I think our lives have changed since then. We’re more hopeful and optimistic just knowing that Jesus loves us no matter what. We know that doesn’t mean we have a free pass to sin as much as we want, but we also know that when we make mistakes God still loves us. We’ve continued reading the Bible together and have started looking to the Bible to help us make decisions in our lives, and deal with struggles we may be having. Talk about the ultimate “self-help” book! We’ve also started praying more. It’s so comforting to know God is with us all the time, all we have to do is start talking!
So, we decided to get baptized to publicly share that change in our lives. A neat thing about being baptized at Parkview is that before you’re baptized you get the opportunity to share you story with everyone who is there. Mike and I both prayed that our story might reach someone who is sleepwalking through their faith like we were, and help them to take the next step to a closer relationship with Jesus.