“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:4-7 (ESV)
I invite you to rejoice with us today for one who once was lost has now been found … the Great Shepherd has called one of His sheep unto Him and he has been born-again.
My 9-year-old grandson Noah was baptized at church this morning!
It has been some time since he had received Christ Jesus as His Lord and Savior … that happened one day when we were driving around right in my truck cab … the same place I received Christ as Lord. (It was about 20 or so so years between when I received Christ as my Savior and then received Him as my Lord … let’s just say going half way didn’t work so well …)
So it had been a while since we had really talked exactly about what following Jesus as Lord and Savior really meant. About a month ago Noah approached Sheryl and I and said he was ready to be baptized so this week has been more about making sure he truly understood what the role of baptism is in the life of a new believer.
We reviewed some material in the book Casting Call that the children’s ministry at 12 Stone had provided and we had walked thru as a family with Noah over a year ago … paying very specific attention to the info on baptism.
All week I also found myself studying Scripture so that I could take an hour or so with Noah and review some points on salvation, being born again and baptism … if you’re interested, this PDF document (you may want to open it in a different browser tab) has the outline I ended up walking through with him yesterday. (Just one man’s feeble attempt to talk about baptism with his grandson … less than perfect I’m sure)
So this morning it was with a great deal of excitement and anticipation that we went to church. As we arrived, Noah was greeted with excitement about the big day by campus Pastor Jason. Then we spent some time with the spiritual development Pastor Cami, And the children and youth Pastor Sean walked Noah through what to expect in the baptism itself. He actually performed the baptism. Noah’s great-grandparents … my parents … drove the two hours down for North Carolina to be there with him … then locally Sheryl and I, my daughter Kerstyn and her boyfriend Caleb, my daughter Cindy with our grandaughters McKenna and Chaney were also there. Thanks to all for being there and for all the roles you play in Noah’s development as a young Christian and a young man! Thanks for loving him!
Most importantly, Father … thank you for calling and drawing Noah unto your Son as His Lord and Savior!
Thank you for beginning a good work in Noah … it is with great joy and anticipation that I look forward to the fulfillment of your work in him …
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)
For your good pleasure Lord … for your good pleasure!