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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Baptism

On January 20th we celebrated one of my favorite occasions - Baptism.  I love baptisms because of the significance of the event.  Baptism does not save anyone or earn God's favor.  But it is the response of an individual's new life in Christ.  Romans 6 tells us it is a picture of Christ dying, being buried, and rising again and our union with Him.

The significance of baptism is that it is a public statement of an individual's desire to pursue Jesus Christ with their whole life.  That is why we do it in a public format.  In it an individual commits to being a follower of Jesus, and the body of Christ is to be responsible in holding them accountable to that.  Baptism doesn't save us, nor does it keep us saved.  Both of those are completely a work of Jesus.  But we as believers also have a responsibility in speaking truth - preaching the gospel to believers and unbelievers alike.  

Isn't that an amazing responsibility and privilege?  I mean, how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how will they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)  God could use any means He wanted and it was us He chose.  But the gospel isn't only for unbelievers.  We are to continue in our responsibility of speaking truth to one another. (Hebrews 3:12-14)  So as we observe a baptism we rejoice with the individual's testimony of new life in Jesus and remember our responsibility to walk alongside that brother or sister in newness of life.

Of course, this one was extra special for us because our spiritual son DJ and our biological daughter Meredith were the two committing to following Jesus.  You can imagine that I struggled to keep it together emotionally.  In fact, that's why you'll see Pastor Joshua baptizing Meredith.   And it was a little extra exciting because Grandpa Frank and Grandma Maggie were here to watch, along with Brian and Lois Niehoff who have had an impact in both, especially with DJ.

Praise the Lord with us for these two who are committing to a lifetime of loving Jesus!

P.S.  If you want to send a special message to either DJ or Meredith, just shoot me an email at louisotool@gmail.com.  I'll pass it along to them!



It does seem a little strange to be in church barefoot with our swim trunks on.

Both DJ and Meredith were a bit nervous to speak in front of everyone.  But neither used that as an excuse to avoid obedience.  Lots of fun to see them overcome the fear for love of their Savior.

DJ had written down what he wanted to say, but then chose to brave it and do without.  Afterward he said he forgot all the good things he wanted to say.  But that happens to the most seasoned public speakers.  I just listened to a sermon from John Piper where his notes accidentally blew off the podium and he had to stop in the middle of his speech to pick them all up.  So DJ is in good company.

I promised not to hold him under, but he had a death grip on my arm.

Notice the Husker shirt.  Have to represent!

Speaking of representing, notice the Lakeside Fellowship Church League basketball shirt.  Pastor Josh isn't much of a baller, but he tries to look like one anyway:-)  However, he is pretty passionate when it comes to football...you know, real football, not American football.  Hail Liverpool!



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