Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: I Pledge Allegiance to His SCARS and STRIPES !
By George Hurst
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Being baptized, is more than just an event; it is an experience where I am identifying with my Savior and His Sacrifice that He did for me, upon Calvary's Cross. The shedding of His blood; and the stripes that he wore on His back were not just for me, but for all the world.
To know my Savior and His Suffering; is what marks my life, and my passion for His Cross and His Word. I want to walk in His steps, to allow Him to live through me. To be in the baptismal pool, the water is cold; and yes I am having so many emotions flood my mind. But I relate back to a River Jordan; and then say a quick, silent prayer:
Lord, help me focus only on your Cross(death), your Tomb(burial), and your Resurrection(Power) ! I want to totally identify with your death, suffering and life; so that I can devote my life. No, Lord as you did; to give my life completely to your will and purpose.
In Jesus name, Father. Amen!
The hour has come, the time is now...MY LIFE has only one focus and purpose; to pledge my allegiance faithfully to His SCARS and STRIPES!
Truly, I declare it's not the Stars and Stripes that declare my Freedom; but it is only in His SCARS and STRIPES! By the price of my Lord Jesus blood; my sins have been forgiven and I have been washed and cleansed into His righteousness.
Well, with knees under water and shaking, my mind clearly and steadily focused on Jesus and His Suffering and Sacrifice. I now with the assistance of the pastor make my way backwards, to be plunged under. The imagery of my mind, views the blood drenched body of my Savior, as the Cross is slammed into the ground. I feel His muscles jerk, and the pain that goes through His beaten and scarred body.
While under; it is the images of Him in the tomb, as He went to the very depths of hell so that I would never have to experience such. Oh, what love has overcome me. By the sacrifice; of a truly divine, yet fully human man Jesus Christ and all this He would do for a wretched sinner as I.
Then, those moments of coming out of the water; identifying with the resurrection of my Risen Lord and Savior. Now, I am in Christ; a new creature... a new man; having taken on the very nature of Christ, through the Holy Spirit.
As I am leaving the baptismal, I wonder if any of us can identify with Jesus; at His very own baptism because right afterward He would be led by the Spirit into the wilderness; where after fasting for 40 days He would be tempted by the devil. But, fully I do realize that my life and it's purpose is now established. It is to share in His suffering and sacrifice; for His service, so that the Kingdom of God will advance unto the Glory of God!
So, when people ask me; "Is baptism really necessary?" Without hestitation or compromise...YES, because God declares so in His word. Do you want to obey according to God's word or want to go with what religion and man says?
For myself, HIS SCARS and STRIPES; deserves nothing less than my allegiance, loyalty and faith. For all; who would doubt me...listen to your Lord and Savior, as He declares IT IS WRITTEN:
"I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But, I have A BAPTISM to be baptized with; and how am I straightened TILL IT IS ACCOMPLISHED! (Luke 12.49,50) I know that the water baptism is very important; but also is the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. It is what will give us the power as believer's to live and witness for Christ. (Acts 1.5,8; 11.16)
LET ME ENCOURAGE YOU HERE: TAKE THE BLUNGE !!!
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