These are my opening words for the day.
Welcoming the Spirit every morning is a healthy thing. I mean, why wouldn’t I? Perhaps if I’m feeling discouraged, or self-reliant, then I might forget to greet him.
But not today.
Something Special Happened
Yesterday morning I gave the next lesson in a series I entitled,
The New Birth
It’s a series about baptism, but a series taking a global look at the regenerating, transforming power of God from Genesis to Revelation. I’ve believe that baptism has become more of a sacrament than a regenerating new birth, more of a church tradition than a transformation to new life. Its meaning has been diminished, allowed to become less than what God intended.
I’ve lifted up the grace of God in his restorative purpose in redemption. I’ve addressed man made doctrines, church traditions, and current culture thinking. Along the way I’ve encountered many believers whose baptism was less than what’s Christ’s new birth was meant to be.
I’ve discovered so many people who were baptized:
- To please a parent or family member
- Because they wanted to take communion
- To place membership in a church
- Because their friends were getting baptized
- To please a bible class teacher
- Because of gut wrenching fear of hell
- Because it seemed like the right thing to do
The list goes on and on. It’s really sad. And God forgive me for ever instilling fear in a child’s heart in my well-intended but egregious efforts to save souls.
So Yesterday Morning
Yesterday, at the close of each service, I encouraged anyone who hasn’t been born again, and those who haven’t been baptized as Jesus taught, and those living with doubt regarding their baptism/salvation to come back at 1:00 to be immersed into Jesus Christ for forgiveness and for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I wasn’t sure what would happen. But from 1:00 to 1:45 I met with, prayed over, and immersed 15 people into Jesus; and they went on their way rejoicing. Frankly, these 15 people needed a different environment and a fresh opportunity. They needed encouragement to step up in faith.
It was a Spirit filled moment, a Spirit filled day. The love of God permeated and the Holy Spirit dominated. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life in ministry.
I just want to say thank you to the Spirit for showing up. Thank you to the Father for your grace and mercy. And thank you Jesus for making it all possible.
Good Morning Holy Spirit!