I’ve been thinking….
I’ve been thinking about my own faith and relationship with God.
Actually, I guess I should say I have been thinking about the fact that I have never really had to sacrifice anything for my faith. I did not lose any friendships or relationships in my family… I did not “risk” being ridiculed or mocked for my belief and most assuredly, I have not been threatened with my life for the spiritual decisions I have made in my life.
Which causes me to think about this one question:
What if I had been?
What if I had been truly threatened with death for my beliefs? What if I was rejected by my whole family and lost everything I ever had just because I chose to believe in Jesus Christ?
What would I risk to know God?
This week I was having a discussion with a friend at work about baptism. The significance of baptism and what it means to a believer today. Now I do not intend to get into all of the “theological” issues that are attached to the discussion of baptism, however I do want to make a few points.
The ordinance of Baptism in the church today symbolizes the combination of repentance, commitment, and inclusion to body of Christ. It is a form of identification that you have now accepted Christ as your personal Savior and you are now willing to obey Him and follow His example in baptism. It is a way to show other believer’s that you are willing to be identified with them as followers of Christ.
The issue that my friend and I were discussing was that in the early church and the times of Christ on earth the issue of baptism was taken much more seriously than what it is today. In the early church, when a person became a follower of Christ, they risked everything they had for this decision. The potential risk of losing their family, possessions and even their life was a real risk. It truly was a sign of identification. In today’s church, when you are baptised, you are showing identification to fellow church members. But in the early church, you were showing the community your decision to follow Christ. It was done openly and for all to see. The risk from family and friends was real.
What would you risk to gain this relationship with the living God? What would you give up to have HIM?
Under the current circumstances that we face today in America, we don’t have the risk of losing our life. But there are parts of this world that people do run that risk for their decision to follow Christ.
However, it still is a risk. You risk losing friends, reputation and position.
So, whether you are a believer already or you are considering giving your life to Jesus Christ, I have one simple question to ask you.
What are willing to risk to know God and live for Him?
To know that you could have forgiveness of sin, an eternal place in heaven, having the peace and hope that is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ…
What would I risk for that?