August 18, 2019 - INSCRIPTIONS FROM THE HEART
Making Disciples by Baptizing
We are baptized to follow Jesus’ command, to follow His example as He has come to show us in scripture. My personal journey to follow Christ in baptism isn’t too exciting. After accepting Christ as my Lord and Saviour, as Ptr. Joy shared to us the gospel during family camp, I realized that many of my friends in the youth did the same around the same time. When we were informed about what baptism meant, the idea of everyone knowing our testimony and publicly declaring to them that we believed in Christ was something I thought we should be proud of.
I remember the day like it was last week, many of my friends from youth gathering at the back of the stage, waiting our turn to declare that we have made the decision to die to self and to live for Christ. I remember I asked to go last as I had so much gel in my hair that I was afraid it might get in the other’s eyes. Anyways! I remember change happened slowly but surely -- from the day I accepted Christ and have been known to everyone that I did. I now had a reputation, an expectation to uphold as a Christ-follower.
After growing in the Lord for a few years, I started volunteering in the church’s youth ministry after attending it for years. With the leadership of our previous youth leaders and our old youth pastor, after being discipled, I began my ministry in the youth that would continue unto this day. Many things have changed, but the journey that started that day will keep on going, by God’s grace, until the day I die. The glorious riches I experience by ministering in God’s kingdom is too much, even while on earth. The opportunity to serve, teach, and minister to the youth has been a wonderful privilege that brings me joy despite the hardships and trials that has come in the past.
One of the greatest joys is that I remember ministering to a youth that’s been attending our Bible studies for 2-3 years but they still haven’t accepted Christ. Years of praying and ministering, sometimes, feeling like they might not ever follow Christ. But let me tell you the joy I felt when that youth accepted Christ and decided to follow Him in the waters of baptism. Life has come full circle. As I was ministered to, as I followed Christ, as I was discipled, God’s goodness has allowed me the privilege of being part of someone else’s journey to know Christ and now is being discipled under me. If you haven’t been baptized yet, what are you waiting for?! If you have been baptized, encourage someone who hasn’t! Glorious riches of God’s kingdom awaits!
Pastor Immanuel Garcera