Weightless in the Water

Rushing Water GIF“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17

Archimedes (287-212 B.C.) wrote The Archimedes Principle which states that your body displaces water when submerged and the weight of the displaced water brings you back to the surface. The buoyancy explains the loss of actual body weight in the water. This explains why when I was a child I could easily lift my friends in the swimming pool but as soon as we were poolside, they were too heavy.

Water has such significance in our lives today, as it did in the Bible.  Rain water nourishes the earth. Bottled and tap water hydrates our bodies. River, lake and ocean water are homes to sustenance. They also provide entertainment for warm, sunny days. Water cleanses our bodies, food, homes, vehicles, etc. We cannot survive without it. It sustains life.

Flood waters, however are devastating to anyone and anything in it’s path. The force of the water can displace homes, cars, boats and buildings. It lifts them up off of their stationary position and thrusts them forward. Sand bags and dunes are constructed to break the force and hopefully stop the water. It may break the force or redirect the flood but it cannot be stopped until the water source recedes.

Knowing the importance and functions of water, how fitting of God to use it as a representation of the cleansing of our souls. Our passage shows that Jesus himself was baptized. He is our example in every way. There wasn’t anything special about the river he was immersed in. Our verse said that God was well pleased by this.  If this was necessary for Jesus, how much more so is it for us?

Receiving Christ as your personal Lord and Savior is the single most greatest decision you will ever make. Hands down. If you haven’t done that yet or aren’t sure I would love to talk to you about it. You can hit my email button or one of the social media outlets for a direct message. Baptism follows a profession of faith. Baptism in the Greek means to immerse. Immerse means to dip or submerge. Jesus was submerged by John in the river.

Baptismal waters represent you going under as heavy with sin and by the blood of Jesus you are raised to a new life. Weightless, washed clean and free from the bondage of sin. The Holy Spirit enters your life upon salvation like a mighty flood. He has an eternal source so it is a constant filling. He never recedes. He rushes in taking out all that is ungodly and makes room for a life in Christ. Just like the flood with Noah, the waters destroyed all life. The Holy Spirit destroys your old life. Thank you Jesus!

No matter what choices you make after salvation, you cannot be snatched from the Father’s hand. Hopefully upon heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit and seeing the fruit of that in our lives, we will obey again and again. He will give you peace like a river. I can imagine the sun coming up over the horizon and a low fog hovering over the surface. Looking out across it appears like glass. There are no boats or sounds of humans. Complete peace and tranquility. This is the abundant life that Christ offers to you. That no matter what you face, you can be sitting on the bank soaking in the splendor of His creation. Unmoved by your circumstances.

If you have never been baptized, I hope that you will consider talking to your pastor, Sunday School teacher or trusted friend in Christ. As we saw in the thief on the cross, baptism isn’t necessary to enter Heaven but it is an act of obedience. I have learned that blessing always follows obedience. I pray that you will experience the fullness of His presence this week and always!

This Week’s Blog Post

Hi everyone! My blog post this week has been published on Blogs by Christian Women (link below). I can’t use it here so I am hoping you will have time to hop over to their site to view.  Thanks so much! Have an awesome week!

http://wp.me/p4YjKM-v9

 

Your Spiritual Health

Cardinal Blog Page Open Bible But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4

We had a stray cat at our home for years. We rescued him for the motor of our car one Sunday after church. We nursed him back to health and put him outside. He stayed for a few weeks at a time. He would wander off for a month or so but then would return.

I fed him every day regardless of whether or not he was there. I knew another cat was eating his food in the interim, but I fed him anyway. I took note of 3 or 4 birds that were eating the cat food as well. I would hear them chirping early in the morning. After I would feed the cat, they would be still. They came one by one to take a morsel of food. I thought this was hysterical! Birds eat cat food, cats eat birds hmm…One bird in particular, a cardinal, would come several times per day. As time progressed he grew larger and larger. He was quite round! I knew this was not healthy for him but I so enjoyed when he came.

The cat stopped showing up about 6 months ago. He was very old so I assume he is deceased. I decided to buy bird food that was specific to cardinals. It has sunflowers seeds, nuts and raisins in it. Looked good to me! I placed it in the cat dish. All kinds of birds started coming! Jesus leads them to the food and I imagine they communicate to each other where the food source is.

Sadly, the cardinal stopped coming. I suppose he didn’t care for nourishment that was good and healthy for him. I missed seeing him. I contemplated buying cat food for him but I knew that was not what was best for him.

This reminded me that we can fill our lives with the cat food of the world. We become impregnated with spiritual, emotional and physical unhealthy choices. It weighs us down and keeps us from God’s best in our lives. I don’t want to miss out on those magnificent blessings. Do you? Feeding on God’s Holy Infallible Word every day keeps us fit for the battle. We can then share with others where the source of our nourishment derives from and guide them to it.

What in your life do you need to replace with God’s Word? It speaks truth and life and is full of morsels that are good for your soul. Truth is not always easy to swallow. It demands self reflection. Much like my cardinal friend, the world’s way seems easier to consume but it eventually leads to death and destruction. Spend time in God’s Word today. I would suggest that if you are just beginning or returning that you take one verse and meditate on it for 15 minutes. God loves the small beginning and to see a work begin. It will lead to paragraphs, chapters and books! Filling up on it will set you free, it will never weigh you down.

Plunge in today! I am hopeful that my friend will come back for what is good for him. I am hoping that you will too. Have an awesome week!

After writing this, I looked out the window. The cardinal was there!

Walking out of the fire

“Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here! So Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego came out of the fire.” Daniel 3:26

My son and I recently burned a huge brush pile. We have several Bradford Pear Trees that loose many limbs during the winter months. This past winter one of them split and the yard was mayhem. We had the wood cut and then cleaned up the mess.  We don’t live in the city so the brush pile was massive.

The wind was blowing that day so I was a little apprehensive about burning it. I was tired of looking at it and my son had a day off from school so we began. We started with a small fire but the process was crawling along. We added more to it making a sizable fire. I started to feel a little anxious because the wind picked up as we progressed. If you would get remotely close to the fire it was blistering hot. It reminded me of opening a very hot oven and pressing too close before some of the heat has escaped. I somewhat threw branches at the fire to keep from getting burned. The fire before this one, my son slightly burned his foot by getting to close. We learned from that.

Our heroes of faith from today’s key verse faced the heat as well. They refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzer’s gold statue. He was so pompous as to say who can deliver you from my hand? They responded that their God would deliver them but if He didn’t they still wouldn’t bow to his statue or his gods.  It enraged the king so he ordered them thrown into the firey furnace. He had it heated to 7 times the normal heat. The guards were ordered to bind the three and throw them into the furnace. It was so hot that it killed the guards because they drew too close. I found that interesting. You don’t have to jump into the fire to be consumed. Only if you get too close.

They were fully dressed complete with turbans when they were thrown in. Nebuchadnezzer immediately noticed that they were walking around in the fire unharmed and there was a fourth man with them. He regarded Him as the Son of God. Indeed He was. Because of their great faith they were completely protected by God. This caused the king to call them out. If you will notice he then pronounces God as the Most High God. The three walked out of the furnace. Their hair was not singed. Their clothes were perfectly intact. They didn’t even smell like smoke. They were completely unharmed. Their great faith had delivered them.

God was with them in the fire. Just like He parted the waters for the Israelites, here He divides the flames. The flames had no power over them and they have no power over you. Jesus knows all about suffering and has compassion for you. I don’t know where you are in the fire but God is with you. You may not feel like it or you may not see it but He is there. Maybe God has been strengthening you in the fire and preparing you for what’s ahead. It may be your turn to just walk out. Sometimes I believe that God opens the door to the furnace but we are so focused on the flames we can’t see that all we have to do is walk out. Be bold in your prayers. Ask God to show you if He has opened the door and to show you where it is. Pray believing that He has the answer. God is moved by prayers fueled with great faith.

Maybe you haven’t been thrown into the fire but are just too close to it. Heed the warning. Just like my son was slightly burned and the guards were consumed by getting too close, you are certain to suffer some burns if not utter destruction if you get any closer. Be assured, as stated before that God is with you. He is strengthening you and bringing forth the patience that has been planted into your heart. As soon as God opens the door, you will be able to walk right out. I am praying for you this week as I wait for the open door with you.