Monday, August 17, 2009

proclaiming His name

click here to see the video of my public profession of faith and baptism:

its two a.m. in the predawn morning of the day of my baptism. sleep has completely escaped me. my heart is beating wildly at the thought of what is to come.

i cannot remember the last time i felt such eager anticipation. i'm not certain that i ever have, really. the only remotely similar feeling in my memory is what i felt as a child on Christmas eve. only today, i've already recieved the greatest gift of all. later in the morning, i will have the privilege of sharing it with my friends, my family and my faith family.

baptism, in and of itself, is a public profession of faith - one that is long overdue in my life. as david platt defined it, "a joyful declaration that you belong to Jesus Christ." for me, it is that and more. it is truly symbolic of what He has done in my life: i have been buried with Him in baptism and raised to walk in the newness of life in Him, with Him. it stake in the ground, a bold and radical declaration of my life from this point forward being totally and completely committed to following Jesus Christ. it is a permanent marking in the timeline of my life, one that will divide my unbearable past from my unbelievable future in Christ.
i close my laptop and my eyes and i can feel the tears starting to build. i am overwhelmed with awe of this great love. i am overwhelmed by God's faithfulness. humbled by His relenteless, furious pursuit of my heart that spanned the course of nearly thirty-three years, ultimately delivering me from a life of sin and rebellion to a life of true surrender. to this very day - to this very moment in my life where i would stand before scores of people - including those nearest and dearest to me - and proclaim His name.

every single facet of His spirit is radiating within me. his love. his joy. his peace. his patience. his kindness. his goodness. his gentleness. his faithfulness. truly, on this day, i will give thanks to the Lord and i will tell of all his marvelous wonders. (psalm 9:1)

i am filled with godly sorrow for all the years i lived as a runaway and am in awestruck wonder of all He has planned for me as His child. there are just no adequate words. brennan manning comes very close in this passage from his book, 'the furious longing of God':

"The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we beleive that He lived, died and rose-again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creations".

"...Not to make people with better morals, but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in even greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies and selts everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love."

"This, my friends, is what it really means to be a Christian. Our religion never begins with what we do for God. It always starts with what God has done for us, the great and wondrous things that God dreamed of and acheived through Christ Jesus."

i couldn't have said it better myself. :)

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