Be An Influencer // Baptism Sunday [Devo]

Be An Influencer

Baptism Sunday
I remember when I was baptized... It was in 2006, in Cheat Lake. It was a pretty special day for me, but also a scary one. See, I pretty much grew up in the church. I started a relationship with Christ when I was young, and then again in high school when I understood more of what it meant. Growing up and hearing about baptism, I knew that it was a step I needed to take, but I was scared to do it. Not because I wasn’t sure,  and not because I didn’t want to make a public statement. The reason is kind of embarrassing — I was afraid of going under the water. Growing up, I was not a good swimmer…the fear of drowning was a big one, and it caused me to not take the step of being baptized. As years went by and my fear of drowning diminished, the embarrassment of not getting baptized started to grow. I was getting more involved with the church. I was on the worship team. I was in a role of influence and felt that if I got baptized now, people would judge me or ask why I hadn’t already taken this step.

My wife and I were a year into our marriage at that point, and thankfully, she encouraged me to finally take that step. I also had a number of conversations with others in my life, and their support was comforting.

I’ll never forget that day. I didn’t feel judged… I felt loved. They celebrated with me, and that meant everything.

This past Sunday, we had an opportunity to celebrate with 15 people who took that same step of faith. We got to hear their stories and celebrate their transition from death to life. The stories were powerful and vulnerable. Some of them shared how their relationships with others led them to where they are today.

One of the points in Pastor Tim’s talk was that God uses people to lead people to Christ. He referred to the story of Phillip and the eunuch.

Acts 8:36-38 says this:
“As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, there’s water! What would keep me from being baptized?” [And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him."

We all have an opportunity to share the Gospel with those around us.

God used Phillip to share the Gospel message. He used him to be an influence in someone’s life. We all have an opportunity to share the Gospel with those around us. God has called us to go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I’m grateful for the relationships that I have had over the years, especially the ones with those who encouraged and supported me in getting baptized. They have been a great influence to me, and now I need to be that influence for others.

I would encourage you to not let embarrassment or shame deter you from getting baptized. We all have fallen short. We all have sinned. What is amazing about our God is that His love for us is everlasting, and His grace for us is constant and new every day.

I would also encourage all of us to not miss these opportunities to lead others to Christ. It can be as simple as an invitation to a cup of coffee or to a church service. A small step can grow into a life-changing decision.
Author: Adam Etris, Programming Director
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