The Day of My Baptism

Yesterday was a special day for me. It was the day of my baptism! July 15 2015. I was very excited and a bit nervous at the same time. It’s a big deal to me. God wanted me to undergo a baptism so I happily obligated. It’s a sacred proclamation stating that I’ve gone from a sinner into a new creation in Christ! (Side note: I was baptized as an infant, but I wanted to do it as an adult knowing fully what it meant to me)

I am still smiling about that special day =)

I’ve compiled together a few bible verse about baptism below, enjoy!

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (ESV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;

Romans 6:2-10 (ESV)
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

Colossians 2:11-15 (NIV)
11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Matthew 3:11-17 (ESV)
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Acts 8:26-40 (ESV)
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

When God Opens and Closes a Door

doors

All of us go through different seasons and have different purpose in our lives. Certain things comes and goes in our lives because they have a season and purpose for time being. Some things we were meant to have for a season, and some things we weren’t. I’m not sure how to explain this without resorting to figures of speech. So here goes.

I found it from my own experience that when God opens a certain door for you, going through that door is just effortless as swimming downstream. Things just seem to fall in place so easily. I’ll give you an example – this blog. As God was showing me many things, I started journaling things down. I just kept on writing and writing and then eventually I stumbled across a bunch of Christian blogs. I enjoyed learning about what God has shown His children and eventually I was inspired to start a blog sharing God’s love with others. It felt like a very natural and easy transition from journaling for myself to writing for others!

And when God closes a certain door for you and you try to enter through that door. It’s very difficult and is like trying to swim upstream. It takes a tremendous amount of energy and effort. Why go against the stream when God intended for you to downstream? Sometimes God closes a certain door because of hidden danger that lies behind it, sometimes it’s just that we’re not ready for it or others are not ready. Or it can be we’re not meant to go through that door. Or it’s for appointed time later on. Or it’s to put us through testing/trials, etc.. So many possible reasons! Remember that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His ways higher than our ways.

Sometimes we become so conditioned to having a door closed to us for so long that we might not recognize when God opens a door for us! Or sometimes it seems like God has closed a door on us but He wanted us to go through trials/testing first before entering that door. It’s always good to pray and ask God for wisdom/discernment! Remember what we see in natural is very different from what God sees.

Although, some people will insist on opening doors not meant for them. This refers to people insisting on having their ways and continuously asserting independence from God’s way. Eventually God will let them go and give them over to sin for that is what they wanted. This was not what God wanted in the first place.

What do I mean by doors??? Speaking plainly, specific doors can refer to any of the following: Relationship, finances, job, friendship, house, hobby, activity, anointing, etc…

I had God close doors on me from getting closer to certain people in life (usually in friendships). Some of the doors were closed on me quite swiftly and some gradually. I didn’t understand it at first but I realized in hindsight that God was truly protecting me from people who would’ve taken advantage of me. I love being kind and generous toward others in terms of time and attention. These people wouldn’t have treated me the same and thus would have left me with a feeling of being unloved. I am truly thankful that God is looking out for me and protecting my heart! Over time, I’ve learnt how to guard my heart like a prized treasure and not to throw them away so easily like throwing pearls to pigs.

All this is because of God’s everlasting LOVE for us. It’s not to restrain us but to prune us into a beautiful creation we were meant to be!!

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Stumbling Less and Less

As we grow more in Christ, we tend to stumble less and less. Don’t feel discouraged if you have stumbled! Just learn from it, rebuke the evil/sin, repent and move on! As we yield more to Christ, our fleshly/earthly desires will decrease.

No one is perfect like Christ for all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Jesus Christ came to the earth to give HIS LIFE so that we may live! Out of His everlasting love, He has shed HIS BLOOD to atone for our sin. We just have to believe in Him and have faith. We don’t have to be “super-christian” or anything like that. Remember how Peter kept on stumbling, when he was sinking after trying to walk on the water toward Jesus and when he denied knowing Jesus at the time of his trial. Yet Jesus loved him dearly and kept on guiding him. Peter kept on growing spiritually as He continued to have His eyes and love affixed on Jesus! In our walk with God, we are continuously being molded into His likeness as long we continuously yield to Jesus in our lives. Praise Jesus! He is very loving! Let us run toward Him =)

Philippians 3:12-16 (ESV)
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

This verse has helped a lot whenever I felt like I’ve failed or stumbled:

Psalm 94:18 (ESV)
18 When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

Also, this scene (see below) came across to my mind. It involves a bit of spiritual warfare and a bit of how we can deal with setback/obstacles.

An experienced and battered warrior came under a constant barrage of arrows (temptations, sins, defiling thoughts, doubts, etc..). He was able to deflect most of them. Although because he wasn’t fully armored, an arrow pierced small opening in his armor (vulnerabilities). It wounded the warrior, but he quickly took out the arrow and asked for healing (confessing the sin and asking God for forgiveness). He knew how to deal with the wounds for he was quite experienced. The warrior knew if the arrow stayed in the body it would kept on spreading the poison further (unforgiveness, bitterness, self-pity, etc..). Best to take out quickly and then patch up those small vulnerabilities in the armor (repenting, turning away from your sin, letting God heal us).

And remember, apart from God we can do nothing on our own. It is only with God’s strength that we are able to do many things!

The Bride Who Waited

A beautiful bride,
Sitting on a rock amidst the stream,
All dressed up and ready.

She had been waiting for a long time,
Turning her head in excitement for every sound in the forest,
Anticipating her Groom to come anytime.

That must be Him!
No.. just rustling leaves.
Is that Him?
No, just a deer lurking about.

Doubts rise up in her head.
What if He had forgotten about me?
What if I’m not worthy?
What if…

Shaking her head,
No! I won’t doubt!
He will come. I know He will
Because He loves me
And because He promised!

I won’t chase after other things,
Things that I can see and hear.
No, I’ll wait for the best!
I’ll take it in faith that you’re the best!
Yes, I will have faith…

And I will keep on watching and be ready!