40 Days of Increase | Day 35
–by Pastor Don Weeks, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
Once upon a time, my wife and I went hiking in the beautiful Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was the beginning of autumn, an awesome day weather-wise, but about 90 degrees fahrenheit and 90 percent humidity. We had hiked the Chimney Top Trail, a super steep climb with fantastic views from the side of Sugarland Mountain. We drank all our water on the two miles up the trail, then rested a while at the highest point. The air was cooler there, and the breeze was divine.
We headed back down along under the canopy of trees, where the temperature and humidity rapidly grew warmer again. It was hot. As we continued our descent along the dirt trail, we passed over and walked along bubbling, babbling brooks. We stopped on one footbridge and took time to admire the crystal clear water. It sparkled as it passed under the bridge, the thin rays of sun that made it through the trees made it look like clear liquid gold.
Looking at that water made me thirsty. I half thought of filling my water bottle and guzzling that water, but I wasn’t sure if it was safe. Maybe I was being overly cautious, but it only a few minutes until we would be back at the car. Sure, the water in the car wouldn’t be as cool as the water in the stream, but I am sure it would be safe to drink.
Then I saw it. The most beautiful swimming hole ever. Well, I don’t know if it was an officially designated place to swim, but there it was, surrounded by huge tall rocks, a fantastic pool of that crystal clear water. I could see to the bottom. Before thinking too hard about it, I began untying my hiking shoes and pulling off my socks. I looked at my wife, who knew exactly what I was about to do, and jumped into the water.
It was way colder than I expected, but it felt great! I was submerged in paradise! I was suspended there in the water. I held my breath and just chilled, literally. I opened my eyes and looked around. It was blurry, but I could see the rocks below me. I looked up. I could see the green of the trees overhead and the golden rays of sun that lit up my watery world. It was completely silent and beautiful. Submerged. Totally surrounded and enclosed.
Then I surprised even myself. I opened my mouth and allowed the water to rush in. For a moment, I thought I shouldn’t do it. Then I did something I have never done before, and have never done since. I began gulping the water. It was delicious. I pushed out the thoughts of dangerous bacteria and enjoyed the sweetest, cleanest tasting water ever. Delicious.
I came out of the water refreshed in every way. It was amazing.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
As Baptists, we baptize people as commanded by Jesus Himself, but only after they have confessed Him as their Savior, not before. There are many verses in the New Testament that clearly show baptism is not an act sprinkling water, but rather an act of total immersion, total submersion into water.
There are also other verses that have the word baptism in them, but contain no water at all, like the one we just read. When we got saved, we were baptized in water, but more importantly we were submerged in Christ. We have been totally and completely immersed in Him. As water surrounds us in water baptism, so Christ now surrounds your life and mine in every way.
Your practical task
You are submerged in Christ. Open your spiritual eyes. Look around. Think and then write down answers to these questions:
- Christ is above you, can you describe how?
- Christ is beneath you, can you describe how?
- Christ is beside you, can you describe how?
- Christ surrounds you, can you describe how?
- Christ is in you, can you describe how?
Feel free to leave your answers below in the comments section. If I find time today, I will reveal my answers there as well.
Have an awesome and inspired day totally immersed in Jesus Christ.
HE MUST INCREASE
You are invited.
May God revive us through His Word.
All are welcome for our 2017 Spring Revival at Antioch.
Sunday, March 26 at 11:00 am
Sunday, March 26 at 6:00 pm
Monday, March 27 at 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 pm
Wednesday, March 29 at 7:00 pm
Bible preaching: by Pastor Christopher Weeks
Special music each service.
Wednesday is youth emphasis night with the young people leading the service and providing the music.
Nursery for babies and young children provided each service.