It’s so easy to get caught up celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem, and miss the true meaning behind why we celebrate. The true gift of Christmas is that we get to experience life with Jesus now and for all eternity. So many families have the gifts and the tree, but they are so busy looking for Santa that they miss their Savior
As we are in changing seasons, there are toxic agents that try to invade and bring spiritual death and destruction to the body of Christ. The church in the book of Acts had to sneeze out seven things.
We are in the middle of a series called “Let's talk about it.” We are learning that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). You have a testimony, and it is powerful. In this Thanksgiving season, let’s look back and talk about our testimonies-- the times when God showed up in our lives and delivered us.
God doesn't want us to do life on our own, to be isolated or independent. Not only does God want a personal relationship with us, but he wants it to be an interpersonal relationship-- that it’s God and my friends, God and my family--that I’m not getting into heaven alone. God wants us to live interdependently, not independently. The independent spirit is actually not from God. Have you ever met anybody who’s had any measure of success that’s done it all on their own?
Your decision for Christ may have been a private act where you raised your hand, with all eyes closed, and said a prayer accepting him but baptism is a public affair. It is an announcement of your new life and identity in Christ. You are immersed in water to confirm that your past and the old you is buried, your sins are forgotten. You emerge out of the water brand new.
‘Baptism’ is derived from the greek word baptizo which means to immerse. The purpose of immersing something is to saturate it. Take, for example, a piece of white cotton fabric and immerse it in red dye. That piece of fabric, down to the smallest fiber, is no longer defined as “white,” but rather defined as “red.” This symbolizes the transformation a believer experiences through water baptism.
The apostle Paul said that “we have this hope as an anchor of the soul.” When Jesus is our anchor, we become unshakable. Baptism is not just a ritual or a ceremony. It’s actually a change of identity. When we are baptized, we take on the identity of Jesus. Our souls find an anchor in him. So what does this mean?
Part of the development of your destiny is talking about it to yourself -- what God has done and what he's going to do. If we're going to possess the promise, we've got to talk about it. It's going to be risky and revealing, but we have to resolve to talk about it in a spirit of faith.