October 25, 2010

Trick or Treat!

“Immediately coming up out of the water, He [Jesus] saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him: and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” Mark 1:10-11 (NASB)

I surrendered to Christ in the early spring of 1982. I wish I had written down the date. However, I remember the moment vividly. I know it was on a Wednesday night. More importantly, I know it was real.

But my “newness” to the world of Christ meant I had a lot of learning ahead of me and I relished it. Several months into my new life, I participated in a New Christians class. The instructor talked about Believers Baptism. Hmm…..

Okay, I was already baptized. I did that as a child. I suppose I thought it was the thing to do and it made my mom happy. So now I had to ask, since I was already baptized, what was Believers Baptism? Since it had a name - were there other kinds of baptism like an Unbelievers Baptism? What was the difference between them? Did I need this at different steps of my Christian growth? This inquiring mind really wanted to know.

Because I had questions, I found answers. It was explained to me that water baptism was a symbolic act of obedience, performed after one was saved and it was the only one I needed. I didn’t have to be baptized every year – just once. I guess my child-like faith simply resulted in child-like questions, but God is right: Ask and you will receive. I got my answer. I needed to be baptized since the first one didn’t really count. Now – don’t turn the channel just yet. There is a moral to the story.

At Northside Baptist Church on Sunday Night – October 31, 1982, I was baptized upon my profession of faith and in obedience to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That was the night, the devil got tricked and I got treated! This Sunday will be October 31, 2010 and marks to the very day, my 28th anniversary of being a baptized believer in Jesus Christ.

Since we are fast approaching Halloween where TV and movie screens will be filled with all sorts of unhallowed stories, I thought it appropriate to share my baptism with you as it is my all-time favorite Halloween story.

Now I know this particular “holiday” brings a lot of different opinions to the table. Some choose to disassociate from it altogether. There is nothing wrong with that. Been there and done that too. Some choose an alternative to it, been there and done that as well. However you feel about it, might I suggest that this year you view it as an opportunity? View it as an opportunity to treat a child and trick the devil.

Our church, like many others, offers a safe alternative called Harvest Festival. I’ll be helping our Sunday school class run the “Decorate Your Own Cookie” booth. Afterwards, I’ll quickly head home. Why? Well, it’s not to dress up! You see, I have this very strong desire to be a good influence in my neighborhood in regards to Halloween. I want to be a godly and safe influence as well.

If you bring your child to my door, you will be met with a smile and a Treat Bag that contains treats but also a tract. (I guess I’ll be Tract and Treating!) Something to let children, and perhaps even their parents, know that the biggest treat available is Jesus Christ. Maybe I’ll even get to talk to someone!

I am considering this Halloween, my own personal anniversary party and I get to give the gifts since I’ve already received the best one ever! Each day brings you an opportunity. What will you do with yours?

Treated Royally,

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