I recently had the privilege of witnessing my nephew’s water baptism. No, he wasn’t a little baby dressed all in white. He’s a grown man. People have different opinions on when someone should be baptized into the faith. Some sects dictate it should be done when a child is an infant, others believe the child should be older and decide for him/herself. What most, if not all, would agree upon is that baptism symbolizes you dedicating your life to the Lord and washing away your old ways and who you used to be. It’s a purification ritual and a sign to everyone that you are changing your life for good.
At this service, where some 70+ people made the same decision as my nephew, a dear young lady who I’ve had the honor of knowing for over 25 years was present. To say her being there was a divine appointment is an understatement. She doesn’t even live in the same state as us! But she was nearby and planned to come out and visit for the day. When she learned what we’d be doing on Sunday, she was all in. And then she went all in – as in all into the baptismal tank. Her declaration was slightly different than my nephew’s. She was there to rededicate.
She had loved the Lord for most of her life. She was a powerful woman of prayer and faith. But in that moment, she felt led to go in deeper, to recommit to the faith she’s known forever. This was next level or leveling up stuff.
I won’t pretend to know her motivations or what led to her decision. That is her story to tell. What I will say is her example inspired this post. And I can relate to coming to a place of knowing it’s time to recommit, rededicate, get back on track.
How much time have we wasted coasting along, lacking the desire, passion, fervor we once had?
My focus here is on faith, but the same question could be asked concerning anything: relationships, careers, health, etc. There are times I’ve been so consumed with day-to-day life. When I stop and turn around, I realize I’ve lost days, weeks. (Technically, I didn’t lose them, obviously. But if you asked me what I did or what happened, I’d have no answer.)
Has that ever happened to you?
A verse I quote often is that tomorrow is not promised to anyone. It is an undeniable fact. (This is my 72nd blog, so I trust you can find the scripture for yourself.) The smartest minds, the wealthiest people, the healthiest athletes, the most famous celebrities have zero control over whether or not they’ll have a tomorrow. Sure, we can take steps and we can do things and lead lifestyles which reduce the risk of certain diseases. We can choose to not engage in risky, unhealthy behaviors. Yet the fact remains that tomorrow isn’t a guarantee.
So, if no one is promised tomorrow, why are we so casual in our today?
Excellent question. For me, it’s not because I don’t think the verse is true, it’s more that I choose to put it aside. I allow myself to be distracted and shift my focus to whatever lies in front of me at any particular moment. In short, I don’t let myself get that deep. I stay on the surface, battling whatever I’m currently facing, including: errands, deadlines, writer’s block, relational issues, etc.
I’m not suggesting we should be so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. It’s always about balance. What I am advocating for is rededication.
We are in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time but can also be the most stressful. Lots of pressures and commitments. Lots of distractions. We can lose sight of what we are truly celebrating.
It’s the story of a God who so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NIV)
We exchange gifts at Christmas, but is there any greater gift than Jesus?
Christmas is when we celebrate when heaven came to earth in the form of a little baby. He was born in a manger in a stable, surrounded by hay and animals. The Savior of the world was born in the humblest of circumstances. And He was born to die. But not just to be a sacrifice. He is the One who heals us, restores us. Through His life, death, and resurrection we are now able to have relationship with God.
When I think of the life of Jesus and His ministry on earth, I see someone who daily dedicated Himself to His Father and to His mission. He chose every day to keep going. He knew the pain, torture and hate He would face. Nevertheless, He kept choosing you and me. Jesus was resolute in His conviction from the start.
I desire to be more like Him, to be so single-minded that no temptation, distraction, disaster, can divert me. I am not anywhere near that today. So, when God shows me I’m going astray, or becoming complacent in my faith, His Holy Spirit will gently encourage me to rededicate, recommit.
What does rededication look like for you?
As you prepare for the holidays, are you satisfied with where you are in your faith? Or are you feeling a gentle nudge to spend more time in God’s presence, whether that be in church, or reading the Bible, or praying and worshipping in your home?
For me, rededication has meant making the Lord and my time with Him a priority. This could mean a daily verse and meditation. It can mean talking about His goodness and love to others. It can mean writing a blog post about Him. It could mean getting baptized again.
Your expression of rededication is unique. It’s between you and God. That’s what makes it such a precious thing and the best gift you can give this season. It will cost you something. It could be time or energy. It could be not partaking in something you enjoy because it’s no longer right for you. It could be forgiving someone who hurt you even if they’ve never apologized.
As I close, what I can tell you is that you can never outgive the Lord. As you rededicate yourself in this season to Him, He can’t help but bless you. Of course, we don’t recommit to get something. It’s not a bartering system or an exchange. We rededicate because He is worthy of our full commitment, not a lukewarm, half-hearted effort.
Jesus didn’t save us that way, did He?
As you rededicate and reprioritize, you’ll be amazed how it affects other areas of your life: relationships, career, health and fitness goals, etc. See, when seeking Him and His kingdom comes first, all the rest can be added onto you. (That’s another non-annotated verse I threw in. Challenge you to find it in your Bible.)
I encourage you to speak with the Lord today. Tell Him of your sincere desire to rededicate. I assure you, He will give you opportunities to express that recommitment. It may be in helping a stranger. It may be attending a service or a prayer meeting. Or it may just mean taking a dunk in the baptismal tank.
Until next time, stay happy, stay healthy, stay in the know. Give God your best gift this Christmas. Give Him your whole heart.
Look forward to hearing from you.