Wednesday, August 5, 2020

...and FIRE!



My salvation testimony isn't the kind that causes people to shake their head in amazement at how far in the depths of sin I was lost, then Jesus found me, rescued me, set my feet on firm ground, and from that point on I followed a straight path.
Nope!  My testimony is of a different nature.  I was seven years old when I bowed my knees at an altar on a Wednesday night at kid’s camp.  When I think of my salvation story, this is my go-to place.   

Do you remember your salvation day?

After that day, I didn't want any other life.  I was firm in my faith to follow Christ even at the young age of seven.  I'm not saying I never sinned again, because if you know me at all, then you know that's not true, yet I reached up and placed my hand on the plow, and I didn't look back.

Then when I was 14, there was another big event in my life, I made the decision to be baptized in water.  It seemed the natural step to make this public announcement that I was a Christ Follower.  

It was a Sunday night service at my home church in front of a crowd of supporting and loving people, but when I stepped into that water, I was scared.   I was making a public statement to the universe.  I wasn't afraid of my decision, but to be in front of people was daunting.   

My childhood pastor prayed over me, down I went, and up I came out of the water.  The relief was real.  I had followed the commandment of the Lord, and I was glad I did.  

Have you followed the Lord's command to be baptized in water?

My next step was taking communion.  In my family, this was held in high esteem.  It was not allowed until after water baptism.  I felt the seriousness of my decision when I took communion for the first time at fourteen.  I prayed and examined my heart.  I didn't want to eat that bread or drink from that cup with sin in my heart towards anyone.

It seemed at the young age of fourteen, I had met the spiritual expectations of my family.  Except, I was missing one thing--the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. 

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit was a distinctive part of my upbringing.  I was taught, and I believed it was a gift that God made available to me. If God intended it for me, I wanted it.    

After praying on a few different occasions, it happened.  It was real. I freely accepted this gift given by the Lord.  

What happened to me was a promise foretold by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:1 (NET).  

“I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am—I am not worthy to carry his sandals! He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

There was a question asked in the book of Acts (19:2) following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that said, "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?"

Have you?

If you haven't received it, it's for you.  

...And Fire!




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