Last Sunday sparked a weeklong flame of conversations in our home. 22, I believe, was the number of people we had the honor of celebrating with as they walked through the waters of baptism. Our church believes this should be a family celebration and for that reason all three of our boys were sitting with us. Johnathan (age 6) accepted Christ as his Savior last fall. We started talking about baptism this past Christmas via our Gospel Christmas journey (see Day 5) but we have been very careful to not pressure him in this decision. We want his decision to be baptized to be one of obedience to God, not mom and dad.
As we watched the service last week, Ian (age 5) looked on quite intently, very focused on what was happening. Johnathan began to ask me a few questions about the video testimonies given and stories told. About half way through the service, our pastor extended an invitation for anyone feeling the nudge to be baptized that day. Johnathan poked me, oh so lovingly, in the ribs and quietly whispered,
“All I have to do is just go to the back and then be baptized?”
My mommy heart wanted to leap up and shout from the stage, “YES!” Controlling myself a bit, I whispered back,
“Yes dear, if that is what you want to do it’s as easy as that.”
He was silent.
“Do you understand why a person gets baptized?”
“I think so” he answered. “Is it because Jesus told us to?”
With a smile I replied, that yes God tells us that if we have asked Jesus into our hearts then our next step is to show the world that we believe in Him. Baptism is the way we do that. It signifies how Jesus’s blood on the cross washes us clean of our sin and makes us like a new person. We talked about how John the Baptist preformed the very first baptism when he baptized Jesus in the river. Johnathan remembered this from our Christmas journey together, so he nodded his head. I explained once again, that this needed to be his decision, not mommy’s. That I was proud of him and would be with him either way.
Then there was silence.
He was thinking. Perhaps even listening. Then came a response.
“Okay, but Mommy . . . Jesus isn’t really in our hearts. Our heart is an organ with tubes everywhere and it’s kind of bloody and ugly. Jesus can’t live there.”
A little taken back, “Well Johnathan, I guess you are right . . . ”
He interrupted me and said, “Jesus isn’t in my heart, He’s in my love.”
Yep, my kid is awesome. He gets Jesus. Jesus is love.
Matthew chapter 7 tells us:
By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Being a Christian is about more than just saying we have Jesus in our hearts. When we truly ask him “into our hearts” a change is made. We are literally made new by the washing away of our sins. We are a new creation in Him. And the world will know us by our fruit. By our love. Jesus becomes such a deep, intimate part of our being that He inhabits our love. We ooze Jesus. Do you ooze Jesus in your love? I want to ooze Jesus. I don’t want Him to just be in the tubey, bloody organ inside my body, I want Him to be in my love.
Johnathan did not get baptized that Sunday. And that is okay. I am so proud that he is asking questions, exploring who Jesus is, and learning more about his Savior. I am actually proud that he did not get baptized. He knew he didn’t fully understand everything and was obedient in remaining still.
I love it when our boys teach me more about who my Jesus is. What an honor it is to be their mommy and to be able to walk alongside them in this life! So our challenge from Johnathan today, do you ooze Jesus? Is He in your love or just sitting idle in your heart? This week, find a way to go out of your way to ooze Jesus in your loving of others. And when you do, come back and let us know how it felt to walk in the love of Jesus!