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There are many memorable days in our lives, but some of these are much more important than others. The day we are baptized into Christ is the day we begin a new life of joy. With the exception of our childhood days of innocence, it cannot be said that we were truly living before the day of our baptism. That was the day when we "passed from death to life" (Jn. 5:24). It was the occasion when God "delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son" (Col. 1:13). Could there be a better day than that -- except, of course, the day at the end of life when we go to be with the Lord Himself? The day we put on our Lord in baptism is a day worth remembering forever.
When Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome about the significance of their baptism, he said, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:3,4). Having been baptized into the Lord, we are truly new people: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17).
The day of our baptism is the day that we begin a process of spiritual growth that will continue until the day when, in heaven, our journey toward God's glory will be complete. Speaking to Christians, Paul wrote, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another" (2 Cor. 3:18). In Christ, we are on our way toward complete restoration to the glory of God's image!
We make careful note of birthdays and anniversaries and other memorable days. But how many of us even recall the exact day when we obeyed the gospel of Christ? Do we do anything with our sons and daughters each year to mark the anniversary day of their beginning of the new life? Do we talk with our younger children about how important that day will be in their lives when it arrives? This week, may we each make a point to remember our obedience to the gospel. Let's make sure the events of that day shall not have been in vain!
Monday: Luke 7:36-50
Key Idea: God wants us to be sorry that we have disobeyed Him.
Questions for Family Growth: What was the woman in this story crying about? What did Simon the Pharisee lack that Jesus loved in this particular woman? Many things about sin are sad, but what is it about sin that you think we should grieve about the most?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:10.
Tuesday: Acts 22:6-16
Key Idea: God commands us to be baptized in order to be forgiven of our sins.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to have our sins "washed away"? Do you think God will do that for us before we are baptized? At what point were Saul's sins washed away? What did Jesus say about salvation in Mk. 16:16?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:11.
Wednesday: Acts 16:25-34
Key Idea: We rejoice when we are baptized.
Questions for Family Growth: Why is being baptized into Christ something to be glad about? The Philippian Jailer believed before he was baptized, but at what point in his obedience does it say that "he rejoiced, having believed" (v.34 NKJV)?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:12.
Thursday: 1 Peter 1:3-9
Key Idea: Even when bad things happen in this life, the Christian can still have joy.
Questions for Family Growth: When we have been baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, does that mean we will never be sad again? How can we have joy even when things happen that make us sad? According to v.9, what will be the outcome of our faith?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:13.
Friday: Revelation 21:22-27
Key Idea: In heaven, we will have even more joy than we do now.
Questions for Family Growth: What are the things about being in heaven that we look forward to the most? In Phil. 2:12, what did Paul say the Lord's people ought to do in regard to their salvation? Is there anything we shouldn't be willing to give up in order to go to heaven?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 20:14.