June 21, 2015

Baptismal Direction

Psalm 100

We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

—  Psalm 100:3

James March, a Stanford professor, theorized that we use two main models for decision making. In the first, we consider consequences and weigh alternatives. We choose the options that yield the most value. In this model, people’s actions are rational and self-interested: “Which sofa will provide me the greatest comfort and the best design for the price? Which political candidate will serve my needs and goals?”

In the other model, we choose on the basis of our identity, asking, “Who am I?” and “What do people like me do in this situation?” At the furniture store, for example, our main question becomes “What kind of sofa would a person like me, an upcoming urban hipster, buy?” At the voting booth we ask, “Which candidate would a person like me, a stylish frequent flyer in middle management, support?”

The Bible has a different way. The covenant-keeping God sweeps us into his family to live as his sons and daughters. They grow to “know that the Lord is God,” that is he who made them and they are his. They find that their only true comfort is in belonging—body and soul—to the one true God and Savior.

In a world of a thousand options, those who have been baptized make choices that align with their true identity in Christ. What would one who glorifies God in all things do?

Father, you are the artist who created the world and the rescuer who saved it. Let us live in your love and make choices in tune with your grace. Amen.

About the author — Kevin Adams

Dr. Kevin Adams has served as a church planter/pastor in the Sacramento, California, area since 1991. He and his wife, Gerry, began Granite Springs Church in Lincoln, and this congregation has helped to nourish several other church plants. Kevin also serves as a director of the Sierra Leadership Network, a training program for new church leaders.

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