September 20, 2007

The Gift of Baptism

Scripture Reading — Romans 6:1-4

All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death ...  Romans 6:3


Marian Fischer, the oldest of five Amish girls who were shot to death in a Pennsylvania schoolhouse last year, stepped forward and told her attacker, "Shoot me first." Then, Marian's sister Barbie calmly and courageously uttered, "Shoot me second." The two girls stood together and held hands. They were willing to surrender themselves for the sake of the other girls.

The act of baptism also involves surrender. Baptism means surrendering to death. It brings us face to face with dying and rising with Christ. Baptism reminds us that God is continually forming us into people who look more like Jesus.

The fact that we are baptized does not mean we may ignore God or keep on sinning. A careless attitude toward obedience makes a mockery of God's amazing grace. Surrendering our lives fully to Jesus will create situations in which discipleship seems inconvenient.

What kind of life are you living today? What attitudes or actions are forming your life? What does your baptism mean to you? These questions help us reflect on the power of baptism.

It all comes down to surrendering our life to Jesus. And the "prize" for surrendering, says Paul, is that "just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."


<p>Father, help me to surrender my life to you. May I embrace a life of dying and rising with you, serving you faithfully even when it's inconvenient. In the Savior's name, Amen.</p>


Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship