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Deciding on Baptism

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Did you ever have one of those days when nothing seemed to go right? I did, and it changed my life.

My parents worked hard throughout our youth to teach my brothers and me to draw near to God through the decisions we made every day, as in James 4:8 James 4:8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
American King James Version×
, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”

And there have been many life-changing decisions in my life – decisions that have not only shaped the course of my life but also the blessings that God has given to me.

One of the most important occurred as I was going to art school, training for the career I had chosen.

That day, on my way to school, my truck engine threw a rod. In a matter of minutes my truck became a 2,000 lb. paperweight. In either direction from where I had broken down I was miles from a phone let alone any kind of service station. This was years before cell phones existed, so no help there. Either someone would have to stop to help me – or I would have to walk about 3 miles to the nearest pay phone.

All that I could do at that point was to ask God to send someone to help me. For my part, I continued to stand there looking at the engine hoping it would become apparent to me why the thing had stopped. A kind man did stop and assessed the damage, and consequently offered me a ride to the nearest phone which I accepted.

I was simply a young man of nineteen working my way through art school trying to set a course for my life. That life - my life - was about to change because I was being challenged to make a decision.

Moms have a way with words

After that kind man left me at the service station I called my mom – the only person I knew to call at that time of the morning. I briefly explained the situation to her and asked if she could come pick me up. She said of course, and half an hour later she did just that.

On the ride home I was complaining to her about my truck. How expensive it would be to fix. How would I now get to school? And so forth.

She simply listened for a while and then asked a question. Had I considered that God might be trying to tell me something?

I couldn’t believe it. It made me mad, what did this have to do with my truck breaking down? But she didn’t stop there, she asked another question. Why hadn’t I made a decision about whether or not I was going to be baptized?

A nudge from God

What was she getting at? Why would God allow my truck engine to throw a rod to prod me to make a decision about my spiritual future? I am embarrassed now at my response to my mom’s questions because she was right. If God is seeking to be a part of our lives, He will use whatever there is in our lives, our thoughts, events, circumstances, etc., to get our attention.

Suddenly, it became clear to me I had a decision to make. The end of the story is that I did decide to be baptized. After counseling I was baptized the next spring, the day before Pentecost. That decision was the single most important choice I have ever made in my life.

Baptism is a beginning and a commitment made by a mature adult, young or older, who has counted the cost of what it takes to be faithful to God and His way of life as outlined in the Bible. It is the beginning step toward eternal life. For more information about this important decision, please read Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion  .

Learn from my lesson. When things seem to be going nowhere or when you simply don’t have all the answers, ask God a question: What do you want me to do? The answer may surprise you. 

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  • katrinac84
    Mr. Dowd, the same has been true in my life as well! Thank you for sharing!
  • dziwczyna
    This article falls under Vertical Thought, but really it can be applied to a lot of grown adults in the church who have been attending for a long time (some all their life) and have not yet been baptised. Being baptised changes your life completely, and opens the door for God to mold and shape you in His image which He could not do before baptism. Without the Holy Spirit you are not His (Romans 8:9 Romans 8:9But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
    American King James Version×
    ). Choose life!
  • fair64
    I want 2 thank you for the topic of baptism. I have attended the NYC congregation 4 the last 3 Sabbaths, and this after reading almost all of the booklets UCG provides. I have read the “Transforming your Life” booklet, and took the necessary steps of praying for the gift of true & genuine repentance. There was something that had 2 be given up, willingly & unconditionally, before I could think about being baptized. After reading the booklet, The Ten Commandments, I saw 4 myself that there was a God that I placed before my Heavenly Father and I was committing an abominable idolatry worshipping it. Let our Father be praised because He did bless me with the miracle of ” true repentance” . I daily submit 2 God & resist the devil….& he does flee from me. So with my genuine repentance in place I am ready 2 100% surrender my life our Father and His son, Jesus. There is only so much I can do physically as far as obeying His commandments, now I need hands laid on me so I can recieve His Powerful Holy Spirit. Then I’ll be able 2 walk out His commandments 2 the full spiritual extent….Glory, Hallelujah!!! I’m sorry that I have no pic @ this time…..somehow I lost my photo album. LOL!!

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