Baptism | The Good Confession

This writer was re-baptized last Sunday. It didn’t overshadow my first baptism wayyyyyy back when. I still remember the feeling of total cleansing as I came up out of the water that first time. There were many witnesses at the church. My own mother was baptized that evening, too. We accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior together and we were baptized together. It was a double testimony of our faith in Christ.

So why this second baptism?

Have you ever re-dedicated your life to God? Me too. When the pastor suggested that any who had re-dedicated his or her life consider being re-baptized, I prayed about it.

11But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. ~ 1 Timothy 6:11-12 NKJV

His answer: Re-baptism is my good confession to many witnesses of my re-dedication to faith in Jesus. It says that I haven’t always been as obedient as He commanded. My re-baptism shows that I am still pursuing a right standing with Jehovah through belief in His Son, Jesus. There is major spiritual warfare going on around us and I am re-engaging in the good fight of faith, even in blindness. I can’t see the battle, but I know it exists. My God is strong and all powerful. Studying His Word equips and shields me against the arrows of the enemy who would slay me with false knowledge. We know who wins this war of souls, and I still want to be counted among those who trust Jesus as our foundation for hope and a future of eternal Life with Him. Jesus is MY Lord of lords and MY King of kings.

This time as I came up out of the waters, it didn’t feel as exhilarating as it did that first time. But it was life-changing; full of wonderment at what Jesus has done for me, a sinner. It impacted the witnesses, too. Many in church this past Sunday told me later that they were encouraged, hearts were gladdened, spirits were uplifted, and more positive comments confirmed to me that my step of faith was God’s will. See, it brought contentment to the brethren, and it blessed me.

That is my good confession for you today. Trust in Jesus. He rules and reigns. He is ALL.

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Faith in Tribulation

Tribulations shall come; and we are told to glory in them (Romans 5:1-5 NKJV). 

1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character, and character, hope. 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t say that I glory in times of testing.  At times I have been so gripped by fear that I was virtually stuck – powerlessly overwhelmed by worry, doubt, and loss.  My nights were sleepless and when I called out to God in prayer for peace of mind, it did not come.

What is wrong with me?

I was not earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 1:3).  I lacked boldness and confidence in my Lord that He not only provides for all my needs, but He is more powerful than any circumstance.  I was not living by faith in Jesus, but faith in myself. 

I can’t fix anything!  Once I turned everything over to Him, my burdens were lifted as He carried me through one difficulty after another.  The more I trusted Jesus to take control of my life, my prayers were heard and answered according to His will.  I can now see how giving God the glory fits with tribulation, as his solutions to problems are perfect compared to mine. Where was the evidence of my faith? Sadly – gone. But praise God, once I repented and began to live according to His Spirit guiding me, I learned:

16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”  ~ Romans 1:16-17 NKJV

3Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass… 7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;

8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm.  ~ Psalm 37:3-5,7a, 8 NKJV

Jesus keep me from stumbling!  Keep me from taking back any burdens You have freed me from so I can rest in You always.  Thank You LORD!

28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, as I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  ~ Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

And also:

20But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  ~ Jude 1:20-21 NKJV

God’s Providential Promises

We’ve all heard how horrible it is to have loved ones in the hospital this year without being allowed in to visit them.  But now I understand; because it has happened to our family.  No, Covid19 is not the diagnosis, but a family member is seriously ill and has been isolated in the ICU of a hospital for a week in another city without visitors.  It is heartbreaking, frustrating, and beyond worrisome not to be able to reach our loved one except by phone.  Oh sure, we got to face-time once, but the camera was pointed above the patient’s bed; and it was hardly an improvement over old-fashioned audio.  Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the extra effort his nurse made to do that for us.

About the only thing keeping me going now in this circumstance is my faith in God’s promises.  I would like to share these scripture verses:

Isaiah 54 NLT

 …8b “But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer.  10For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

When my fears creep upon me in the night as I lie in bed thinking of what may be happening to my sick family member this reminds me to repent of doubt:

Isaiah 55 NLT

6 Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near…  7b Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously:

8 My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

11 “It is the same with my WORD. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. 12a You will live in joy and peace…

So cling to God’s providential promises in His Word, everyone.  He answers our prayers and provides comfort when we feel sad or alone.  If we fail to grasp a situation with wisdom and grace, God has plenty of both – and He is just waiting for us to spend time with Him in prayer.  He wants to rejuvenate our spirits and fill us with Holy Spirit FIRE!! 

Today may you be blessed by our Good GOOD Father God and enjoy the confidence and serenity of being one of His children.  Worship and give glory no matter the circumstance, and

Thank you for following Importantstuff.Live!

Photo Credit: Laura Maccabee

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Resurrection Day 2020 | A World Shaken

ResurrectionDay2020
Our Hope – Resurrection Day 2020

Today I see a world shaken.

Today I see men scrambling.

Confusion and terror reign over the land.

The mighty fear a tiny foe,

And hide from each other,

Behind strips of cloth – A worthless defense.

Has Hope really fled?

Science is aghast.

Hearts are torn

From fear and dread

As we count the dead.

~ Me in Quarantine

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Expectations | New Year 2020

My expectations for 2019 didn’t pan out.  Oh, for sure it was a good year as far as the usual subjects of weather, health, relationships, and personal growth …

But the most important event I was looking for did not happen.  Jesus did not come.

Most of you all are busy enjoying New Year activities today and I get that.  So I decided to keep this as brief as possible.  Mom and I are relaxing too.  We were up late watching fireworks displays on TV from around the world last night.  It was very entertaining and downright spectacular.

Then quite unexpectedly Mom said, “Wouldn’t it be great if the world celebrated the birth of Jesus at Christmas with as much enthusiasm?”

My heart just skipped a beat and those familiar Holy Spirit tinglings shot through me.

“Yes, Mom,” to her spontaneous remark.

We sort of lost interest in the TV soon after that and called it a night.

So here is my expectation – my hope – for 2020:

  1. I am praying that Jesus comes this year – PRAISE GOD!!
  2. I am trusting God for the promised GREAT AWAKENING in 2020 – THANK YOU, LORD!!
  3. All the usual good health, joy and peace this new year for my family, friends, fellow believers in Christ, and you readers of course!
  4. A national repentance and turning back to Jehovah God Almighty.
  5. In JESUS Name, MARANATHA 2020! MARANATHA 2020!
  6. And may there be THE BIGGEST FIREWORKS SHOWS WORLDWIDE AT THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD – or next Christmas, whichever comes first. Selah.

Share your expectations for 2020 in the comments.  I would love to read them!

THANK YOU for following Importantstuff.Live previously and in 2020.  Your encouragement fills my heart with true joy.  My love to All and God’s blessings and prosperity for you and yours in 2020.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!