“… Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”   Mark 5:19

I have heard it said many times; “Family is the hardest mission field of all.”

For those of us who came to know Christ later in life, sharing what the Lord has done in our lives with family and friends is almost like surgery.  Tools have to be chosen carefully and pressure applied at the right time.  If the subject is approached with too much fervor, they might just bleed out and shut the door tight.   If the subject is ignored and we wait too long, they may just flat line and the opportunity is lost.

Family knows you.  They have seen you at your worst and know who you were before.

I had the immense privilege to watch five baptisms last night.  Three adults and two teenagers, who made the decision to follow Christ with their life, took the next step in their Christian walk by taking part in believer’s baptism.

Believer’s baptism is a public display of the decision made privately to follow Christ,

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ [And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’] And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.”   Acts 8:35-38

but even more importantly, it is a picture of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

“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.”   Romans 6:3-4

I have been blessed to get to know a lovely Japanese woman named Katsuko.  Her daughter, Noriko, began attending Hillcrest a couple years ago and she and I became fast friends.  When I first met Katsuko, she couldn’t speak a lick of English… so when we get together there are a lot of smiles, head nodding, and hugging, but few words.

When Noriko came to America to continue her education, the Lord placed integral people in her life at just the right times.  God worked mightily to reveal the truth of who He really is and what Christ did for her, and Noriko placed her faith in and gave her life to Christ.

Noriko immediately shared what she had learned about Jesus with Katsuko and questioned the god her mom followed.  But living in Japan, Katsuko was deeply involved in Buddhism and admits how committed she was.

For 15 years Noriko shared Truth with her.

Last night Katsuko was baptized.

 

15 years.

Is there someone you’ve been praying quite a while for?

Someone you’ve been witnessing to for what seems like forever?

Someone who is heavy on your heart, but doesn’t want any part of your Jesus?

Don’t give up.  Don’t become silent.

 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”   2 Peter 3:8-9

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