A few weeks ago, God graced me with the honor of baptizing an 80+ year old mother and saint of King Jesus. Ms. Mildred, as we affectionately know her, cooks one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. It was during one of those breakfasts that she had prepared for me and my family that she asked to speak to me about something.
Her tone was serious. I was eager to hear from her. She asked if I would baptize her and I immediately asked her to tell me why she wanted to be baptized (after all, she has been a member of our local congregation for many years).
Her reason was biblical, and one I am hearing more and more frequently as a Pastor. She had been baptized as a younger girl, mostly because it seemed like a good idea. Yet, God had not regenerated her heart and therefore all she was for years was a person who went to church services, had gotten dunked, and lived life like she wanted to. But all that changed in the years thereafter. At some point Ms. Mildred did indeed have a life-changing encounter with the Risen Savior, and she has loved and served Him ever since!
And as the years passed by, the Holy Spirit began to convict this dear old saint that she had not been obedient to biblical believer’s baptism. So, though her body surely did not enjoy the long flight of stairs to get into and out of our baptistry, and though her breathing condition made her labor all the more, Mildred honored God. And the joy of Jesus was on her face as she came up out of those waters! Hallelujah! What a Savior!
What a wonderful picture of what God’s saving and sanctifying grace really does in our lives. God’s Spirit convicts and then encourages and enables our obedience. We are compelled to obey even if it hurts us or demands sacrifice from us. Thank you, Sister Mildred, for the reminder that “Jesus Paid it all, All to Him We Owe.”
May Ms. Mildred’s example inspire others to follow hard after Christ, regardless of the cost. May her family members and friends who have not yet had their lives changed from the inside out by Jesus humbly seek the grace and mercy of God. May God increase her tribe for His glory!