In November, Jacob was really soaking in all that he was learning in AWANA and church. In our family Bible time, he told us that he wanted to be saved. There is no greater joy for us as parents than knowing our child has secured a future in heaven for eternity! Over a few days, we talked and listened to him, making sure he understood how this works and why.
1) Admit to God that you're a sinner and repent.
Everyone sins. Our hearts are naturally wicked. All that keeps us from being worthy of God's presence. Repenting doesn't mean being perfect, because that's impossible. It means being sorry for the bad choices and trying to change them.
2) Believe that Jesus is God's own son.
God loves us so much that He was willing for His only son to die, just to save all of us from hell. Wow. Jesus bore our sins on the cross, so much that God couldn't even look at him in that moment. As a parent, I can't imagine asking my son to do that for other people, but that just goes to show that God's love is far more perfect and amazing than ours as humans.
3) Confess your faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior
Without Jesus dying on the cross and coming back to life 3 days later, our salvation isn't possible. He was special. No other deity people worship has died and come back to life. Jesus died for us because He loves us. Salvation is a gift, but we have to open the gift. Being saved, being a Christian, isn't a free ticket to do whatever we want and still expect to go to heaven one day. Jesus loves us and wants us to have a relationship with Him, to be a part of our life. That changes us, allows Him to show through our lives. That's how we are truly saved, from our human selves.
Jacob "got it", wanted to know Jesus in his heart. Kevin prayed with him, guiding Jacob through admitting he sins, acknowledging the Savior and accepting the gift. The joy in his face and heart were evidence that Jesus now lives in his heart.
Our church teaches that once you are saved, it's good to let others know about the change in you through baptism. You show your old self going under the water, washing off the old self, coming up a new person. Baptism doesn't save you but is a representation of what happens in your heart when you're saved.
Jacob wanted to be baptized soon, and I wanted my parents here to be part of it, like they were with Beth. The kids' Christmas play was scheduled for early December, so they'd come up to see all that, plus the baptism and do our Christmas together. Instead, our area was blanketed in ice. Lots of ice. Stuck in the house for 4 days kind of ice. Sunday morning church canceled for the first time in 15 years kind of ice.
Once people were out and about again, we got the baptism and play and Popi/Yaya visit rescheduled.
My sweet boy was so nervous and quiet, waiting for Bro. Jerry to call him into the water. At the same time, he was excited and proud. All the helpers during baptism are just as proud of him as the rest of us. I love that about our church family!
The water was warm and deep- a block had been put in the baptistery for the kids. He nearly had to swim to the steps after it was done, but Bro. Jerry helped him instead. Once he was out, he was so excited and back to his bouncy self. A quick change into dry clothes, then onto the play performance. But, if you ask me, this minute of the service, Jacob's decision weeks before were the best moments of the whole year!
If you want to know more about this loving Savior, about having a relationship with Him, just ask. I'll be so happy to share with you the joy of God's love!