We had an incredibly moving baptism service on what is traditionally known as “Silent Wednesday”, but it wasn’t so silent at Crossroads Church! There was rejoicing and celebration as many declared their commitment to Jesus Christ through baptism. Did you know that the scripture actually links baptism and Easter? That’s right, the resurrection of Jesus is what makes baptism under the New Covenant so powerful.
Before Jesus, baptism was a Jewish ritual cleansing that was done as a repentant response toward God. This is why John was baptizing in the Jordan river declaring, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” But the bad news for those who were being baptized under the Old Covenant (with the exception of Jesus), was that the water represented a grave that you could never truly rise from. You would be baptized, but come up from the water the same as when you went in:
What a week and weekend it was! I’ll try to recap it in four words.
Inspiring – we finished 1 Corinthians 15 at our Wednesday night service. In short, Paul finishes his defense of the resurrection with an inspiring conclusion. Everything we do for Jesus this life is worth it because He rose from the dead, and one day we too will rise in Him to eternal bliss! Quite a motivation to live now for Christ, knowing that our labor is not in vain.
Heartbreaking – my uncle RC passed away this week. We weren’t extremely close, but he was an incredible man who loved Jesus deeply. I have some wonderful memories growing up… especially of his incredible tenor voice singing, “Down the road a little bit farther, we will all understand…” Today He understands more completely than all of us, but he will be missed. Please pray for his family.
Memorable – our Crossroads marriage retreat happened this weekend and everything lined up for a powerful and meaningful time away. It lasted just two days, but they were full of building new friendships, investing in intimacy, and gleaning helpful tools for our marriages. My friend Pastor Rob Salvato and his wife Denise shared a special set of teachings. We appreciated their transparency and vulnerability as the shared their life and lessons with us. And of course, two days alone with my wife was much welcomed!
Encouraging – the weekend concluded with Pastor Rob giving a powerful message at North Campus on how Jesus handles bread… and people (you need to hear this sermon). Pastor Jason shared his heart and vision for South Campus, and I had the blessing of guest teaching for a church in Roseville. I passed several churches on my way down the hill and was grateful that the Word of God was going out in so many places and impacting so many lives.
God is at work, in the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult, the joy and the pain. May your week be empowered and guided by Him! Love you all.
Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
Tonight at church the unexpected happened. God showed up. Isn’t that a tragic statement? Not that God showed up, but that I wasn’t expecting it… at least I wasn’t expecting it in the way that He chose to do so.
I expected Him to be present in our time of worship, and He was. I expected Him to be present as we studied His Word, and He certainly spoke through pastor Ron’s beautiful and timely message in the first half of 1 Corinthians 15.
I wasn’t expecting God to turn me into a fountain of blubbering tears in front of everyone at church during our closing worship set. During worship, the Holy Spirit simply told me these words: “Now is the time.” Time for what? I wasn’t sure. So I told the church, “Now is the time” not knowing what to expect. After a brief moment of awkwardness, the front of the building started filling up with people coming forward to receive the Lord’s power for their lives.
It was the time.
For chains to be broken.
For apathy to be shed.
For hearts to be healed.
For power to be given.
Maybe tonight, or as you’re reading this, now is the time for you to be transformed in some way by Jesus. Just ask Him.
As I watched, listened to sincere prayers, and thought about how much Jesus loves His church and the lost, I lost it. I don’t cry a lot, and can usually compose myself… but not this night.
I felt embarrassed and ashamed, but only for a moment. If Paul wasn’t ashamed to look a little foolish and crazy for the sake of Jesus, why should I be? (2 Cor. 5:13) After all, if we can’t weep with Jesus for the lost and share His passion for His work, than maybe there is something a little off in us.
At any rate, through our weakness God is doing something special here at Crossroads. I can’t believe I get to see it with my own eyes and share it with so many amazing people.