Tag Archives: Bible

5 Things To Do After You Get Baptized

baptism-1So you did it!

You were baptized, you took the plunge, you got dunked!!

That is so awesome!  Just know that the party in heaven for you declaring Jesus your Lord and Savior is just getting started.  If you haven’t heard, “there ain’t no party like a Heaven party, cuz the Heaven party don’t stop!

So after you dry off, finish with all the hugs, and feel the adrenaline wear off…now what?  I mean, shouldn’t there be a meet and great with an angel or maybe a lighting bolt tattoo that mysteriously shows up on your left ankle?  There has to be some sort of next step or way to remember this amazing event that happened right?

Sure you will get a super duper awesome certificate in the mail commemorating your day, but I think your soul has bigger questions than what kind of frame should I hang this in?

Well to help you with your next steps of faith, I thought I would outline five tangible steps you can take after your baptism.

#5 – Tell Someone About It

I can’t overstate how important this step is in your journey.  Telling someone what you did and why you did it is vital to making this experience be more than a cheap bath.  It is establishing your testimony.  Calm down, I’m not asking you to stand on a street corner and let it rip at the people passing by.  I’m simply asking you to tell someone you love what God did in you in a very real and honest way.  This may be your mom, dad, brother, coworker, or even child, but telling someone helps to keep the meat on the bones of what you decided to do.  I guess I’m saying that the answer to the question, “How was your weekend?” may need a different answer this week.

#4 – Get A Bible

You may already have one of these at home, but if it’s used to level out your broken coffee table that might not be the way God intended you to use it.  In all seriousness, find a Bible you can understand so you can start your journey.  I recommend to both new and seasoned believers the Life Application Bible.  It is the NIV translation and gives you help reading through the Bible when you hit the stick points.  You can find it wherever you like, but it’s worth the investment to have a good Bible to use and let it speak to you.

#3 – Find A Reading Plan

After you get your Bible you may need help deciding where to start and a Bible reading plan can be very, very helpful.  I recommend a plan called the SOAP reading plan which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, & Prayer.  This approach to reading your Bible provides you a structure to follow when reading.  Our church puts out a regular SOAP Reading Plan based on this model which may be helpful.  Download it, follow it, dive into it.

#2 – Join A Small Group

You may need to stretch yourself a little bit here.  I know that the thought of sitting around talking about the Bible, praying, and meeting a bunch of strangers may sound goofy, but stay with me.  Small groups is the way that you will see your faith grow astronomically because you get to see it in real lives.  I’d encourage you to join a group at your church and if you are a Parkview person you can go to our Group Finder and it will lead you through finding a group.  Getting in community with other believers is one the best ways to keep the fire of your baptism alive and running.

#1 – Keep Going To Church

Finally I would encourage you to stay connected to a church family.  There is a growing number of people in the world that feel church is an “option” in their faith.  They feel they can connect with God anywhere they want and don’t have to attend a church to do it.  I’d agree that God is everywhere, but the fact is that Jesus died FOR the church so I’d say it may be important.  Church is where you go to get fed, encouraged, challenged, grow in community, learn to serve, and so much more, but you need to be there to receive the fullness of that blessing.  I’m not saying you have to go to my church, but go to A Bible believing and Jesus loving church near you and get plugged in.

*For my Parkview readers you also could consider coming to one of our What We Believe Classes coming up.  At the Lockport Campus it is on May 7 and at our Orland Park Campus it is being offered May 18.  This is a great class to learn more about Parkview as a church and also find out what your next steps in your walk can be at Parkview.

I hope you still have a smile on your face remembering your moment under the waters of baptism.  I pray the joy that God gave you through the gift of the Holy Spirit has permanently changed you forever.  I know I’m smiling just thinking of it too.

However, I do know that this type of adrenaline high is impossible to maintain.  You need next steps to grow and to keep following God’s path.  Take a look at these things, ask questions, get plugged in with a good church, and keep following Christ.  Would I also love to see you connect with a seasoned Believer for mentoring, accountability, and to walk through life with?  Yes, but these 5 things are great next steps to start with today.

So, I pray that although the water may be dried on your body, that your soul remains drenched with the love God has for you.

Congratulations!!!

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Seeking Wisdom – Proverbs 23: How To Be Fat And Happy

Fat Orangutang

“Buy the truth and do not sell it;

get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”

Proverbs 23:23

 

 

My wife and I once went to an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet in Las Vegas with my in-laws.  Next to the birth of our children and our wedding day, this was arguably the greatest day of our lives.  We are such seafood fans that when a restaurant created a buffet seemingly dedicated to us, it would have been rude not to have dove face first into it.

Our favorite seafood delicacy hands down is Crab Legs.  Not “Krab” legs.  Crab with a “c” legs.  I’m tell you that just typing the words crab legs at 6:00 am at my kitchen table makes me drool like a monkey staring down a banana tree.  They are so good, but when Cherie and I get our hands on them, you would have thought we stole them because we devour them quicker than you can put them down.

As “professional” crab eaters, we certainly understand that there are different quality levels of crab legs and some restaurants are far better than others.  But when it comes to buffets we know it’s about quantity not quality and the phrase we live by is “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  In other words don’t worry about breaking your fingers over the skinny, pinky finger kind of legs, just stay focused on the fatties because those bring the most bang for your buck.  I have to say that approach has done us well and rolling out of that Las Vegas buffet with our jeans unbuttoned, ankles swollen, and two chapped smiling face was a great feeling.

However we both know that we can’t do that every day unless we want to weigh 600 pounds a piece and have TV cameras follow us as we go through his and her stomach stapling procedures.  Too much of anything can turn deadly and that’s why we try to pace ourselves on these seafood adventures and do them once every…oh…10 years I guess.  I mean, my hands are just now de-puffing from that glutinous Vegas buffet so I’m just about ready.

Solomon knows a thing or two about indulging and gluttony.  After all, he was considered one of the richest men that every lived and to say he had an addictive personality was an understatement.  Whether it was palaces, animals, gold, land, or even women he had a Vegas buffet’s worth of them at all times.  Yet his words in Proverbs don’t brag about his gluttonous ways, but rather urge us as the reader to be careful and seek moderation.

Here is just a few highlights of what he warns us about

  • Don’t gorge on food: “When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony” (v. 1)
  • Don’t gorge on money:  “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.” (v4)
  • Don’t gorge on women: “For a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well.” (v 27)
  • Don’t gorge on alcohol: “Do not gaze at wine when it’s red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!  In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.” (v 31-32)
  • Don’t gorge on foolishness: “Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.” (v 9)

However, through all of these warnings Solomon does encourages us to get fat on one thing…wisdom.

“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” (v 12)

“Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path.” (v 19)

“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” (v 22)

God is completely fine with us getting fat and happy on wisdom.  In fact, He would be overjoyed if His children were obese with wisdom and using it to live their lives in His ways.  Yet more times that not we get distracted by other things around us and pursue those like a dog chasing it’s tail.  All that leads to is a dizzy and frustrating existence that gains no traction and distances ourselves from God’s design for our life.

Don’t be fooled by a life buffet full of imitation junk.  Hold out until you are able to gorge yourself on things that bring about wisdom and life.  Life is too short to waste days recovering from foolish and unwise decisions.  Value each breath that you have and choose wisely the things that you consume in your life.  Don’t sweat the small stuff in this world, instead hold out for a fatty bite of Godly wisdom because only that will leave you satisfied.

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