Last Lord's Day saw two of our young ladies from Emmanuel Baptist Church go through the holy ordinance of baptism. One being Pastor Bob Doble's daughter, Genevieve, (an obvious honour for him to baptize his own daughter) and the other being Kim's daughter (my step-daughter), Grace.
Kim and I would like to share in the joy we are delighting in from that day by presenting to you Grace's personal testimony she gave to just prior to her baptism. We hope it will be a source of delight in the Lord and encouragement for you, as well.
The love and grace of God is truly amazing!
Grace's Testimony of Faith:
Growing up I was always aware of God even if I never really went to church until I was 8. It was apparent to me that all the beautiful flowers I would play in every day, and the gorgeous fresh snow and piles of leaves were God standing in front of me showing me that He exists. But you don’t have to be a child with your face in a lilac bush to see that all of the things of the world were created by God, and that there is a God. Everyone at some point in their life has noticed something beautiful in nature whether it was duck feathers or a sunset. I took notice of these things.
Then I started going to church, and everything gradually made a little more sense to me as I learned about God, and I was saved a few years ago when I just understood everything together. At the time I was also sad from moving and was getting bullied at school. So it was comforting to know that God would listen to my prayers and help me and that if, for some reason I got killed in the situation or any time (because we're never sure when we’re going to go), I would go to heaven.
So for me my experience leading up to today hasn’t really had any particular, defining day with God after a complex rebellious or illegal saga or whatever, which seems to be what many Christians have to talk about when they get baptised after becoming a Christian. But what is important since I wasn’t in jail (or something like that) when I got saved, is that I still realized I am just as bad as a criminal to God because I am a sinner, even though I appeared to just be a sweet little girl. We are all sinners, and no amount of basic goodness will get us into heaven, so we have to repent and then live lives that are pleasing to God. I have recognized this and accepted the gift of eternal life in heaven because Jesus took away my sins when he died, and I trust in him.
So today after God has made all of this clear to me I am getting baptised to symbolize that I am going to live my life for God. In this decision I am not depriving myself and will never regret it, because I want to be on God’s side. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” Psalm 91:11.
Also, being a teenage student, I know all the stupid, bad things my classmates are getting involved in and I know I don’t want to be a part of that. I am thankful that God has made me strong to stand my ground and stay true to what I believe in. I realize that this may cause me to lose friends, because I already have, but I don’t want to have friends that can’t accept the importance of God in my life. I want to be successful for God, so I always try to do my school work and use my creative abilities as well as I possibly can because I have been given such talents.
As a person with a sometimes over active imagination, even just reading about the suffering Jesus went through for me, and all those who give their life to him, and about the torture of eternal Hell for those who reject him made me really aware that I did not want to end up there! I get nervous watching war videos in my history class, and since Hell is unimaginably worse, I knew I needed to make myself right with God. Instead, I am happy to say that I can attempt to imagine the gorgeous awesomeness of spending forever in Heaven in love, worship, and safety.
Even though I didn’t go to church my whole life, I have to say I kind of did, in a way. My church was on the cliffs of the Gatineau Hills and in the fields of daffodils at the Rockeries. God clearly made all of this intricate beauty and he captured my attention with it. And since he made us, too, just like he made the plants and animals, we are accountable to him. And since we are accountable to him but can never be perfect, we need to make ourselves in good terms with him. Since Jesus took my sins with him when he died on the cross, I see him as my Saviour and have asked to be forgiven. God forgave me because he promised to receive me, or anyone who calls on him. That is called grace, an undeserved favour, which ironically, is my first name.
So, today my baptism is symbolizing me being born again. I am still Grace as I have always been, but now, as being born again, I am considered free and clear of sin by God because I have asked to be forgiven, trusted in God, and am trying my best to live a godly life for the rest of my life.
And when I die, I know I will go to heaven. I am glad God originally caught my attention with the little plants and flowers, but I know that “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8