And it's the month of my salvation.
This month I am celebrating the ninth year that I can say with certainty that I know that I know that I know.....
that I belong to Jesus.
The Lord took me halfway across the country to the University of South Carolina as an 18 year-old with a very specific plan in mind -- one that I had NO idea about. He used the wonderful people at Shandon Baptist Church to introduce me to Jesus. Strangely enough, the Lord's plan came to its culminating moment in my big 'ole green Explorer, driving down the highway from Gold's Gym, listening to the amazing Charles Swindoll. He was preaching a sermon on how to know for sure that you have been saved. One of the things I remember him talking about is remembering the moment of salvation.
What scared me about this was -- I couldn't remember that moment. I remember getting baptized. It's what you did in my church when you entered the 5th grade. You got baptized. And, at the time, you couldn't take communion at my church until you were baptized. The only thing I remember about that time in my life is that I was excited to be a "big kid" who got to take communion now!
I called my mom and asked her if she could remember my thought process about my baptism (since my baptism was the closest thing to salvation that I could recall). She didn't remember anything spectacular.
It was at that moment that I knew that I needed to be sure.
I mulled it over for a few days longer (after all, I was a little embarrassed that I wasn't already saved....I mean, I grew up in the church, for heaven's sake!). And then one afternoon, as I pulled into my apartment complex, I parked my car and prayed the sinner's prayer. Simple as that. And, praise Jesus, He saved me right then and there!
While I do not believe the Bible teaches that being baptized means you're saved, I do believe that Jesus commands His flock to be baptized as a public profession of belief and faith in Him. (It was also at this time that I had decided to move back to Mizzou for schooling reasons. My mom and my Aunt Sherlee and Uncle Ronnie were in town to move me home.)
And so my last day in South Carolina, I did just that. I said publicly, in front of all of my peers and my family that I know that I know that I know --- that I am His. The college minister at the time baptized me. He was, after all, one of the vessels the Lord used to reach me. And my closest friends from my two year stay in South Carolina were there to witness me tell the world that
I AM HIS! I BELONG TO HIM! HE IS MINE!
|Steve Turner (college minister) and me after my baptism|
|South Carolina friends|