You saw him baptized last weekend. Now get Dan Black’s full story.
“Though I can never really remember a time before I was unaware of who God and Jesus were and have always considered myself a “Christian,” I have finally started to understand the realities of what it means to follow Jesus.
As a child and teen I attended church regularly and accepted the fact that Jesus died in order for us to have the chance to see God’s grace and be saved. There is hardly a day that has gone by in my life when I didn’t appreciate the beauty of the world around us, whether it be the sunset or the sunrise, mountains, or bodies of water, evidence of God’s love for us and the beautiful world He has created for us is all around us. However, my appreciation for God’s work was not enough to say that I was a believer. I always felt like I wasn’t ready and needed to stop sinning or be “more perfect” before I could saved.
Just over ten years ago, I married my wonderful wife, Diane, in a Christian ceremony. Throughout our marriage we have attended different churches, but never really found a church that felt like home. A few years ago, in an attempt to draw closer to God, we spent a year and read through the entire Bible. Still I was left with questions and things that I wondered about. I knew that I needed God and understood that Jesus was the only way to salvation, but I remember feeling like I was just too imperfect and told myself I needed to stop sinning before I could be saved and then baptized.
About a year ago I met a member of the Grace Community family, Dave K. While getting to know him and his wife, Jodi, they mentioned that they were members of Grace Community Church, invited us to attend with them, and introduced us to the joyful, loving family that the Church is. For much too long I had put off trusting in Jesus, waiting for a time when I was without sin. I finally came to the point when I realized that when I trust in what Jesus did on the cross, in the eyes of God I am sinless. God realizes that we will sin and still loves us. I think about the numerous chances that the Israelites had to follow God, but always went astray. Every time they turned away from Him, He gave them chances to repent and follow Him once again. This is God’s grace at work.
Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians, 4:5-7 that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all people, who is over all and through all and in all. Now to each one of us undeserved kindness was given according to how the Christ measured out the free gift.” For such a long time I had felt so “undeserving” of this kindness, it is tough to live as a Christian surrounded by a world that is full of sin and temptation. I have finally come to the point where I want to dedicate my life to Christ knowing that He is the way to salvation and to the Father. I want that to be demonstrated through baptism. “