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Yesterday was an unusual worship service at Hope Church in Tupelo, MS. God attended worship.

I concluded a series on the seven churches of Revelation by preaching on lukewarmness (Laodicea). All week long, God had dealt with me about my tepid spiritual life. I surrendered to him in a fresh way on Friday – “nothing held back” was my desire and prayer.

On Saturday, I began to sense that Sunday could be very different.

At the end of the message, I obeyed what I believe was a prompting of the Spirit. I challenged anyone in the congregation who had not been baptized, but had embraced Christ, to come forward immediately, step into a baptism tank with me, and confess their faith in baptism – dress clothes notwithstanding.

Get off the fence, deny Him nothing, and if he says, ‘go,’ you come.” And they did –

10 individuals – 7 men, 3 women made their way to the baptism tank, stepped in, and were baptized – as the congregation sang to Jesus, applauded and cheered. Tears were flowing, smiles and hugs were warm and free-flowing, and the oxygen in the room went to a new richness.

Our deacons were helping with towels and extra t-shirts. The elders were praying with others. And the water of baptism was sloshing over the edge.

I knew the stories of some of those who stepped into the tank. Pride was shattered, tears of joy and surrender were shed, and – I believe – the angels were throwing a party.

Today, I learned of others who intend to be baptized next Sunday. Who knows what will happen when we meet next weekend?

One of my preaching mentors, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, said the goal of preaching is to communicate a sense of the presence of God. He granted that to us.

Yesterday, God gave us a tiny glimpse of what happens when He comes to church.

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2 Comments

  1. Thats wonderful. praise God

  2. I am so glad to know of this, Sam. May the blessing deepen and spread.


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