Muddy Water

We’ve lost another courageous man along with several others. A New York City police detective who also served in the Air National Guard was identified Monday as one of six U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan. As we remember Joseph Lemm, let’s take a look at the deeper meaning of life.

Wounded warrior advocate and country music performer Trace Adkins sings a tune about being baptized.

It’s a long way from where I’ve been back to my home town

But there’s a man in me I need to drown

Baptize me in that muddy water

Wash me clean in amazing grace

I ain’t been living like I oughta…

The lyricist was writing scriptural truth!

There are about 22 verses that discuss dying to yourself so you can be alive in Christ. A favorite of mine is found in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Baptism is not an act that assures salvation—eternity with God in heaven. Rather it is an act of obedience. Jesus said “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The act of baptism represents dying with Jesus and then being raised to a new life in Christ, “For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ” (Colossians 2:12).

Luke, the physician, wrote in his gospel, “And he (Jesus) said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’” (Luke 2:23).

“Now if we have died with Christ,” wrote the apostle Paul, “we believe that we shall also live with him” (Romans 6:8).

It is not easy to deal with death. But until you die to yourself in this life, you will not see the majesty of heaven in eternity. So if you’ve wondered what your purpose in life should be, it’s to live for Christ by dying to yourself. Everything else takes a back seat.

-Jim

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