Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This Is Good News

      I remember the day my oldest son, Nicholas was born. It was a very exciting day and also a very scary time. It is a great responsibility, I should also add privilege too, to raise a child. How was I going to raise him? My life changed quite a bit after he was born. Everyone who has children probably know what I'm talking about.
      December 14, 2011, I had the enormous privilege to see Nicholas choose Jesus as his Lord. He was baptized for the forgiveness of his sins and now has God's Spirit living in him. I have baptized people before and it is always a miracle to witness. This time was different. It all happened so fast, I thought after I baptized him that I had forgotten to do or say something.
      Nicholas is only 11 so let me share with you how he came to his decision. When he was 8 he told me he wanted to be baptized. I said o.k., so let's study. We had one little Bible study and then I waited for him to ask me to study with him again. He did so about 2 years later. So when he was 10 he told me he wanted to be baptized, again. So, again, we sat and had one little Bible study and then I waited for him to ask me to study with him again. He did so about 1 year later. This year, around his birthday he asked me if we could study so that he could be baptized. I told him to read one of the four gospels and then we would study. The Bible bowl this year in Brazil was on the Gospel of Luke. He asked if that counted for reading the gospel so that we could study. I told him yes. After the Bible bowl we studied two lessons and then I waited, about 1 month later he asked to study again so that he could become a Christian. We finished studying on Saturday, Dec. 10. I knew that he understood the purpose and the life-long commitment that he was wanting to make. But in the car Saturday night, he said "Lord willing and if y'all let me, tomorrow I want to be baptized". I then knew, he was not ready. We got home I sat down with him and talked. I asked him, if he knew that some parents disown or get mad when their children are baptized. He said no, he did not know that. I asked him if he would be baptized if he knew that I was going to get mad at him. He thought and said yes he would. Monica told him about how her family did not like the fact that she was baptized. He went to bed and the next day we waited for Nicholas to say something but he never did. Tuesday came around and he told me that he wanted to be baptized. I asked him why. He said that he wanted to follow Christ. I asked him what he would do if I told him no. He said he wanted to be baptized anyway. I asked him again, what if I say I don't think you are ready. He did not say anything else. Later that night he asked me why I did not think he was ready. Both Monica and I talked with him. He finally seemed to understand that it was his decision and not ours. He went to bed and the next morning I read 1 Peter 2:18-25 to him and asked him if was ready to suffer injustices for God's glory. He said yes. I asked him if was willing to give up his life-long dream of becoming a professional soccer player if it meant he had to lie to become one. He said yes. I then said, I think, now you understand what it is going to take for you to be faithful to death.
      Thursday, December 15, I walked by his room and he was sitting on his bed reading a book. I stopped and starred because I remembered, he has God's Spirit in him now. God is now guiding him. My job, of course, is not finished but God is living inside my oldest son, or should I say my youngest brother.
     Please pray for Nicholas and his life in Christ that:
  •  he may be faithful until death;
  •  he may be light and salt wherever he may be and whatever he may do in his life.
     If you would like to send a message to Nicholas you can send it to my e-mail address and I will be sure to get it to him.

God bless you all with a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year,

Jeremy, Monica, Nicholas & Dylan Newlin

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