Great Rejoicing!

I feel I need to explain something to my faithful blog readers. Several weeks ago I announced that today, Sunday, November 22; would be a day of Great Rejoicing. I further proclaimed that it would be a baptism Sunday. I wasn’t sure if this was my idea or God’s idea until I ran it by my elders. They assured me that they felt the idea was indeed God’s.

It happened like this: I am a part of two weekly prayer groups at church that faithfully pray for those who have not yet responded to the Lord in baptism. I keep a list in my office that I update regularly with the names of adults who are in some way connected to the Clear Lake Church of Christ but, for a variety of reasons, have not received baptism.

Some on the list have done extensive Bible study and are very involved in our church life. Others, I have never personally met, but their spouse is a member. The majority are people I know but they do not in any way claim to follow Jesus as Lord.

While on my last prayer retreat an idea came to me to have a Great Rejoicing Sunday. Many of those on the list have put baptism off for so long I wondered what would happen if we set a date and asked them to be one of the ones who would be baptized that day. Knowing that there is a difference between a “Good idea” and a “God idea” I presented my thoughts to the Shepherds.

The results of moving on this idea are not completely in yet, but what has happened has certainly showed that God is moving. Since that announcement there have been 5 baptisms with 4 more to follow this week. Two people on the list that I had not planned to talk with showed up unexpectedly at church. I spoke to each and began a Bible study with one and had a good conversation with the other.

I decided to write this on the blog to encourage you readers to be open to ideas that God is giving you — especially when you are in a season of prayer. Be willing to test the ideas to determine which are from God and which are not. Then be faithful to follow God’s leading. God is working all around us and often invites us to join him to do some small task that he will use for his glory.

On another note, I just realized that this blog has now passed 10,000 hits. What better way to celebrate than with a note about Great Rejoicing!

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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