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April 17 , 2008

Baptism of Love


I believe that everything was created for love. If you take away love from the equation, what you’ll get is nothing less than the perversion of God’s original design. Yes, God’s original plan prominently displays love because He is love. Nonetheless, sin came into the world, and the command to rule and reign was perverted, bringing instead slavery, exploitation, and destruction. Check your local newspaper, and you’ll find the effect of love’s absence. Moreover, without an encounter with the God of love, we are driven to perform. The Apostle Peter is the best example of a performance-oriented follower of Christ. Yet his desire to follow could not be sustained. Performance requires power, but power is not the only thing we need in life and ministry. Peter was disillusioned by the lack of power, especially on the night of the crucifixion when, to him, Jesus appeared weak. Peter was not the first person to be confused in regard to the mission plan of God on this earth. John the Baptist was on the same hallowed ground as Jesus when he baptized Him in the Jordan River and heard the same voice that said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Yet John the Baptist did not expect such tender words. We need to understand that before Jesus revealed Himself, John was busy preaching a message of judgement. He was passionate in reiterating, “The ax is already at the root of the trees,” and we can just imagine how terrifying his message sounded to his listeners. As a forerunner and primary messenger, John the Baptist expected God to back him up in regard to his pronouncement. Instead, he was given a front-row seat to witness an affectionate moment between the father and his son. We too need our Father’s embrace, just as Jesus did when he received His baptism of Love. However, we need not stand in the Jordan River to know our Father’s embrace. It is available to us right now where we are.
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