Have you ever gotten special insight from the Spirit as you were trying to help somebody–exactly what you needed for ministry at that particular moment?
Last Sabbath I believe that happened to me while preaching to a mostly African-American congregation. Many Black churches have specific appeals for baptism every week–but I hadn’t factored that into my sermon preparation. So here I was preaching away, ready to close my message, and I had still no specific baptismal appeal to give. My final text was John 21, where Jesus invited Peter, “Follow Me,” after telling him how he (Peter) was going to die for Him. Suddenly it dawned on me how baptism could fit perfectly into that story.
The scene began with the disciples, having fished all night and caught nothing, seeing Jesus on the beach as He called them to breakfast. In his excitement, Peter jumped overboard and splashed his way to Jesus. And there it was–my baptismal appeal. Just like Peter eagerly took the plunge to come to Jesus, we must likewise immerse ourselves into water in coming to Jesus in baptism.
The appeal fit perfectly. Thank You, Lord–our very present help in need of all kinds.