The Bible tells us that human families are reflective of an eternal fatherhood (Eph. 3:14–15). We know, then, what human fatherhood ought to look like on the basis of how our Father God behaves toward us. But the reverse is also true. We see something of the way our God is fatherly toward us through our relationships with human fathers. And so Jesus tells us that in our human father’s provision and discipline we get a glimpse of God’s active love for us (Matt. 7:9–11; cf. Heb. 12:5–17). The same truth is at work in adoption.
Starting this Sunday, November 4th, 2018 we are excited to announce the launch of a new prayer ministry at Grace. Our prayer team will joyfully be ready to receive anyone who feels in need of prayer immediately following our gathering.
The Prayer Team will expectantly intercede on the behalf of the discouraged, weak, weary, suffering, and sick. They will respond to what you might bring forward to be prayed for and they will seek to be led by the Holy Spirit in the moment.
As a young child raised in Mexico, I was submerged into the Catholic faith and its traditions. I was baptized as an infant, made confessions to the priest, but did not have a clue as to who God was. As a young teenager, my family began attending a Baptist church. I spent many confusing years trying to decipher and piece together the differences between both religions.
My life before Jesus was dark and hopeless. Looking back at my 12 year old self, I was sad and desperate; desperate for a father's love; desperate for acceptance and normalcy in my family. In my culture, if you do not have a father, you do not have a standing or place in the community. You were, to say the least, pitied and excluded.
Often we skip this or move to confession too quickly because of pressure from our community or the desire to promptly fix our situation. This leads us to a cycle of deception and despair because we are “repenting” of something we are not fully convinced is sin. “You have to be convinced by the Holy Spirit working through Godʼs Word that you are guilty of sin.” (Mike Wilkerson, Redemption).
Many young parents have asked the question, “When is the best time to baptize my child?” It’s an important question, and it’s an important one for both parents and church leaders to be asking. If a child says they love and trust Jesus, we must take it at face value. We know that Jesus loves children and desires to save them (Matt. 19:14), so we should be eager to welcome kids to him and baptize them. At the same time, we don’t want kids to pursue baptism simply because their parents want them to be baptized. The church is responsible to baptize only believers, those whom God has saved and changed. So, as you, parents and church ministry leaders, consider whether or not the child in your care is ready, here are seven things to keep in mind: