“All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” ~Romans 6:3-5
It was my great and special honor to baptize you yesterday into the sin-forgiving and salvation-bestowing blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your baptism, your open heart, and your confessing spirit were an inspiration to all of us who participated in your new birth. It was an especially proud moment for your mom and me.
You have been tremendously blessed by our God. He has favored you, Valerie, with a gentle and generous disposition that considers the needs of others and openly shares kindness and compassion. You are a beautiful and brilliant young lady with an endless amount of potential. The possibilities you possess within you to do good are staggering. You’re so talented, so hilarious, so full of life.
Your mom and I have worked very hard to pass along to you and your sisters our faith in our risen Christ. We have tried to live every day as models of what it looks like to practice what we preach. We’ve tried to be consistent in living out the Gospel in our every interactions within our family and within the world God has given us. Your decision to give yourself wholly to Jesus as the ultimate and eternal Lord of your life is a moment of great satisfaction for us; I won’t lie. It means everything.
“You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” ~Galatians 3:26-29
Be reminded, Valerie, that when you were baptized you put to death that old girl of sin. You buried that girl. You killed her. And when you came up out of the water you were a brand new creature. God has created in you a brand new person, full of his Holy Spirit, to experience everything in a brand new way. You now share in the Resurrection of Jesus. Death has nothing on you now. And neither does sin.
You have renounced the ways of the devil. You have rejected the patterns of this world. You have said ‘no’ to temptation and evil desires that would pull you away from your God. You have now personally and publically embraced salvation from God in Christ. You have put your trust, not in horses and chariots, not in your own talents and abilities, not in your own works and good deeds, but in the Father who promises to save you. Your faith is in him. You have placed yourself in his gracious and loving arms. And he will deliver. Our God is faithful, Valerie. And very, very good.
“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God… For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” ~Colossians 3:1-4
God has incredibly huge things in store for you, girl. He is going to work in you to transform you more and more into the perfect image of his holy Son. And he’s going to work through you to bless the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands, of people to his eternal glory and praise. And I’m going to be right there in a front row seat, waving your flags and cheering you on the whole way.
You are my daughter in whom I am well pleased.
May you look back often on your baptism, Val, and remember what God has created in you. And may you walk with him always, faithful to the end.
I love you,