It’s 9 pm here in Tiberias and we just got back to the hotel a short while ago. It has been a full day to say the least. We spent the morning in Megiddo. This is the most famous battlefield in the world and the place where many believe the final battle will take place. It was truly amazing to stand on the mound of Megiddo and see the ruins dating back to Solomon, up to king Ahab, and even later.
We also went back to Nazareth for lunch today. We ate at a place that use to be a church, but today it is a hotel. The food was out of this world, but every meal we’ve had has been a real blessing. The Meditteranean food is awesome.
After lunch we went to the Jordan River below the Sea of Galilee. There were many people in our group of 200 plus who wanted to be baptized and I was one of them. Before each of the people were baptized they had to give their name and why they were being baptized. For many folks it was their first time to be immersed and their testimonies were so moving. For others it was a reaffirmation of a commitment they had made earlier in life. For me, it was an opportunity to experience once again one of the most important and powerful experiences of my life. When it was my turn to talk to the crowd, I stood there in the waters of the Jordan and told them, “I was raised in locker rooms and not in a church so it was a teammate that led me to the Lord. When I went to see the preacher and talk to him about being baptized he read to me from Romans 6 where Paul said that “Or don’t you know that 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 to the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”? (Romans 6:3-4 NIV) I told the folks that those words were the most refreshing and needed words I had ever heard. It’s been 26 years since I stood in those baptismal waters. I’ve had opportunities to do lots of really awesome things during my life. I’ve met lots of incredible people. I’ve learned many wonderful things, but those are still the most powerful and life-changing words that I’ve ever heard! I’ve dedicated my life to sharing that message with those the Lord places in my path. There is hope in Jesus. There is new life in Jesus. It doesn’t matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done, He has the power to raise us up above the mess we’ve made and give us a brand new life!
When I came up out of the waters of the baptistry at First Christian Church in Duncan, Oklahoma almost 27 years ago I felt like I had been given a new life, and I had. Today, when I came up out of the waters of the Jordan River, I gave thanks for the new life, the abundant life, that the Lord has so graciously showered upon me since that time I accepted Him into my heart more than 26 years ago. God is so good and He has proven Himself so faithful throughout these years.
You can see the pictures as I add them here on the website.