The year was 1988 and Pastor Reese Sanders was sitting at our kitchen table in south Rockdale discussing with me what it meant to ask Jesus into my heart and what it meant to be baptized.
I remember that meeting with Pastor Sanders almost as much as I remember getting dunked in that baptismal pool at Zion Baptist Church.
The water was a little cooler than I had prepared myself for, but what does an 8-year-old really know about how warm the water should or shouldn’t be? I also remember telling myself not to look at the folks sitting in the pews, because I was so nervous.
The feeling of being “dunked,” as I call it, was the best feeling. When my grandparents and I got home from church that morning, I felt like a million bucks. I mean, I had just been “washed in the blood.”
I have to say, nothing in the world beats the feeling of asking Jesus into your heart.
To know that you are accepted by a good and gracious God should ignite such passion in your heart for Him and for others.
To know that He loved you the same yesterday, today and forever — nothing else in the world could even compare to having that kind of everlasting love.
To know that no matter how many times you’ve messed up, He is still there and He still loves you.
It is a new year, with new memories to be made and adventures to embark upon. People will cross your path this year that honestly do not know that such a love exists. They either can’t comprehend it, or are scared of it, or simply do not want to accept it because of one thing or another.
It is our job to be His disciples. To go and preach the Good News. We can no longer just preach to people, we need to be living like a people who have truly been saved by the pure grace of an incredibly loving Savior.
Maybe we all need to remind ourselves how it felt to be saved and allow a new zeal for Him this year.
So, I ask you, what will you do with a brand new year?
Julie Wells is the editorial assistant in the newsroom at the Rockdale Citizen. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.