Sunday, September 23, 2012

Extreme baptism

Slovakia: Annmarie

Annmarie, a young Slovak Christian, had been in prison for months because of her involvement with the underground church. She was regularly brought to a room where a guard would beat her in order to get information about other Christians in her church.

By God’s grace she was able to resist. She even used these times to tell the guard about the love of Jesus. The guard mocked, “If you don’t tell me secrets of the underground Church, I will beat out of you all your loves.”

Annmarie responded, “I have a boyfriend, the sweetest of all. He is love. His love does not seek pleasure but seeks to fill others with joy. Since knowing this boyfriend, I, too, can only love. You love hatred now. I beg you to love Love.”

The guard was so angry that he slapped her until she passed out. When she came to, she saw him sitting quietly as if in deep thought. Finally he asked, “Who is this boyfriend of yours?” Annmarie told him all about Jesus and why He came.

When he asked how to make Jesus his friend too, she told him that he must repent and be baptized. “Then baptize me immediately or I will shoot you,” he demanded.

Annmarie did baptize him, and he later became a prisoner with the very ones he used to beat.

When people are in love, they let everyone know it. They tell their families, their friends, their neighbours, and anyone else who will listen. Love so consumes them that they cannot help but talk about their beloved. In the same way, one’s baptism is a public announcement of being identified with Christ and His community, of being in love with Jesus. Baptism of an adult is a sign to all who witness it – even if only by another prisoner in a cell – that one is ready to follow Christ at all costs. Our love for Christ motivates us to proclaim our commitment to the world.  Even if not threatened, do we have courage to tell of our love for Jesus?

Excerpted from Extreme Devotion, a book of 365 true accounts of men and women who totally sold out for Jesus. You can order a copy of this book from our online catalogue or by contacting our office.

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