The Lewisville church has been blessed in the past few weeks with five baptisms! It is always thrilling to watch as someone is buried into Christ for the Remission of sins. One of my personal favorites is when a Father baptizes one of his children. Last Sunday night following our evening service, a number of us stayed around and witnessed one of our men assisting two of his children with their New Birth.
He first baptized his son, and then he immersed the younger daughter. He related how his daughter had said that she wanted her older brother to be baptized first, because she, “always wanted him to be her big brother.” What a remarkably insightful comment. It brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
It also reminded me of how much we all need big brothers and big sisters in the Lord. From the day of my New Birth (which is forty two years ago this month), one of the greatest blessings in my life has been having big brothers and big sisters in the Lord.
My initial thought is that Jesus is our older brother. In Romans 8:16, 17 Paul explains, “The Spirit Himself, testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ…” Our brother has paved the way for us. He has left us an example that we can follow (1 Peter 2:21). He taught us about service (John 13) and humility (Philippians 2). He taught us how we should love one another (John 13:34-35) and how we should treat those who mistreat us (1 Peter 2:22-23). Our older brother, Jesus can sympathize and empathize with us in every circumstance of our life (Hebrews 4:14-16). How blessed we are to have a brother like Jesus!
We also have big brothers and big sisters all around us. These are not fictitious, made-up people. These are real people who have lived real lives. These are people who have been through the battles of life. They are not perfect, but they are authentic, genuine. We can learn so much from their lives. Every day I thank God for the men and women who have helped me in my walk with God. These wonderful Christians who have been willing to share their lives, have enriched my life in ways to numerous to comprehend.
Paul instructed the older women to teach the younger women (Titus 2:3-5). How blessed we are to have strong, Godly women who can teach us all more about Jesus. I would encourage every Christian woman to find some older Christian woman and learn from her. She has much to share.
Paul also instructed that the older men teach those who are younger (Titus 2:1-2). He spoke of how he had attempted to model Christ in his own life, encouraging others to follow his example. “The things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things…” (Philippians 4:9). This is not arrogant boasting. Paul’s attitude was clear when he said you follow me only as far as I follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:2). He knew he had not arrived, that he was not perfect (Philippians 3:12-13). However, he was working on himself; his inconsistencies, his sins, his failures, so that he could become more like Christ every day (Philippians 3:13). This is the kind of big brother/big sister we need. Not one who thinks they are perfect, but one who continue to grow closer to Christ.
We need big brothers and sisters who will teach us to love the Lord more, who will help us learn how to get up when we have fallen, who will teach us how to show more love to those who do not know Jesus, who will teach us to show more love to our fellow heirs, who will teach us how not to give up, who will teach us to pray, who will teach us to study, who will teach us humility, and a thousand other important lessons.
Find yourself a big brother/big sister who is willing to share their life with you, someone who is willing to pour what they have learned into your life. Better yet, become a big brother/big sister because every child of God will always needs a big brother/big sister. If you are in need of a ministry, I can think of nothing better than helping another Christian grow in their faith. Why not get started today?
I pray that my new little sister will have thousands of big brothers and big sisters who will help her on her way. With the insightful comment she made at her baptism, I know she will also be a great big sister to many other children of God in her life!
Dear Father, thank You for allowing Jesus to come to this earth as our older brother to teach us how we should live. Thank you, God for bringing into our lives men and women who have taught us by their lives how we can be closer to You. Help us to be a big brother or a big sister to someone else, not because we are perfect or because we have arrived, but because we long to see more people grow into the image of our Savior. Help us Father, to have a genuine love for one another and to show the love of Christ to as many people as we possibly can.