On Corporate Worship, Baptism, Holy Week, etc.

Hey everyone!  How have you all been?  Yesterday I turned in my final assignment, so since then I have officially been on Spring Break!  I hope to use my time to get a significant amount of reading done, catch up with some friends and family, and also write my testimony, because… I may be getting baptized very soon!  I am so excited to finally take this step in my faith.  At our church everyone shares their testimony with the congregation before their baptism (it is recorded as a video and played before each person gets baptized).  I’m looking forward to writing this and looking back at what the LORD has done in my life.  He has done so much in my life to bring me near to himself, and I am only aware of a very small fraction of it all.  

Last night, in an apartment in our city, I and several 20- and 30-somethings from my church got together in an apartment to worship and pray together.  It was awesome.  Corporate worship – worshiping the LORD with other people – is so great, isn’t it?  It’s one thing to worship him and pray all by oneself, but it’s a whole other thing to worship him together with other believers. When we sitting around the room, sharing prayer requests, praying and singing hymns, I was so filled with joy as I was reminded yet again of God’s love for us… us sinners who deserve his wrath, but instead know his grace, lavished upon us in Christ, and are called his children… seriously, what love he has for us!  And as the night went on, I thought:  this little gathering here is a little foretaste of what is to come.  This is what we will be doing for eternity: God’s elect, from every tongue and tribe and nation, worshiping Him forever.  It was so cool to think about that.  I can’t wait for that day.

Holy Week is coming up!  I am looking forward to focusing on what Jesus willed to go through on behalf of sinners such as myself, in order that we, who were dead in our sins, far from God, can be brought near to him, have our guilt removed, have our hearts changed and our wills bent toward God’s will, be adopted as his children, be counted righteous… none of this could have happened if Christ had not absorbed the wrath of God in our place.  If God had not sent his Son to die, we would still be under God’s wrath, and rightly so, for we have rebelled against him!  But…

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:4-7

The Gospel is so amazing.  All you readers out there who aren’t trusting in Jesus, I pray that you would, that God would open your eyes and see how glorious he is, how better and more satisfying he is than anything this world can offer!  The world pales in comparison to him!  Anyway, I am really looking forward to enjoying Jesus this week.  

Wow, I was up SO LATE last night.  It was great though.  We worshiped till about 10 or 11, and then I and some of my friends there stayed until about 1:30 afterwards talking, laughing, telling hilarious stories and such.  Got home at about 2:45ish, and ended not getting to bed until 5 (I was texting someone and we were having a pretty great conversation).  Wow, 5 in the morning.  I definitely pulled an all-nighter.  Worth it though.  Haha.  I’ll have to go to bed super early or something to make up for that.

Bye!

Maddie

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