“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10 (NASB)
This was the second group of leaders we had trained in two weeks. The training had been going well even though many of the believers were young: some young in years and some in their faith. A couple of them were only 15 and 16 years old. Some had only been Christians for a few months.
The teaching for the morning was on baptism, and a 15-year-old girl wanted to be baptized. She had been a believer from a young age but had never been immersed.
Four questions are asked during a baptism: (1) Do you believe in Jesus? (2) Has He forgiven your sins? (3) Do you promise to walk with Him always? But there is one more question.
I watched and listened to the father, who would be performing the baptism. Calmly, and with much joy, he asked the first, second and third questions. Then I heard a surprising question. The father asked the fourth question, “When they come into our house and take us away, when they beat us and try to get us to deny Him, will you still follow Jesus?”
There before my eyes, a father was asking his daughter to be willing to be persecuted for her faith in Christ and to be willing to see him persecuted for his faith. With a sense of awe, I prayed that I might be more like them. I think they understood more clearly what the Father felt when He sent His Son to die for us.
* excerpt taken from "Voices of the Faithful" by Beth Moore, page 192