Hearing these stories reminds many of us "older" Christians of that day we were given life anew. When we laid down our old heart and God gave us a new heart. And the worship is so sweet and strong on those days. It really is a joy to lead worship in those services. Even with such jam packed services and only 2-3 songs. Those 2-3 songs are quite a celebration of praise!
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (Ezekiel 36:26-27). God does an incredible work when we surrender our lives to him. When we make Jesus our Lord, he gives us a new heart.. a heart that wants to follow him.
As we grow older in our faith, ever further from that day of salvation and baptism, we often become too focused on "doing" well rather than "loving" well. If we love Jesus well, we will have that heart that wants to obey his commands. Not out of a desire for self-made righteousness for "doing", but because of our great love and appreciation for what he has done for us. It's about a LOVE for the savior who makes us perfect. Notice God's words... "I will put my Spirit in you and MOVE you to follow my decrees." This new heart moves you through a great love and appreciation to follow the one who gave you that new heart.
We will still mess up at times. This new heart is not about being perfect. Its about following. The beauty of this for me is the freedom God gives. "Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17). God gives us a new heart which loves Jesus and so desires to follow him in all things. And Jesus' blood continues to clean the slate when we err. It's not about being perfect. The perfection comes because of loving for the savior and his work. Not ours.
This is the essence of what baptism is for me. The stories of old hearts given away. The story of new hearts given. The freedom from chains. The love of a Savior.
That makes worship a wonderful celebration.
worship Him 24/7...