Baptismal Down Payment…
At Baptism, our life as a child of God is only beginning:
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory. –Ephesians 1:13-14, NAB
At the moment of our Baptism, God makes a down payment on our lives, and from that point forward, He will continually make payments through the blessings and graces that He offers us.
When we are baptized, we are “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” This seal refers to the mark God places on our hearts, showing that we now belong to Him. But this seal is only the beginning, a down payment, and the fullness of His plan is not completed until we join Him in Heaven.
Some will incorrectly believe that the purpose of the Christian faith is focused on this world. They think that a life with Christ will bring financial security, loving relationships, and a sense of order to their lives, but as we look at the lives of many saints, that is not always the case.
Stories about the saints do not always paint a pretty picture, and in many cases, it may be just the opposite. Many of them faced illness, poverty, and persecution for their faith. Obviously, accepting Christ into our lives does not lead to a guaranteed life of abundance and pleasure, but then again, it’s never been about that.
At the same time, do not think that you have to be a martyr to go to Heaven. God will bless you in many ways, and I am thankful each day for the many blessings God has given me. Without Christ, I know that my life would not be where it is today.
God’s grace shows itself in many ways. He may choose to bless us in this life, financially and otherwise, but He may also simply give us the strength to endure our struggles. His goal is for us to be reunited with Him, and He will give us what we need along the way to get there.