I recently read a great book from the ministry of Insight for Living and Harvest Ministries called "Passion for the Gospel". It has impacted me a lot, and impressed upon me even more how vital it is that I as a Christian share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.
In line with this, I would like to share my personal experience of meeting Christ with you. If you are a believer, my hope is that this piece of writing will inspire/encourage you to share your experience of Christ with someone who does not yet know Him. If you have not yet accepted Christ, my hope for you is that what you will read of my life will help you to make a decision to accept Jesus. If He can save me, He can surely save you too!
My ultimate aim is that Christians from all over the world share their experiences via this website, so that others can read of how God's love can transform lives.
Well, here goes. This is my story, and will fall into three parts - 1) My life before Christ 2) My life changed by Christ and 3) My new life in Christ.
My Life Before Christ
I cannot honestly say that I was raised in a Christian home as such. My sisters accepted Jesus as Saviour in their teens, but my parents were not regular churchgoers. However they were people of principle. My parents accepted the Lord in their forties - nearly 20 years ago. Even as a young boy, although I couldn't understand it, I did notice a change in my parents' lives for the better - especially in my Dad. He stopped going to the betting shop and was more at peace with himself!
As for me, I was always a quiet person, and on entering my teens, I didn't readily accept this aspect of my personality. I wasn't ugly mind you, but was so shy! Related to this, as each year of being a teenager went by, I would be more frustrated at the fact that I didn't have a girlfriend. Feelings of self-doubt crept in, and indeed, deep down I felt angry at myself. I would always feel a bit envious of my friends who would talk of their various sexual conquests. I would wonder to myself- "Why can't that be me?" To be frank, my self-esteem was low. By the time I reached 18 or thereabouts, I was definitely heading in the wrong direction in life. I started to visit an X-rated nightclub not far from where I lived in order to watch "blue movies" (I thank God today that I didn't do anything more than that!). I knew it was wrong, and each time I left that place, I felt so dirty inside. One night I remember crying as I came home. It was as if I was in some kind of prison, and wanted to get out.
On several occasions I remember swearing at my Dad. I would always regret it after, and ask for his forgiveness. One thing always struck me - he always forgave. You see, as I mentioned earlier, my Dad by then was a Christian. I knew for sure that if he was the man he was before he became a committed Christian, I would be in BIG trouble! His forgiveness really affected me, and caused me to think to myself "Could being a Christian really cause such a big change in someone's life?"
I nearly hit my Dad with a vase once. My Mum had to come between us. I will never forget her tearful plea "Don't do it son, don't do it." In no way am I trying to glorify my past. I am trying to be real with you, in letting you know that I was a young man who was yearning deep down inside to be at peace with myself. I did well in school, had a loving family, good prospects, but yet something was still missing in my life.
My Life Changed By Christ
My parents were always encouraging me to come to church with them. However it wasn't this persistent verbal prodding that would get me out of bed on a Sunday morning. I believe it was what I was seeing in them with my own eyes. For the first 13 or so years of my life, I had never seen my folks take any interest whatsoever in the Bible. Now, they were reading it all the time, and praying too!
I did start going to church, but not every week. On one Sunday in particular, after the Pastor preached, he invited those who had not yet accepted Jesus as Personal Saviour to come to the altar. I felt as if somehow a still small voice (which I now know to be the voice of the Lord) was prompting me to go, but I resisted. During that same week, I swore at my Dad again, and again he forgave.
The following Sunday morning, I didn't go to church. I remember distinctly the same still small voice from the week before saying "accept Me today". I knew deep inside this was the Lord speaking to me. I knelt down a few minutes later, and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Personal Saviour. I went into the kitchen and told my Dad. At first, he couldn't believe it, but over time he came around! Since that day, I have had no regrets.
My New Life in Christ
I accepted Christ in 1997. He has brought peace and joy to my life. I have proven His word - the Bible - to be true. It is a blessing to know that even when I didn't care about God, He still loved me. While I was indulging in sexual immorality, was angry and disrespectful, he still wanted to be in my life. Jesus died for me...one so unworthy.
The void of low self esteem and anger has gone. I now accept myself as I am, and even love me too (!), because it is God who created me. I have of course failed Him many times. Yet, He forgives me, corrects me and gives me strength to go on.
Jesus has demonstrated His unconditional love towards me. He has loved me through times of failure, times of doubt, times of weakness, times of loneliness. I know for sure that accepting Jesus Christ into my life has been the best decision I have ever made.
If you have not yet accepted Him, please do so. You will not be disappointed. Your life will never be the same.
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