What now? And more questions.
How do I know it's all true?
What do I get out of it?
Where to from here?
What will it cost?
How do I know it's all true?
Test it for yourself - then believe it! I am well aware of the Internet being used as a platform for fraud, deception and get-rich-quick schemes. Since I decided to make this website available for free, I have no motive to tell lies. It is all true. If you don't believe me, believe in HIM.
Certain information within these pages is impossible to prove. (I have nothing to prove; I am not starting any new movement, I'm not selling anything nor am I begging for money). Various details, such as newspaper headlines, times of road deaths or the victim's names can be checked by searching online or in libraries. Please do not judge my book by the unbelievable happenings; keep an open mind and you will be blessed. .
Allow me a comparison between the bible and my writing: My story tells of extra-ordinary experiences; I know I am making some outstanding claims. Many people stumble over my idea that another man possibly died in my place; (real material for a visit to the psychiatrist). If you open the bible and read Jesus' claims, (e.g. that if the temple was destroyed, he would rebuild it in three days) we all would agree, he needs a shrink.
The main source of my unshakable belief is the fact that whilst co-incidences happen, there is a limit. Scientists will tell you that. The number of incidences or data, which were out of this world, had reached the point, where I knew a higher power must be (and has been from the beginning of time) at work. When I acknowledged that behind this power was none other than my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I knew anything is possible. I believe it and live everyday as another possibility for God to show himself in what ever way HE wishes. If only we all would see it!
I encourage you the reader to test my writing, keep an open mind and delve into the incredible details of links, names, numbers and events. I trust you will also see that it can't all have happened by chance, but HE is behind it all.. Decide to live for Jesus. Start your own journey with HIM as your friend. HE IS the ONE you always have been searching for.
Why do I need Jesus?
Before answering let me ask you: What do you want out of life? Love, happiness, wealth or fame are all worthwhile goals to strive for, if this is what you desire. But inside everyone's heart is a yearning for the real thing - Jesus Christ. Accepting HIM, God's gift to each and everyone of us, is truly a win/win situation.
Right from the moment you say yes, He walks beside you. He promised to never leave you; HE keeps HIS promises. Secondly, no matter how heavy your problems weigh you down, the future with HIM will be bright in the long term; trust HIM.
Turmoil, pain and suffering often bring people to desperation point where they will search for God. It this is you and you are looking for a solution to a problem (financial, health, teenagers on drugs etc.) you may or may not receive from God in the short term. Your motive for deciding for HIM must be your recognition of your sinfulness. Admit that without HIM you are naked, blind and lost - you need JESUS.
Your academic achievements, your wealth or years of good deeds for your community donít count before GOD. What matters is an intimate friendship with HIS son Jesus.
God likes nothing more than a broken, contrite heart. When you are at your lowest, HE can start the restoration process. HE specializes in taking broken pieces of messed up lives and creating something beautiful, something good. I have experienced it after I lost my job, my health, my reputation. God is an expert restorer, HE did it for me; let HIM do it for you.
Desire HIM more than the solution to your problems. Tell HIM that you rather have HIM than a healing or a job or the new car or house. With Jesus in your life pain will be more bearable, worries less urgent. Who knows, HE may answer your prayer and make them all disappear. But never demand it or think you are so good, you deserve it.
Where to from here?
Congratulations if you have said yes to Jesus. You have repented, perhaps even shed tears, and have turned your back to your old, sinful ways. Now what? You are now like a newborn baby. You will need the right food and nurturing.
Get hold of an easy-to-read bible. Read it daily; talk to God about everything. Search out someone you can trust, a person who you know is a Christian. Tell them about your decision to follow Jesus and ask them, if they are willing to help you take your first steps in the Christian walk. A pastor, a priest or any Minister of Religion ought to be able to assist you, perhaps not personally or ongoing. But many churches have people who are willing to place you under their care until you're out of nappies.
Search phonebooks or the internet for a church near you. Be creative, be pro-active. If you are genuine in your commitment, you will find the right way for you. God loves the kind of faith that does not give up easily. If your search for a spiritual "home" (a church or another Christian) reaches a dead end - pray. God may be testing your faith, if you are desperate enough.
What will it cost?
The Christian life is a paradox. God's salvation is totally free, yet HE demands your all. Your reward for giving all - your rights, your preferences, your will or your expert opinion - is total freedom in Jesus. Become a servant to be totally free!
When you visit a church you will notice that offerings (of money) are collected. Like any organization a church cost money to run. The amount of money you put into the plate is not as important as your attitude towards giving. Beware of the notion that the more you give, the more God will bless you in return, this may not be so. A right motive for living and giving to Jesus results in abundant blessings. Beware of anyone offering spiritual help in return for your credit card number.
There are many programs achieving wonderful things for God. They all need financing and ask for donations. As a member of a local church your first priority is giving to your body of believers. Beyond that make it a point of prayer, how much you should give and to which projects.
Walking with Jesus may cost you far more than money. God may lead you to give up certain activities that are not wholesome. As a Christian you want nothing to do with illegal drugs, excessive alcohol consumption, gambling, lying, stealing or any other sinful habits. Pray sensitively for God to reveal to you any activities that don't please HIM. God is not against sport, hobbies or recreation as long as these don't demote HIM to second place. Again a right attitude is the key; he must always stay your Number ONE.
One of the biggest sacrifices when starting the Christian walk is the possible loss of long term friendships. Your closest friend may ridicule you. You don't necessarily need to drop a friend. Some may join you, if you are a shining example of God's love. Pray for them and exude genuine happiness. But if you feel any friendship is dragging you back into the old ways, (people will try to do this) then you may have to pay the price. Becoming a Christian is a real test of true friendship.
Needless to say, if you have an affair outside marriage, you will need to give it up - immediately. Jesus regards the church as HIS bride. HE wants it spotlessly clean, no compromise. It may hurt in the short term. But remember - only the last chapter in the book of your life is of eternal consequences.
The bible gives clear instruction about husband/wife relationships. God does not want divorce just because one partner becomes a believer. If you become a Christian, but your spouse objects, love him/her more than before. Pray for them earnestly. Love is the key. If he/she sees a genuine change in you and feels loved, by God's grace the hardest heart will melt; trust God, HE will do it, not you.