I was a young man in university training so many years ago, doing well outwardly but not well on the inside. I was so full of unrest and self-hate. I had no peace within, and yet just didn’t know what would satisfy. I was reading books on the occult because there seemed an intriguing power there. I lived in upstate New York at that time, on the east coast of the U.S.A. where I grew up, but had a beckoning voice echoing in my heart that if I could just leave everything, get in my car, and drive out to California I would somehow “find myself”, or something to fill the void in my life.
Then my friend told me how he had recently been “saved”, and now knew the God of heaven personally. He told me that he could actually talk to God and know with assurance that God was listening to him as His own loved child. And oh how that touched a nerve in my heart, since I had so few friends at that time, certainly not God. And so began my search for the Lord. I began reading anything I could find dealing with Christ or Christianity. But this only made matters much worse initially, for I soon learned of the awfulness of my sin, standing as if an impenetrable wall between God and myself. I discovered that the Bible speaks of the reality of hell, and of God’s holy wrath against me because of my sin – that He would cast me into an eternal hell should I refuse God’s only answer for man, to believe on Jesus Christ and receive Him as God’s sacrifice in my place on the cross. I began to understand how worthy I was of God’s judgment, and how unworthy of the grace He so freely offered in Christ. My pride threw up a barrier at first. But now I see that that was merely the evil one conspiring with my own pride to keep me bound in sin and my heart from peace and joy in Christ.
Then one day I picked up a copy of the Gospels. As I read I was stunned with Jesus Christ – who He is and what He said and the way He said it and the things He actually did. I was amazed with the strength and wisdom and wonder of that promised Messiah. I read through again, marvelling in His might and majesty, and yet His compassion, bidding, “come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. It was only a week or so later that I was reading a Christian magazine, somebody writing about how they had received Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and I knew then I must be saved! I must know that I belong to the Lord! I must know that I am right with Him! And right there in the quietness of my heart I poured out my soul to the Lord in prayer and placed my faith in Jesus Christ as my only hope for eternal life. And I was saved in that very moment. I knew it in my heart. No flashing lights or spine tingles. Only the flooding into my soul of a settled assurance that I was now God’s child and that He had forgiven my sin and given me everlasting life, based on His sure promise that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. He is a wonderful Saviour! The Lord used His words both to lead me to life in Christ, and to bring assurance to my heart of His gift of eternal life.
From that moment of my salvation the Lord began to change me. I found happiness, where before was only bitterness. I was fulfilled, where before I was hollow. Love began to form in me, where before only selfish interests. Gone was all interest in the occult or California, for I found what I had been looking for when I found Jesus Christ. Through His words the Lord began to lead me from strength to strength, out of a life of sin and into ministry. I’m happily in His ministry today because I love the Lord and His will. I don’t speak of love for the Lord only because I’m in His work. I have found that all answers to every concern are ultimately found in Jesus Christ, God’s living Word, as revealed in His written Word, for “ye are complete in Him.” Quite plainly the Lord has miraculously transformed my life, and He has used His eternal words to do it. Through His beloved Book of books He has led me to life, to assurance of life, and to a truly changed life. And now my simple, unashamed longing is for Him to do the very same for you my friend. If He can use my humble efforts to help leave the imprint of His transforming Word on your life too, hey that is all my joy!
May the Lord lead you from strength to strength through the transforming power of His beloved Book of books.
“Oh how I love Thy Law . . .”