Because Someone Gave Me A Gospel Tract.
I still remember that mid-summers day when my friends and I were sitting on the sidewalk in front of the local shoe store. Small town USA. A guy who we later later labeled a “Jesus Freak” came walking by handing out religious pamphlets. Everyone else refused to take one, but I took mine. It held no real significance for me at the time, since I really wasn’t searching for anything in my life. I wasn’t unhappy or poor or sick, or abused or in a hopeless state of mind. I was just a teenage kid enjoying the summer with his friends. I almost threw it away when I got home, but I reasoned that it wasn’t taking up very much space in my wallet, so I decided to leave it there.
A few months later, I was up in the country, walking home from the local store. I decided to take a short-cut by hiking through the woods on an old set of railroad tracks. About half way there I got tired, so I sat down on one of the rails to take a short breather. I had nothing else to do, so I decided to clean out my wallet. The very first thing that fell out was that little pamphlet! I still remember the cover. It had a little ‘stick figure’ man on it that had one foot in the shadow and the other in the light. The title was simply that: “Stepping Into The Light”. As I began to thumb through it, I could see that it was your basic plan of salvation. But somehow it was more compelling than the other Christian literature that I’d read. It pointed out using the scriptures that all of man’s best works were as filthy rags before a righteous, perfect God. And that even one sin would be enough to keep me out of Heaven. But that God, in His great love for mankind, had sacrificed His only son Jesus to pay for my debt instead. It went on to quote Jesus in Revelations 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. And if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and fellowship with him, and he with me.” Then it said… and I’ll never forget this…. ”Do you feel that tug at your heart?” And I did. I felt a small, still pull in the deepest part of my heart. It continued…”That’s Jesus knocking. Just open the door and let Him in.” I don’t know exactly how it happened. I just remember turning around in my heart and taking hold of that handle and opening the door. And that’s when Jesus came flooding in. In that millisecond, the very first thing I realized was that I had actually met a living person. And that it was all true. Everything that I had ever been taught about the God of the Bible. That Jesus was indeed alive, and He really had ascended into Heaven just like the Bible said, and would never die again. I had always believed in God. But now I had more than a belief… I had a knowledge. I had met a living person on the railroad tracks that day. His soul breezed through mine like a living wind. In that moment, all my sins were washed away. I could feel sins that I had totally forgotten about falling off me like old cloths. And I was made into a new person. In that instant I also received a brief glimpse of the afterlife. A taste of living water. And the promise of a spiritual body that I would one day receive that would never get sick or grow old or die.
I was never to fear death again after that day. The uncertainty of that inevitable experience had simply left me. Jesus said “Behold, I make all things new”. And He did in me that day.
Wow, Jesus Forgave Even Me!
Wow, even Jesus forgave me and this is how it all happened. I was around 15 years old when I accepted Christ. Even at that age I was messed up on drugs and alcohol. My family life was messed up and I was seeking away out of the torment that I felt on the inside. I felt lost, but mostly (fear) — fear that if I died, I would not be able to go to heaven. I was so confused on how to talk to God. This is what I prayed (“God I don’t know who to talk to you or Jesus but help.”) and that’s all I prayed.
Thank God after about a month or two a guy named Earl from my school came up to me on the street and said his dad wanted to talk to me so I went with him and His dad, He introduced me to Christ as my Lord…praise God in Heaven. So, if your messed up on drugs and alcohol and any other thing, there is a God in heaven that wants you with Him real bad so please accept Him as Lord today.
So, right now pray this prayer. “Jesus please come into my heart and change me forever, amen.” If you prayed this prayer and meant it in your heart welcome to the family of God!
Martin, Green Bay, WI
I Was Lost, But Now I’m Found
From day one I have always had an awareness of Jesus and God. My first memory I remember being in church. I remember seeing the shield, that tells how many were in church the previous Sunday. I was in a little girl frilly dress. I am not sure why I was in church because my family did not go except on Easter.
Fast forward through the years I was a good person. I smiled all the time, to hide years of loneliness, abuse and neglect. You can have the basic necessities of life and still feel neglected. I had a lot of sexual trauma in my young life and that brought about years of loneliness. Feelings of confusion, of embarrassment, and some of defilemen, even thoughts of suicide.
When I was 12, I went with a neighbor to a tent revival meeting. I went forward to accept the Lord. The next night I went again and went forward to accept the Lord. That night I saw my 2 brothers come forward and accept Jesus. One brother recently came back to the Lord and is doing well. The other brother not sure where he is at in regards to the Lord.
When I was 17, I came to know Jesus. I had no discipleship so wasn’t real clear where my life in Jesus was. At 18 I got married to a man who said he was a Christian, but he was ornery towards me. It wasn’t until I was 41 that Jesus came into my life and became Lord and Savior.
If in the early years, Jesus came back I am not sure I would have gone to heaven, I would hope so. Regardless though I do know where I am going now. I know Who holds my future in His hand.
The bible says that God wants to be our all in all and I can say that He has become everything.
Tina, Libby, MT
Held Up At Gunpoint
My name is Susan and I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 1982. I worked with a man named Stephen Winter (You Found God Ministries). The two of us were robbed at gunpoint one night at Little Caesars Pizza in Lansing Michigan .Steve not afraid of the gunman said “You know what you are doing is wrong?…my heart was pounding like a drum solo. When the man left with the money ,I asked Steve, “Why were you not afraid?” His response was.. “I know where I’m going when I die ,do you?” That night he led me to the Lord at a coffee house. His parents bought me my first personal Bible. They began taking me to church on a weekly basis where my faith began to grow. I was baptized in water. Baptized in THE HOLY GHOST. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Stephen Winter.
Susan S, Hastings, MI
From Self Absorbed To Christ
I remember when I was about 5 years old, saying a brief but heartfelt prayer each night as I got into my bed, a habit apparently instilled in me by my mother. I also remember the first time I said a naughty swear word, thinking I was surely toast as I waited for lightning to fall from the sky! Oh, and my favorite thing as a child? Dinosaurs, of course! I had no doubt God was real back in those early days, not until I got older and wanted to do the usual sorts of wrong things teenagers tend to want to do. But even then my nightly praying had not stopped. It took all of about 5 seconds, and consisted of, “Please dear God, let me know if blank, blank or blank is wrong. Amen.” (Only I filled in the blanks.) Every day! Not much of a prayer life, no. But it seems God saw my heart and just had to have this guy that wouldn’t stop praying!
Not that I didn’t take a detour for a while first, as my hormones kicked in, my sinful desires got stronger and my public school teachers kept telling me biological and cosmic evolution explains all of reality. I thought to myself, well if that’s true and if it gives me the license to do anything I want, why believe anything else? At the same time, just knowing in my heart that God was real seemed to put some kind of damper on the freedom I thought I was being offered by evolution. Not only that, but I never in my life felt so empty and depressed as I did when I was wishing evolution had replaced God, as I was being told. I somehow had this super strong sense that if there were no God, then nothing really mattered at all. If there is no God, then everything is vanity, a futile chasing after wind. And that didn’t feel good at all! But if there is a God, then everything is loaded with purpose and meaning. So part of me kept hoping God was real, because I didn’t want to be a nobody going nowhere for no reason.
Regardless, my favorite subject in school was biology, in which I got straight A’s, because I wanted to figure this thing out! Like everybody else, I was a Jeckyll and a Hyde. We all have a part of us that wants God, and another part of us that doesn’t. But what I didn’t realize was that we can’t “have” God, regardless whether we want Him or not, IF we’ve ever sinned and IF God insists on perfect justice. (Which we have, and which He does!) I had never made the mental connection that even though I often asked God to forgive me, that there was no precedent or legal basis for God to forgive me justly, that is, without violating His own perfect sense of justice! I thought I was just fine! Yet justice demands that those who violate the law get IN TROUBLE, not get forgiven!
Enter my high school football coach who told me that because Jesus Christ had paid the full penalty for my sins, God could now forgive me without violating His sense of justice, if I would only believe Christ had done that for me! Not as an end in and of itself, but so that I could pursue and have a very real relationship with God. Was I interested? Of course! Who wants to pay for their own sins? Who wants to have that empty, meaningless life that comes apart from God? When I could have the God who LOVED ME ENOUGH to become a man and die in my place? When some hero steps forward and rescues a person, they tend to tell them they “owe them their life.” And that’s how I felt that day! I walked away feeling like a new person with a whole new outlook on life, filled with love for God and others, thinking “Everybody needs to know this!” And I’ve spent the last 34 years trying to figure out ways to tell it the world.
I’m not saying it’s been easy, but I have learned there are great and eternal reasons for whatever temporary struggles we’re going through now. “For our light [not heavy] affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (II Cor. 4:18).” So look not to your circumstances (whether good or bad) to gauge God’s love for you, but rather, look to the Cross and gauge His love BY THAT! It has been said that if you can convince a person that you truly love them, then you have won their heart.
Has God yet convinced you of His love as seen in the Cross? Or shall I say, has God yet won your heart? Somebody DOES love you! And there IS true meaning and purpose to your existence.
Frank F, Allegan, MI
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