Although I was baptised in the Methodist church as a baby, my parents never went to church, and never thought about anything other than the things of this world, so church was completely irrelevant as far as I was concerned.
My grandfather, who died when I was nine, gave me a Bible for Christmas shortly before his death. I liked the colour photographs and charts, but never read it, and it was left on my shelf for many years.
I went to university, but didn’t do any work at all in the final year, because I’d come to the conclusion that even studying my favourite subject at school, was pointless. Why learn all these things? Why? So I didn’t get my degree.
Together with three other friends, we all decided to start a new life in a new city. One of them professed to be a Christian, and took me along once to his church. Lots of young people flocked there for its lively Charismatic gatherings. But I saw straight away that it was all an outward show, and began to question the whole thing. At this point I tried to read the Bible, and started, logically I thought, at the beginning in Genesis. By the time I got to Exodus, I’d given in. What was the point of all these animal sacrifices, and seemingly pointless rules and regulations? My friend who invited me to church in the first place, turned out not to be a true Christian after all, and left the church altogether.
One day, I found myself in my bed-sit all alone. Having nothing else to do, I picked up the Bible my grandfather had given me all those years ago, and started reading it, this time from the beginning of the New Testament. I’d never read anything like it before. I just knew that this Jesus that I was reading about, had all the right answers. Even though I didn’t know any theology, and had no background in any church whatsoever, I could see that he:
“taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” Matthew 7:29.
I prayed to God at that moment (something I had never done or thought about before) that if he existed he should let me know. I suddenly realised that, not only did he exist, but also that everything he said in this Bible I was reading was true, good and right.
Something had fundamentally changed within me. I started to read my Bible every day, because I loved it. I started praying to an invisible God, and knew he was listening. I hadn’t wanted to do any of these things before.
All my friends thought I’d just “got religion,” and that I’d get over it soon enough. But I really had been changed. I saw the sheer emptiness of living for the temporary things of this world, and now wanted in my heart to only ever live for God and to do things according to his ways.
Don’t let people put you off. Read God’s book. Cry to Him for understanding. And you too will not be disappointed.