I was not brought up to believe in God, I was an atheist, believing that man created God to explain the universe and to form moral laws. But really I knew nothing of what Christianity was about - like many people.
I had no standards to direct my life. I lied and stole without shame if I could get away with it. I hated it if people thought badly of me, for I wanted to have friends and be accepted.
I didn't have many friends at school, but the ones who did let me spend time with them were Christians, although I didn't realise it! When I was 16 they invited me to join them on a Christian youth camp. I was shy, but somehow I knew I had to say yes. So I went, and the Christian message was explained in a series of simple talks. What they taught was all new to me: that God loves us and wants us to know him personally. Our sin separates us from God, but he gave Jesus his Son to die on the cross and take on himself the judgement for all that we had done wrong. They said that he forgives all your sin so that you can know God and have eternal life, not just after death but beginning now, as soon as you ask him.
There's a verse in the Bible where Jesus says, "Look, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him." (Revelation 3:20). So I thought about it and went on my own to a quiet room and prayed. I felt terrible about having rejected him before, but I asked him to come into my life and forgive me and change me.
I'd been lonely and empty before. Now I knew deep inside that he loved me and accepted me. It's about knowing God, not keeping rules.
I started going to church and have truly enjoyed worshipping God and learning from his Word, the Bible, and growing together with his people for 40 years or more now.
I hope my story will help you in your own search for the true and living God.
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