I would like to tell you the story of how Jesus saved my life. After I graduated college with a B.S. in Computer Science, I was able to find good work in my field. But the way I was living my life was reckless. I would party to an extreme, drinking myself blind. I would go bar hopping with my friends, starting with happy hour on Friday nights, and drink until I blacked out. One morning I woke up and saw that my car was not in my driveway. I had left it at the bar, but the point is that I didn't even remember what happened the whole night. I was not a drug addict, but I would take them recreationally even if I didn't know what it was. Why was I living like this? I figured it didn't matter. We all will die anyway, so we should just do what we can to live it up. I partied hard because I wanted to show people I had character, I could party with the best of them. But I was being self-destructive.
There was also another problem that I had not come to terms with - I felt shame. My parents tried their best to raise me to live a moral life. And when I thought of my family, my 4 brothers, and especially my 3 sisters, I felt ashamed. Why couldn't I live a life free of shame? It was hard to live a good life. I found it hard to build good relationships. I ended up getting in a fistfight with my roommate over a girl that I was seeing. What a mess. I thought there has to be a better way to live. I used to listen to Steppenwolf "It's never too late to start all over again" as I felt it described my life (check out the lyrics at http://steppenwolf.com/rt-505-steppenwolf-song-lyrics.html )
I wondered about the existence of God. One weekend I went on a hike with some of my college fraternity brothers. We climbed Mt. Washington. Before we reached the top, I had to stop and sit down and take in the view. It was a clear autumn day and I could see far down the mountain side and into the valley and all the way out to the horizon. I was filled with wonder at the beauty of creation, and I thought "There has to be a God!"
I went to my parents' house and grabbed a Bible and started to read it from page 1. My parents raised me with a belief in God, and I wanted to find out what the story really was all about. I read in Genesis how God talked to Abraham. I read about how Moses would meet with God face to face, as a man would meet with his friend. This made me ask the question, "God, if you are real, show yourself to me."
Well, God answered that prayer. About a month later, I went to a party back at my fraternity house. I was talking to some of the guys, and I told one guy that I had been reading the Bible. He then asked me questions, like "Do you know what would happen to you when you die?" I didn't have an answer. He showed me verses from the Bible that I could know God personally. He told me I was a sinner and because of that I am separated from God. We can not reach God by our own strength or good works. But it is Jesus who by his death on the cross, has provided a way to know God. He gave His life so that we might live forever with the Father in heaven. I was hearing the gospel for the first time. As I considered it, it offered such hope in contrast to the life I was living. It was exactly what I was looking for, and what I needed for my life. I decided to take Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
My life changed. I started studying the Bible to learn about God. I got involved in a church and made friends. I did continue to have some struggles. Once I went out to a bar, but I stopped drinking because I knew that it would not be good for my relationship with Jesus. I tried to follow Jesus words "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." I got involved with other Christian singles, and met my wife in a Christian singles group at church. I am blessed with 3 wonderful children who we are raising up to know Jesus.
I don't want to paint a rosy picture because life isn't like that. I still have many struggles. My wife and I have been through tough times. We needed counseling. Raising children is hard. They don't come with a reference manual. But I would not have made it without knowing God. I can turn to him when times get hard. He is always faithful and is there when I need Him. Sometimes I shout out to Him in prayer. When my father was dying of cancer, God was so close to us and a great comfort to us. God is good.
God has proven His faithfulness and His great love and shows His goodness. He will do this for all who seek Him.
Deuteronomy 30:19 ... I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live...