My Story

How did you come to faith in Jesus? Why is following Jesus important to you today? Take time to write out your story in a way that will communicate to your neighbours, and then ask them to point out any parts that are not clear.

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My own conviction

by Bob Prouty

As a child, my Dad was the final authority.  What he believed, I believed.  But as a teenager I began to rebel. I started to develop my own convictions. I began posting signs on my bedroom door stating the things that I strongly believed in.

When I got to university my flatmate got me questioning the religious beliefs I grew up with. He said  "Bob, what difference has your religion made in your life?" After thinking about it I came to the conclusion that my religion hadn't made any difference in my life.  I believed that God existed, but felt distant and isolated from him.  I was trying to do the right things…. But I was frustrated that I failed to live up to my own standards.

I wanted to be close to God. My flatmate said that if I worked harder and prayed 40 minutes a day that I would soon come to know God. I decided to give it a go.  But after a year of this I still felt so far from God.  My flatmate's method wasn't changing my life either.

During the school break I read a booklet about Knowing God Personally. It told me that God loves me and wants to have a close personal friendship with me. It said that the reason I do not feel close to God is because I have not lived up to His standard  -- perfect obedience.  Only Jesus has lived a perfect life. You remember how when Abraham was going to offer his son as a sacrifice, that God provided a lamb to die in his place? Well the booklet said that God provided the Great Lamb,  Jesus, who died in our place and that everyone who acknowledges what Jesus has done will have their sins forgiven and experience a close relationship with God.

The booklet got me thinking.  But I wondered, "Does this work in real life?" When I got back to Uni., my new flatmate invited me to a Christian gathering. It was different from anything I had ever seen.  People my age were talking about how Jesus had made a difference in their lives.  Several told how Jesus had given them the power to stop doing drugs.  I was impressed.  I wasn't into the drug scene, but the changes in their lives convinced me that Jesus could make a difference in my life if I let him. That night I prayed out loud a short prayer, "Jesus, take control."  The words were not important - it was my attitude God looked at. He saw that I was counting on Jesus' sacrifice to make me acceptable to God.

Over the next month I noticed a number of changes in my life.  I found myself becoming less prejudice - and enjoying talking to all sorts of people who I would have never talked with in the past. I also found myself feeling closer to God - really wanting to read the words of Jesus and discovering how they made a difference in my attitudes and actions.

The next school term I had a new flatmate, and he spent the rest of the year trying to talk me out of my faith in Jesus. His arguments forced me to do a lot of research and a lot of hard thinking. Jesus said he is  "the way, the truth and the life" and that he is the only way to God. I believe that NOT because of what other people say, but because I have researched it on my own and found it to be a true fact which can change your life.

Where are you in your spiritual journey?  Are the convictions you are holding today your own - or are they someone else's?

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My own conviction