Finding the truth
When I was aged 24, I started reading bible verses. Prior to this I had been on a search for truth and had read many books and things on the internet but I'd never taken the time to study what is written in the bible.
Once I had started reading the bible, I started to feel a deep conviction that it was the truth. I realised that the bible was full of wisdom and guidance that would help me throughout life's journey. Reading the bible really did alter the path that I was on in life.
Over quite a few years I began to grow in my faith, I started going to church, I got baptised and am now thankful to have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
Since joining NREC I have been helped to gain a better knowledge and understanding of the word of God. I have received great encouragement through fellowship with other believers at NREC.
I thank God for the bible, the church and for sending his only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for a sinner such as me.
God's amazing love
It used to be that there was no more to my life than the plans I’d made of going to university, getting a job, maybe marrying and having a family. Then, I suppose, retirement and a few relaxing years, and what then? I knew from reading the Bible and going to church that there was an eternity to face, but it seemed so distant, and anyway, the world has so much to give me now!
I was just trundling along, doing what was expected. Sometimes I wished I was a Christian and had the peace and joy that they claimed to have, but it was too much effort to swim against the tide and believe that stuff.
One day, though, God really spoke to my heart through His word, the Bible. The preacher was talking about eternity, and the real hope that Christians have of a great inheritance with God when they die. The Bible says that this life is nothing compared with eternity, and what could be more important than staking your place with God when you die, knowing that He will accept you? God can’t accept my sinful life as it is, but Jesus lived a perfect life in my place, and took the punishment I deserve!
Being a Christian is not just for the future, but for now. Life is no longer aimless, but lived for God, in response to His great love to me.
Come and discover God’s amazing love and promises!
My wonderful Saviour
Brought up in a Hindu household, I was exposed to rites and rituals of the religion - most of which I failed to grasp the meaning of. But just as the Bible forbids worshipping and serving the creature rather than the creator it didn’t sit right with me. I did believe that there was one creator, one God above us all. Somehow I felt incomplete without knowing who 'it' was. It was only when I started going to a Methodist secondary school that I finally came to know more about God. It was one particular Easter service that changed my life forever. They talked about Jesus Christ, how He died for our sins and was raised after death by God. God in His mysterious and wondrous ways seemed to be reaching out to me during that service.
Although I have heard the gospel before, I had never been touched like that. At the end of the service, we were all given a small form to fill in and a number of boxes we had to tick. Without hesitation, I ticked the box which said “I wish to know more about Jesus”. I guess I could say the rest is history. After accepting Christ to be my Saviour, my bible study teacher continually guided me through the scriptures teaching me of Jesus' amazing mercy, grace and unfailing love. Since then I can truly say that my life is complete with Him by my side. Through life’s ups and downs, He has been my light, my way and my wonderful Redeemer. I thank God for my salvation and pray that my family and friends will one day see the light too.
I grew up in a family which went to church every Sunday. Gradually I came to realise that attending church and living an outwardly respectable life did not make me a Christian. I needed to accept that God’s definition of sin included the self-centred attitudes of my heart. Only by believing that Christ died on the cross to take the punishment I deserved and by turning to him in repentance and faith could I know true peace with God.
Now I am at home full time bringing up two young children of my own. As I look at the world into which they have been born, I see much which is evil. If it were not for my Christian faith, the responsibility of parenting would seem very frightening. However, I know that God is able to protect my children when I cannot, and that he is able to supply all their needs.
My one ambition for their future is that they will learn to put their trust in Christ as I have done, and I pray that I will be able to teach them the truth of the Bible not only by what I say, but also by the example that I set for them.
How I became a Christian
I was not born a Christian just because I was brought up in this country with its Christian heritage, or because I was baptised and confirmed in the local Anglican church and became a choirboy. My parents had no interest in the Bible and so there was not a copy to be found in our home. In the church I attended the main emphasis was on the form of service and the choir. In all this God seemed very unreal and the Bible merely a religious book. As I grew up sport and amateur operatics began to take over much of my spare time. Formany years I led a self-indulgent and self-centred life which left me increasingly dissatisfied. Eventually having reached a very low point I decided to go to a church near where I was living at that time. I had no natural desire to take God and Christianity seriously and so I did not go with any realistic expectation. Looking back I now know that it was God who was putting it in my heart to seek him. It was God in his mercy taking the initiative and not me.
It soon became obvious that this was a totally different church to my earlier experience even though it was also Anglican. The preaching from the Bible was with passion and belief and the people I met spoke about Jesus Christ as though they knew him personally. The Bible preaching began to awaken and disturb me spiritually. I began to realise that I was a sinner, as the Bible puts it and that I, like the rest of humanity, had fallen short of God's perfect standard and deserved his guilty verdict and condemnation. But amazingly the Gospel (good news) in God's word also showed me that there was a way to be forgiven and accepted by a holy God and that was by putting my trust in his Son the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross at Calvary for my sins and for all those who believe in him.
It also became clear to me the need for repentance, that is turning from the way of sin and pursuing my personal agenda without reference to God, to going God's righteous way and putting him first in my life. I have discovered that the life of faith has given me great peace and joy in the Lord. As a born again Christian, still a sinner but forgiven and saved by grace, I know that in all the experiences of life, the good and bad, the happy and sad, God is preparing me for heaven, that beautiful real place, the home of my Saviour Lord Jesus, who was raised from the dead and has promised to come back again one day to judge the world and establish a new heavens and earth where there will be no more sin, sorrow and suffering.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
“I believe that when we accept the claims of Jesus on our lives he never forsakes us, even when we stray”
This has proved to be the Christian experience of church member, John McKay, as he explains:
I was converted, baptised and received into membership of a Baptist church 50 years ago. Four years after joining the church I felt that God was calling me into some form of full time Christian service, so I left Shetland and trained as a youth and community worker at a Glasgow college. I worked in this capacity in an Anglican and then a Methodist church for a number of years before moving into administration. In the end I was an education advisor for South Tyneside for 17 years.
Unfortunately all these posts required a great deal of evening and weekend involvement and I drifted away from regular attendance at a place of worship and from Christian fellowship. Then 21 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer, which I believe was sent by God because it made me realise how much I had strayed from my initial profession of faith and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and his Church. But I also realised that I could come back to him whether or not he healed me of the cancer.
Jesus did heal me and since that time He has led me in His service which has included work as a courier with the missionary organisation, Open Doors to China, and a number of visits to Sri Lanka in support of a Christian pastor and his family. He also gives me strength for every day living. I believe that when we accept the claims of Jesus on our lives, he never forsakes us even when we stray.
Speaking of his people Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27).