Back in 1980 I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I was 26 years old. The impetus to all this was the abrupt ending of a relationship with a girlfriend a few months prior. Being very sad at the time and wanting help I decided to seek God by reading the Bible. I had not been to any Church more than one or two times in about seven years so I went to my local bookstore and purchased an easy to read English version of the Bible called the "Good News Bible". The Bible I selected was completely blank on the outside covers and in that way no one would know what I was reading.
I decided to read the New Testament first and then the Old Testament second. I used a yellow
highlighter to mark items that seemed important to me. The first three items I marked were on pages six and
seven and were quotes directly from Jesus,
"Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with - not until the end of all things."
"anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart"
"You must be perfect - just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
I was quickly able to see that my life had fallen far short of what God required of me. On page 21 I read, "Then the disciples in the boat worshiped Jesus". On page 24 Jesus asked Simon Peter, "Who do you say I am?" and Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God". And finally on page 137 Jesus said of himself, "Before Abraham was born, 'I am' ." I later read in the old Testament that God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you'." So Jesus, born a Jew, accepted Worship from people and called himself by God's name - both clearly outlawed by the Jewish Law; that is, unless Jesus was God.
After reading the entire New Testament I became convinced that there was Good News for me:
God loves me even though I have sinned.
Jesus, God the Son, died on the Cross to pay for my sin.
Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, proving his claims, and is alive today.
That is when I decided to ask Jesus to be my Savior and my Lord. Although I still felt sad about my failed relationship that started my search for help, I knew that I now had an unbreakable relationship with God for all eternity. What is true for me is also true for you that even though you have fallen short of perfection, God loves you, and through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus, has provided forgiveness for you. But to receive forgiveness you must know your need and be willing to ask Jesus to be your Savior and your Lord. He will. After that pray often, read the Bible often, attend a Church where the Bible is taught, and allow God's Holy Spirit to guide your new life and relationship with Jesus. That is Christianity, a relationship with God the Father through Jesus the Son and with the Holy Spirit's guidance. Previous religious affiliation, or lack thereof can not keep you from the Love of Jesus, it is a matter of your will - it is your decision.
Much has happened over the last ten years. My wife of 27 years, Laura, died of cancer. She received the best of medical care and many prayed for her. I am comforted that she was (and is) a believer in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Then my Dad died of cancer and later my Mom died of cancer.
I have married a wonderful woman, Cindy, whom I dearly love. Cindy, like me, had lost her first spouse through death after a long and wonderful marriage. Cindy has three grown married children and five grandchildren. My daugher, Sarah, has received her PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Turku and now works for the National Astronomical Observatories of China. We are a family that is familiar with the pain of loss, but one that loves each other and enjoy's God's blessings.
My email address is: billbird at cal dot berkeley dot edu
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Updated on March 5, 2005.
Last Updated on May 14, 2020.