Archive for the ‘Finding hope’ category

Not Sure If You Are A Christian?

April 9, 2018

 male icon imageimage of a woman     If you want to test yourself to see whether you are a Christian, ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:

1. Do I believe that Jesus Christ came from Heaven for the express purpose of reconciling mankind to God the Father?

2. Do I acknowledge that the fallen human nature is predisposed to sin, and that only Jesus can redeem my life from sin and make me acceptable to a holy God?

3. Do I believe Jesus died on a cross, that God raised him from the dead and that he is now alive for evermore?

4. Do I believe that when Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for my sins?

5. Have I ever acknowledged to God that I am a sinner, in need of God’s forgiveness?

6. Did I ever pray to Jesus to become a Christian? If so, was I sincere in my heart about what I was asking?

7. If someone asked me, could I give examples of some sins that God has forgiven me for?

8. Do I believe that I can talk to Jesus in prayer and he will answer?

9. Do I believe Jesus is able to forgive ALL my sins and make me a brand new person?

10. Do I accept Jesus as my Lord, in charge of my whole life from now on, putting him first instead of myself?

11. Am I doing my best nowadays, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to live a changed life that will please Jesus my Lord?

12. Do I want to forgive others in the present – and also from the past – for what they did to me?

13. Do I have a desire to read the Bible regularly?

14. Do I pray regularly, not just asking for “things”, but to cultivate a personal relationship with God?

15. Do I want to meet regularly with other Christians, to encourage and be encouraged by them?

16. Do other people see genuine evidence in my life of a love for God and my neighbour, as Jesus commanded?

17. In what ways do I lay down my life for my fellow man?

18. Do I know what it is to experience persecution for my faith in Jesus Christ?

19. Do I have stories to tell of how God has worked through me to bless others?

20. Are any of your family/close friends Christians? If not, have you ever witnessed to them about the importance of your own faith?

If you want to know WHY you should become a Christian after reading this, see  this page

 

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So You Want To Become a Christian?

January 18, 2018

 holy bible  So you want to become a Christian and  know the basic facts about Jesus?      

Basic facts are here: http://www.newchristian.org.uk/twokingdoms.html

If so, read on below.

You probably want to change things about your life and your behaviour and so far have got nowhere. That’s actually a good place to be, since only Jesus can change you deep down where it matters, and from the inside out.

He knows your heart attitude, so you can’t fool him! But the good thing is, he’s ready and waiting to do for you what you can’t do for yourself.

The easiest way is to take time out one day and pour you heart out to him in prayer, just simply talking to him in your mind, or out loud if you prefer. Tell Jesus how you feel, what you need, and how you now realise that He’s the only one who can change things.

Coming to Jesus in prayer and asking for forgiveness of your sins and surrender of your life to Jesus is how you become a Christian. hand lifted up in prayer

Jesus wants all of you, not just a part. He wants to be the most important person in your life. This is an act of your will – to choose this course of action. God never forces us to do anything, that’s why he gave us free will.

Once you’ve settled that in your mind, the next step is this. Ask Jesus to forgive all the sins you ever committed. All sin is primarily against God. He’s the one you hurt the most when you sinned. Even though you did things to other people, God’s the one who’s been most hurt by your actions.

Through his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, Jesus paid the price for all your sins. All sin has to be paid for, for justice to be done. Instead of paying for your own sins, Jesus did it for you, in advance. How amazing is that? But you have to ask for and receive that forgiveness for yourself.

The ideal way to approach Jesus to forgive you is this way. Take time out and make a list of things you’ve done that you know to be wrong. Don’t rush it – take your time. For example, list lies you’ve told, people you’ve wronged or hated, folk you’ve deceived, things you’ve stolen. Pour your heart out to Jesus and ask him in prayer to help you write the list.

handwritten listWhen you’re done making the list, talk to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you everything on your list, plus all the sins you’ve forgotten about.

There’s nothing you’ve done that Jesus can’t forgive. Then after your prayer of confession to him, thank him that he now HAS forgiven you all these things. Jesus has promised to come and live with us when we choose to surrender our life to him and so he will come and live in your spirit by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to live a life that honours Jesus and he gives us the strength to live for him, in the face of opposition or other problems we have.

Once you’ve written your list, this is the kind of prayer you could use, as an example:

“Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that you came from Heaven to Earth to reconcile me to God the Father, and that you did this because you love me. I thank you that when you died on the cross and rose again from the dead, you paid the penalty price for my sin. These are the list of sins I am able to remember…………(your list). Please forgive me of all these. Please also forgive me the many sins I committed but have since forgotten about.

I realise you are the only one who is able to forgive me these sins, for only you were good enough to pay the price for them. I offer myself to you as a living sacrifice, so please use my life for your glory and honour. I turn from everything I k now to be wrong.I place my trust in you for the future. Please help me to live for you, and give me the strength I need to live my life for you for the rest of my days. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer. I am weak and need your strength, so please fill me with your Holy Spirit power now. Amen”

Once you have done this with a sincere heart, you have become a follower of Jesus and an “apprentice Christian” (my phrase). You can then destroy the list of your sins that you wrote, because they have now all been forgiven by Jesus and forgotten about by him.

 

20 years in Prison for Stabbing and Other Violence

November 17, 2017

how to clean your handgunAs an 8 year old child his father showed him how to clean and assemble a handgun. As you can imagine, from then on things went from bad to worse and he ended up addicted to drink, drugs and violence. He told me he had served 20 years altogether in his 47 years of life.

Amazingly, he has come out the other end and is now going round schools warning children of the dangers – and consequences –  they face if they go down a similar route. He told me doesn’t hold back when he describes prison life in all its messy details.

What brought about this remarkable change? He met Jesus in prison and is now  a born again Christian. Needless to say his father is at a loss to understand him and has rejected him. He told me that God had never let him down and, although he has never had a lot, he has always had enough.

I was really touched by his story. I gave him my website URL and invited him to send me his testimony, setting out what he was like before he became a Christian and the change that happened in his life afterwards. We discussed local churches and I suggested one he might like to try out. Finally I prayed for him that God might use him powerfully to reach others.

A great day!

She had Taken Eight Painkillers Before She Came Out

October 10, 2016

a packet of prescription pills   She was about 45 years of age and told me she was very stressed and anxious. She had constant nagging pain in her body and had taken 8 painkillers earlier that day. She said they were only one step down from morphine. She rarely went out because she became very anxious among people, especially those she didn’t know. Her eyes kept darting about in a way that seemed to confirm what she had told me.

While her case was being dealt with I offered her a booklet called “Finding Hope”. She briefly looked at it and thanked me for it. I also asked if she had a Bible. She did, but wasn’t familiar with it. I gave her a New Testament and showed her the pages at the front headed: “Where to find help when………..” She asked me to help her find the entry for “Worry” and we found the relevant Psalm verses. She said she thought that would be a help to her. A lady team member came over at this point and we prayed for her. Afterwards she said she felt calmer.

People Are Hungry For God But Don’t Know Where He Is

September 23, 2016

Today I went in for volunteer duty with a local agency and took with me four books written from a Christian perspective. We have a box marked  “free books – help yourself” and clients can take and keep anything they want while waiting their turn to be seen.

At the end of my 3 hour shift three of the four books had been taken away.   pile of books

I had a long conversation with one woman client who was going through life’s trials and had recently split up with her lesbian partner. She showed me two severe injuries her partner had inflicted and for which she had needed lots of stitches. She was very open to talking with me and admitted she found there was a spiritual dimension to our conversation that she really appreciated. In fact she said she sensed that God was in our encounter in a very real way. I was surprised to hear this, as I hadn’t said anything particularly spiritual up until this point.

She then picked up a little booklet “Finding Hope” and put it in her bag, saying that was exactly what she needed. She had experienced quite a bit of rejection in life, so I told her that Jesus was the man and woman huggingonly one who truly loved her and that he would never reject her. I also told her about an encounter I had where Jesus had appeared  to me when I was distressed many years ago. She seemed quite touched by this. I asked her: “would it be OK if I gave you a hug?” She said that would be good, so I did and she also hugged me tightly back for a few moments. Before she left she saw the book box, picked up the one at the front with the title “Finding God” and said with a laugh: “this has all been planned!” I agreed that it had, so she left with the book on a high, and a big smile on her face.