Around Christmas 1982, I picked up a book my grandfather had given me that had sat unread on my bookshelf since I was 12. It was “All the Apostles of the Bible” by Herbert Lockyear. I pored over the accounts of the lives and martyrdom of Jesus’ disciples and the generation of Apostles that followed them. They suffered tremendously for the gospel. Most of them died horrible deaths in order to share Jesus with the world.
Would they die for a lie?
Would they deny themselves the core comforts their civilization provided for something they knew to be false? I know I wouldn’t. If they had achieved great earthly gain, I would have continued to question the validity of the resurrection, but their sacrifices reached across the millennia to satisfy my doubts.
On Christmas Eve, I took the Bible I had received when I joined the church in 1965. I opened the red cover and smiled as I looked at the inscription that had misspelled my name. Then I headed to the second chapter of Luke and looked at the wax stains on the page from where I had set the Bible in front of some candles as a Christmas decoration in my room many years before. It was time this book stopped being a decoration and started giving me some answers. I started reading.
Over the next week I read the four Gospels and the book of Acts. The words of Jesus made sense. If everybody lived according to His teaching, the world would be a much better place. I marveled at His parables and contemplated His words. I also discovered that my understanding of Jesus as somewhat of a wimp was totally out of step with the man revealed in the pages of that long-dormant Book.
Throughout January I continued to read and compare. I reflected on the things that Mary said in our conversations that seemed to be just the thing I needed to hear, and I began to hurl questions at my grandfather. I didn’t stop studying other faiths, but I began to feel an irresistible pull toward Jesus.
God’s grace to you,
Steve Jennings, Executive Director
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