I grew up in Italy. It was more of a cultural thing to be Christian. You just go to church because that’s what everyone else is doing, especially if you are Italian and Filipino like me.
I didn’t know that Jesus was God or that I needed to accept Him as my Lord and Savior.
When I got to college, I started partying, getting drunk, taking drugs; you name it. All I did was create a bigger hole that I couldn’t get out of.
Every night, I would think, What’s the point of this? Why not just end it? Why not just join the military? If I joined the military, I could put myself into some extremely dangerous situation and end my life but not look like a coward.
Then my brother, Alessandro, came to Christ. We had a really bad relationship before he became a Christian and then after he did, it changed for the better.
Little by little we talked about what it meant to have a relationship with Christ. I didn’t know. I figured if I just didn’t screw up enough, I would get into heaven.
But I entertained the notion that Alessandro might have really changed, so I checked out his church. One day I was in my bed, where I had a little picture of Jesus.
I looked at it and prayed, “If You are real, show Yourself to me.”
Throughout the next month, “coincidences” happened. That’s what I would call them: coincidences.
One of my friends from the church gave me this book called The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. It was referring to Scriptures and concepts I didn’t understand.
I was standing in the laundromat and I just didn’t get it. So I just prayed, “God, if You want me to understand who You are and get past these objections, can You send someone to explain this to me? I don’t care who it is.”
The second I finished that prayer, I looked up and my pastor was standing there. I had not seen him coming at all. That’s just one of the “coincidences.”
You can’t always write things off to be a coincidence, though.
This summer, during a sermon the pastor asked if anyone wanted to accept Christ. He said God would listen if it was the desire of your heart.
I asked Jesus to come into my life. My life is no longer just another number. It’s a precious soul that God cares deeply about.
I’ve always been the kind of person who wants to be where the fight is at. Evangelism: that’s where the fight is at.
I want to explain God’s kingdom. I want to save people from lies and expose them to truth. Three weeks ago, I saw 2 people become Christians when I was explaining the gospel to them.
I remember how it was to be lost and the joy that comes from being found.
If you are reading this and for some reason you hate God, and you feel alone, know that He is constantly loving you. He will turn the situation around. Therefore, choose God as He chooses you.
It could be said that I grew up in the church, however, my heart was not entirely in it.
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