A THRILLING EN­COUNTER

Activated - - NEWS - Uday Paul lives in Ban­ga­lore, In­dia, and teaches English and Per­son­al­ity De­vel­op­ment cour­ses. By Uday Paul

I still re­mem­ber that day. It was the early 80s and I was a teenager sit­ting in the back seat of our car. Some­body at a stop light handed my par­ents some beau­ti­ful color posters to read, and they quickly handed them to me in the back seat. Then they stopped at a place where they had some business and left me alone in the car for a while. As I had noth­ing else to do, I picked up the posters and glanced at them. They had a pic­ture in the front and a mes­sage at the back about sal­va­tion and the gift of eter­nal life through Je­sus.

Hav­ing been raised in a Hindu fam­ily, I was fa­mil­iar with spir­i­tual and reli­gious mat­ters. I had some fa­vorite deities in the Hindu pan­theon of gods that I liked to pray to, and I was also in­ter­ested in other re­li­gions, like Bud­dhism and Is­lam. How­ever, the Chris­tian con­cept of sal­va­tion be­ing a gift was new to me.

The text at the back of the posters con­cluded with a prayer to in­vite Je­sus into one’s heart. I couldn’t imag­ine that such a mon­u­men­tal thing like sal­va­tion could be ob­tained so eas­ily, but I thought there was no harm in try­ing. Af­ter pray­ing the prayer, I felt a pro­found sense of peace, and any skep­ti­cism or doubt van­ished.

That mem­o­rable day marked the start of the great­est ad­ven­ture of my life. It was my first en­counter with the God who cre­ated this amaz­ing world and ev­ery­thing in it.

There have been times when I’ve been will­ful and haven’t wanted to ac­knowl­edge His pres­ence, and also dif­fi­cult times when I didn’t feel His pres­ence and com­fort as much as I would have liked. But through it all, He has al­ways been there for me and blessed me with His un­con­di­tional love. The Bi­ble says that “we walk by faith, not by sight.” The Chris­tian

1 walk is one of faith in an all-pow­er­ful and sov­er­eign God who loves us and wants to give mean­ing and pur­pose to our lives. Over the years of my be­liev­ing in Je­sus, He has proven Him­self to me over and over. He’s been my best and most in­ti­mate friend.

If you don’t know Je­sus yet, you can start with a sim­ple prayer: Dear Je­sus, please come into my life and give me Your free gift of sal­va­tion. For­give me for the wrong things I’ve done and help me get to know You bet­ter and stay by Your side. Amen.

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