“God’s command may require courage and come with opposition.” Those words probably prepared me for some of the opposition I received. But I was nineteen and naive, I couldn’t have imagined what God had prepared for me. Within days after I wrote those words, I learned that my closest friends wanted nothing to do with me anymore. After I shared the gospel with them—after I told them I had become a Christian and could no longer participate in sin with them, they said to me that unless I returned to my old self, they couldn’t continue in friendship with me. I didn’t return to my old self, so they didn’t return to me.
It might not look like it, but the most worn-out book in my personal library is the most precious thing I own.
That book is the Student’s Life Application Bible, and it’s the first thing I purchased after I became a Christian fourteen years ago around this time in August 2006.
The ESV Study Bible has become my favourite Bible to read since then. However, last night, as I was rearranging my library, I opened my Student’s Life Application Bible for the first time in years—and what I discovered made me weep with gratitude.
Days after I became a Christian, I made notes at the back of the Bible to help me pray, and the first words said:
“Praise him, thank him for his death, and I can call him father.”
I didn’t have good theology at the time. I didn’t understand the Trinity nor the roles of each divine person of the Trinity. But I knew that although I was born without a father, Jesus Christ had died for me, and because of that, I was made born-again by God and he adopted me as his child.