When I was growing up in the late fifties and sixties our family never attended church. My dad’s father was a Methodist preacher and my dad had some bad experiences with his dad. My dad would tell us that when he was growing up his family had very little food to eat and my dad and his brother’s would go out and steal milk, eggs, and butter from people’s porches while his dad would be pacing upstairs talking to God. My dad always resented the fact that him and his brothers were forced to steal while his dad who was supposed to provide for his family was talking to God.

The Bible says that God will draw his people to himself and none will be lost. That’s exactly what happened to me in the early seventies. I was eighteen and was at a crossroad in my life. I said to myself that before I go any further in life I needed an answer to the question “Is the Bible the true words of God?
I reasoned to myself that if there is a God He would have to leave his word to mankind. If man did not have God’s word to live by, then God would not be able to blame anybody for how they lived. That would mean that there wouldn’t be any accountability for all the evil that exists in the world and life would then be pointless

After I asked myself this question things started to happen. My girlfriends sister asked me if I wanted her new testament Bible. I never told anybody that I was going to look into whether there was a God or not. I had never seen a Bible at home and I was very interested in reading this book to see if God was real.
I took the book home and started to read. I read the first page and found that I didn’t understand what the book was trying to say to me. This made me mad, so I ripped out a few pages and threw the rest of the book across the room. I was so mad that I began to question God. I said to God “what good is a God that I can’t understand?

The next morning I was drinking my coffee starring out my second story window. I lived above an auto parts store and I seen a couple getting into their car when the driver set a book on the roof of his car and then backed out and left. His book landed in the parking lot and just then my neighbor pulled in. When he got out of his van he seen the book and picked it up and went upstairs to his apartment. A few minutes later he knocked on my door and asked me if I wanted the book.

I looked at the book and the cover read “Living Bible” At that time I didn’t know that there was different translations of the Bible. I thought to myself “what are the chances of me receiving two Bibles in two Days when all my life I never owned a Bible? So that night I started to read my new Bible and was surprised how easy it was to read. So, for me to believe I first received God’s word then I had to read the Bible to see if I believed it. 

Why is belief so important? The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Unless you first believe you will never achieve the faith you will need to please God. Looking way back at my life I can see that for me it was three things that convinced me that God is real.

The first thing that influenced my decision was answered prayer. At that time I was doing things that I shouldn’t have been doing. When I asked Jesus to help me He came to my rescue immediately.

The second thing that influenced my decision was The Bible. The Bible is the only book that explained to my satisfaction the reason that there is always problems on earth. Without getting too deep into this subject the Bible explained the curse of mankind and how man’s basic nature is evil. The Bible also said that man decided to eat from the tree of “knowledge of good and evil”. To me, eating from this tree shows us that we are still learning these lessons even today approximately six thousand years later.

The third thing that influenced my decision is prophecy. God said,  I will show you things that are going to happen so when they do happen you will know that I am God. In the old testament the book of Isaiah chapter 53 is filled with prophecies concerning Jesus. The book of Isaiah was written between 740 & 700 BCE. That would be like us prophesying what would happen in the year 2762. 

Belief is what starts the whole process and to believe we have to pray to Jesus that He will open our spiritual eyes as we read the Bible and to know better what is required of us. The Bible says that if we pray accordingly to God’s will He hears us. That’s one of the purposes of the Bible is too know God better.

Once you get familiar with God’s will and you are praying accordingly to God’s will, when you start seeing your prayers getting answered this will develop your faith. Your faith will then develop your confidence which has “great reward in Heaven”. Your salvation is free, your reward is not.

Hebrews 10:35
, Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

I have heard people say, show me a miracle and I will believe. God says, believe first, then I will show you a miracle. Belief and faith in God are the most important elements in the Christians life. When people in the Bible asked Jesus "what shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" I am sure the people were looking for an answer like knocking on doors or converting at least 10 people a week. Instead look at the answer Jesus gave them.
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

Belief was so important to Jesus that when He went to His own country He did very few miracles due to His fellow countrymen’s' unbelief. Most Christians think today that "to believe" being the work of God is too easy a requirement to becoming a child of God however if you look around you and see that most people today don't believe in the God of the Bible then you'll see that it's not as easy as you think.

So the first requirement is to believe and the way to believe is to ask Jesus if He is "the son of God" and to please prove it to you.  Don't give up! Keep asking until you receive an answer. When you ask be sure to look for an answer. It may take two weeks, two days or be immediate. Be patient and your answer will come and meet all your expectations.

Once that happens to your satisfaction the next step is to get yourself a Bible that is easily understood. It is a necessity that you find a Bible that you can understand. There are many newer translations that are easily understood. I recommend "the new King James Version” or the “Living Bible.” Develop a habit of reading the New Testament every day. I go to bed 30 minutes early every night to make time to read my Bible. Start reading the New Testament (start at "Matthew") everyday or every night. Sometimes I only read one page and sometimes I'll read a chapter.Remember it's not quantity it's quality.

The Bible says that God created the earth by the word of His mouth. Jesus did His many miracles by the word of His mouth. So the power of God is in His word. The Bible has the power of God to change your life for the better if you make it a daily practice. The word of God will change you from the inside out. Also, if you want to change your life for the better, get in the habit of talking (praying) to God every day. Remember being a child of God is a process that starts when you say to start. It takes time,  you can't learn all the lessons God has for you in one day. If you accept God today and look back every few months at your life and how it has changed for the better, then you will begin to see and understand how God works. Any comments or questions can be emailed to "timpfay@gmail.com".