Many people have asked me how I ended up in Kokomo, Indiana, all the way from the village of Dollar, Scotland. Here is the answer:
When I was about twelve years old, I told my mother that I would no longer attend Sunday School because to me, Jesus fell into the same category as one of those make-believe characters which my parents had lied to me about.
Later, I traveled to the USA to be a door-to-door book salesman during my summer break from college. I met thousands of people during that time, including Christians. They always wanted to tell me how Jesus Christ had changed their lives. At first, I didn’t understand it, but later I realized that there must have been some truth in it because I could see that their lives really were different: they had love, peace, joy and order. Instead of trying to get rid of me when I knocked on their doors, they tried to do whatever they could to love me! Some offered me a cold drink, others invited me for dinner. One lady even made me use her phone to call my mother in Scotland and tell her that I was safe and well. As I walked away from her house, suddenly I broke down in tears because I couldn’t understand why she loved me. The love of God pierced my cold heart.
One family invited me to their small church where there were real Christians. The first thing the pastor said was, “Before we even start the service this morning, God has laid it on my heart that there is someone here who needs to give their life to Jesus Christ.” I knew in my heart that God was speaking to me and that I had a decision to make. Either I could live the rest of my life for myself, and suffer the consequences, or I could live for God. So I bowed my head, and prayed, “Lord, I’ve been living my life for the wrong reasons. If you will come into my heart, then from now on, I will make every decision based on what you want me to do, and not on what I want to do.”
Despite the initial joy and hope from finding the Lord, after a few years, I realized that I had gone from being a miserable sinner to being a miserable Christian. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”(John 10:10). This clearly contradicted my experience, so I told God that he could do utterly anything with me if only I could have this abundant life that Jesus spoke of. When I came to this point of total surrender to the will of God in every area, my Christian life really began. Jesus said, “Any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33. The Amplified Bible.) In answer to my prayer, God brought me to Kokomo to learn how to walk with Him through the example of a German man of God called Reimar Schultze. I noticed that Pastor Schultze and the church loved other people and one another regardless of who they were, and they were different from the people of the world. Also, Pastor Schultze was allowing the Holy Spirit to direct the affairs of the church, and his life, just like they did in the book of Acts. I knew I had to stay in Kokomo until I learned the same thing.
Now my life has changed in every area. I had sinned, just like you have sinned. Sin is anything that we think, say, or do, that makes God sad or angry. Breaking any one of the Ten Commandments is sin. For example: Is anything more important in your life than God? Have you ever cussed? Have you always dedicated one day of the week to worshipping God? Have you ever dishonored your parents in any way, or harbored anger in your heart towards anyone? Have you ever lusted for, or slept with, someone you were not married to? Have you ever stolen, lied, or spoken behind someone’s back? Have you ever been greedy for what others have? One sin is enough for us to spend eternity in hell and there is no good deed that we can do to cover up our past sins. Fortunately, however, Jesus Christ has the power to take all your sins away. He paid the price for them when He gave His life on a Roman execution cross back in the year 33AD. That sacrifice was applied to my account in 1997 when I first trusted Him with my whole life. Because my sins are gone, I am no longer trapped into sinning all the time, and I have the joy of knowing God. He is making me into a new, and better person all the time.
I may not know you, but the reason I gave you this leaflet today is that I care where you spend eternity. Is God drawing you through this story of what He did for me? If so, be encouraged. Turn to Him in faith, believing in His Son Jesus Christ and turning away from all your sin. Find a church that will teach you how to walk with God.