Sunday, April 23, 2000
I came from Mainland China and grew up as an atheist. As a child I was taught Marxism. As a teenager, I learned to sing a song written during the French Revolution called "The Internationale." The song declares, "There is never a so-called savior, gods and kings can not be depended upon, to create happiness of human life, we have to rely on ourselves." In 1988, I came to the United States to study mathematics. At that time, I had a lot of prejudice against Christianity. I believed that all religions were superstitions and acted as spiritual bondage to suppress men from the freedom of thinking. I once told myself, I would never be a Christian.
But God worked on my heart with His amazing grace. He led me step by step, to know His loving character, His wonderful work of salvation and the truth of eternal life. Looking back over the past years of my personal life, He has always been looking after me. When I was alone, He sent to me Christian friends who are dear and loving to give me companionship and share with me the truth about Him. During trials and temptations and difficult times, He gave me peace and kept me safe. Again and again when I was weak, He took away the anxieties of my everyday life and taught me to rely on Him. Many times, He illuminated my mind with His divine truth and Holy Spirit.
One of my deepest conversion experiences happened on a Monday morning in July 1997. On the previous Saturday, I was invited to a friend's house. In the party some friends shared the accounts they read in some magazines about the political struggles in China during Mao's time (Mao was the top leader in the Chinese Communist Party before 1976). They told the stories about how cruel it was during that period and how Mao destroyed every one of His followers after they were no longer useful to him. On that Monday morning when I drove to work, I was in great despair. I asked myself what God is like. Is He like Mao and all the other ruthless rulers of the world, who are self-seeking, unrighteous, who only demand worship yet do not care about their people's well being? If that is the case, the whole human race is without hope. We are just pitiful powerless mortals trying to survive in the mighty hand of a tyrant. Life means nothing more than to use or to be used, to survive or to be destroyed. How miserable!… At that moment the image of Jesus came across my mind. It was an image of suffering; his eyes emitted a light of tenderness. I remembered what the Bible says about him in Philippians 2:6-8: He "being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! …." All of the sudden I came to realize this most important truth: Jesus is the Son of God. In essence he is God and he loves us. Because of his love he came to this world as a humble son of a carpenter in order to identify with us. He was confined in human flesh, endured hardship and weakness. Not only that, in order to be a sacrifice for our sin, he suffered for us, even unto death on the cross. How many people are willing to give up life for their fellow men? But God gave up His supreme glory and infinite power in heaven to serve us and die for us, to bear humiliation and suffering in order to save us wretched human beings. That's how loving He is. Yet not only is He a loving God who suffered and died for us, He is also a living God who conquered death. Three days later after He was buried He was resurrected and then ascended to heaven. He defeated Satan, and has power over the whole universe. In the end time, He will judge the whole world with righteousness. My mind was widely opened and my heart was so overjoyed. While driving my car, tears burst out of my eyes. I will never forget that moment. I knew this was a revelation from the Holy Spirit, because in the past I heard and read about Jesus many times, yet up to that moment, it was never so clear and significant to me about who he is and what his life on earth means to me.
In the last two years I did some serious study of the Bible. I received a deeper understanding about God's truth. The more I understood God's Word, the more beauty and harmony I saw in it. The closer I came to know Him, the more freedom and joy I experienced deep in my soul.
There were some soul-searching struggles before I decided to fully commit to God, because I understand that to be His follower means to renounce the world and to take up the Cross. Yet by His grace God transformed me from a selfish sinful individual to become His disciple. In the Saturday evening of February 12, 2000, I read the life story of Mother Teresa from the Christian History Magazine. Deeply moved by her devotion, I prayed to God: "Dear Lord, I have now realized that the only way for my life to be worthwhile is to put it in your hands. From today, my life does not belong to me anymore, I surrender my whole life and will to you to be your servant."
Eleven years ago when I arrived in the United States, I didn't think I could ever be a follower of Jesus. Today I commit my life to Him because I see this greatest reality: God loves us. He graciously gave us salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savor, in order that by believing in Him we will receive eternal life. Our earthly life will eventually pass away; this world is not our reward. Our ultimate hope is in the life to come, when we will be made perfect without blemish. Our true reward will be in heaven, to be with God forever and enjoy eternal happiness with Him.
Since God loves me, the only thing I ought to do is to love Him back and serve Him with my whole heart. I clearly see that I am a sinner; that I am unable to save myself from the bondage of sin unless I give myself to Jesus. I must die to myself and be united with Christ in His death so that I can receive the new life from Him in His resurrection. I put my hope in Jesus because His precious blood has covered my sin. I pray that His Holy Spirit will dwell in me all the time and direct me to obey His word and to be a good witness for Him.
I want to thank Tulsa Chinese Christian Church for giving me the opportunity to testify about God and to be baptized. I am certain that every brother and sister who came to the Lord experienced the same great love from God. For those friends who have not yet come to Christ, I would like to share with you this Bible verse that I am deeply convinced is truth: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).