I had my 1st personal encounter with Jesus when I was 22 years old…
I came face to face with my sinfulness & my inability to pay for the wrongs I had done.
I saw my need for a Redeemer… a Savior… and for the 1st time realized that only Jesus had paid the price for all the sins of the world!
It’s only after receiving Jesus into my life as my personal Lord, Savior, and King, repenting of and turning away from my old sinfulness that I have truly started living… and enjoying my everyday life.
I am FAR from perfect… but I desire to change more and more into His image, till I am completely His "GAL 2:20"… and till then, I have made a quality decision, a very serious choice to love & enjoy life… regardless of circumstances!
Given below is my encounter with the Lord Jesus…
I was a devout Hindu… prayed to my idol-gods regularly… I feared God… like most Hindus, I lived with the thought of ‘karma’ where, I would get what I deserve.
I had joined one of the most prestigious business schools in India – the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (‘IIML’) in year 2000. I always put a lot of pressure on me to perform.
After I joined IIML, I realized that there were many others who performed better than I did. My grades to me seemed low and hence I went low. I tried to appease my gods through chanting ‘shlokas’ to get them on my side. Nothing seemed to work.
One particular night, it was in August 2000, I sat late in the night reading shlokas. I was reading the shlokas of one of my favorite gods, the idol with the elephant head ‘Ganesha’. But every time I would close my eyes to chant, I would see a huge black Indian elephant charge towards me. I was psyched out! I tried again, once again I saw the tusker charge towards me. I was scared and thought that this was the end of me. My favorite god was also angry with me. I grew desperate.
I looked around for another god that I could try to please! I spotted my little blue Bible (Gideon’s – free… got it when I was in school). I opened the Book and read. I don’t recall what I read, but in a matter of few seconds, I felt something tangibly flow right through me and lift off my burdens. I was saying “Hallelujah. Praise God!” These were phrases no one had taught me to say… but I was speaking them forth. I recall saying, “I am not afraid. Jesus is there.”
That night I had encountered the love and power of Jesus. But I had not yet encountered the Jesus on the cross, dying for my sins! I started reading the Bible to keep Jesus pleased… to give my gods some time to get over their anger towards me.
But the more I read the Bible, the more I was intrigued by the person of Jesus. Something within me started asking “Why not?” instead of “Why?” I started talking to Jesus about Himself and He would answer me through the Bible, or in some instances through an audible voice, sometimes through an impression on my heart. But always confirmed through His written Word – the Holy Bible!
Around that same time, God had been pursuing my elder sister too with His truth. She surrendered her life to Jesus at an evening evangelical program at New Life Fellowship (my home church in Bangalore, India). She called me early next morning and told me very excited “Preeti, I am born again. I gave my life to Jesus. He is real and alive. My sins are forgiven.”
She told me repeatedly about her sins being forgiven. She said how Jesus took all her sins away. She told me that I too had to be born-again. So, I told her that I would ask Jesus about being born-again and if He Himself told me so, I would consider. So, I, as habitual to me by this time, asked Jesus, “Did You really want people to be born-again? This born-again thing sounds like a cult to me. Let me know where it is in the Bible.”
A few days later, I sensed an impression in my heart:
“Read John 3.” (i.e., read chapter 3 from the Book of ‘John’ in the Bible)
I did look up John 3. There it was… “born-again” in red! I wanted to be born-again and enter His kingdom simply because Jesus had said so in the Bible. I wanted to do anything He would ask me to… He had been so good to me, ever since that night He flowed through me and protected me. The more I read the Bible, the more I could see my own sinfulness & the need for a Savior.
The next vacation, I came to Bangalore to the church and got born-again as the pastor shared the meaning of born-again, sinful nature of man, redemption through the blood of Jesus, the Trinity, etc. The vacation after that, I received water baptism. The next vacation, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Accessed on 18.12.2015