The Greatest Story Ever Told About
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived
Although I was raised as a Catholic, I was an atheist until I
was somewhere in my late twenties.  We weren't really
Catholic, just by name mostly.  We went to church about
twice a year and I didn't pay attention to what they were
saying anyway.  Our family went to church just to  maintain
our social status.  There was almost no talk of God in our
home at all.  I do remember one thing though.  I was about
7 years old and I was helping my mother plant the garden.  
I remember asking her what made the seeds grow, and she
said "God makes them grow".  That did stick with me for
many years.  Although I had no concept of who God was, I
thought he must be quite significant if he could do that.
This Was My Life
The years went by and I lived my life to the fullest.  Not the best, just the fullest.  Partying,
drinking, drugs, I was young and free and what did I have to lose.  I  became a full fledged atheist.  
I loved to argue about that with those who thought differently, there was no such thing as God.
I could tell you about a lot of things that I did, but what's the point.  I'd rather tell you about
something awesome that happened to me than fill you with details about things that don't matter.  
The years went by and I became less content with my atheistic beliefs.  My life was not going
well.  My marriage failed, and though I always had a job, my life seemed to hit a dead end.  One
night which I remember so clearly, I could not sleep because I was thinking about so many
things, I sat up in bed and asked myself "Where did you come from, why are you here, and where
are you going".  And I didn't have a clue.  Life seemed so foolish and useless.  You're born, you
live about 80 years and then you die.  What a waste of time.  There had to be more to it than that.  
So I began my search for that "something" that held the universe together and gave it purpose.

I began reading many books.  Books on UFO's, the occult, spirit beings, reincarnation, anything I
could lay my hands on.  This went on for about 7 years.  Nothing satisfied me because they all
contradicted each other and most of them didn't make any sense.  It was just each writers
opinion.  Still I kept searching because I was sure there had to be an answer somewhere.

In the 70's the album Jesus Christ Superstar came out.  I absolutely LOVED the music.  So I
bought it, and along with the album came a booklet with all the words.  I would listen to the album
and read the words every day for months and that was my first ever exposure to who Jesus was.  
I was so touched, yet so amazed that all he did was good and yet they killed him.   Why?  It didn't
make sense to me.   Shortly after that Bony M had the Christmas song "Mary's Boy Child".   That
became, and still is my most favourite Christmas song.  God was closing in on me and I didn't
know it.

That Christmas I was invited to church.  That really shook me, but I said I would go.  I began
drinking all afternoon just to get my courage up, and when I did go, I remember I sang "Hark the
Herald" louder than anybody.  I also remember that I put $20 in the collection plate and somehow
thought that would make up for some of the bad things I did over the years.  I was really
uncomfortable but I tried not to show it.

It was only a few months after that when I was changing the spark plugs in my car that I just could
not get one of them to go in no matter what I did.  When I began cursing, it was just like a voice in
my head said "Why are you cursing God for it, why don't you ask God to help you instead".  So I
did.  I said something like "Okay God if you are real, please help me put this spark plug in."  And
to my went in.  I'll never forget that.

It was somewhere around then that I remember laying in my bed one night and coming to the
conclusion that there WAS a God.  And I remember saying "Okay God, if you're real, take me I'm
yours".    That did put my mind at  ease somewhat, and I was now convinced that God was real
and that He did exist.  So because I believed that,  I wanted to get to know Him.  So I decided to
get a Bible and read it.   I was a salesman at the time, so I got my first  Bible from a hotel I was
staying at, but it was a King James Version and very difficult to read.  So I went to the Bible store
and bought one.  I still remember I was so uncomfortable being there that I grabbed the first one
that looked okay, paid for it as quickly as I could and ran out.   Then I began reading it and I spent
the next few years trying to disprove it, but found that I could not.  All I could do was deny it.  I
could neither prove nor disprove it.  I had to "just believe it" just like Jesus said.  So after
reading, arguing, denying, fighting, and getting frustrated for several years, I finally came to the
conclusion that the Bible was indeed the absolute true Word of  God.  That was one of the biggest
obstacles I had to overcome because either it was totally true or else it was totally untrue.  It
could not be both.  It had to be one or the other.  The first sentence of the Bible says "In the  
beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth".   Well, either He did or He didn't.  It can't go
both ways. Otherwise, how could I believe anything He wrote.  That's just one example, but there
were many.  But in the end,  I realized that God was not lying, that He was who He said He was
and so I believed (and still do) that very word in the Bible is the true Word of God.  That was a
GREAT RELIEF.  Because now I finally found something that made sense and something that I
could believe in and learn from.

So of course, now that I believed in God, I thought I should go to church.  There was a Baptist
church close by, so I thought I'd try that and I liked it.  I began reading my Bible and going to
church, and it was then that I learned more about who Jesus was and why he died on the cross,
so I accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour and decided to be baptized in water as a testimony of
my faith.  My baptism was postponed 3 times and I was starting to get worried that maybe God
was not going to accept me.  Maybe I had done too many bad things, or maybe I wasn't ready,
and many other thoughts.  Then the day finally arrived.   I still remember so clearly going down
under the water and when I came up......I WAS A NEW MAN.    Never had anything impacted my
life like that experience.  I was on cloud nine, I was energized, I was bubbling over like crazy and
this lasted for several days.  I could not believe what happened to me, and I still find it hard to
explain, but I know now that I was filled with the Holy Spirit at that time just like they were on the
day of Pentecost (only no tongues of fire).

That was about 30 years ago now, and I can say I only have one regret.....and that is that I didn't
get to know Jesus sooner.  My life has had it's ups and downs since, but Jesus has always been
there for me.  He has helped me more than I can tell you about.  He has taught me countless
things about life, relationships, business, everything.  And He ALWAYS has my best interests at
heart.  He Is The Best Friend I have ever had.  I just cannot tell you in words how much my life
has changed for the better since then.  I talk to Him everyday now.  About anything and
everything, and I can't wait to see Him in person and spend eternity with Him.  But I am not in a
hurry to get there, I love my life on Earth.  I will go when it's my time.

So that's my story.  I could tell you more, but I tried to keep it short.  If you still don't know Jesus
as your Saviour  I pray that you will soon.  And maybe you will have a story to tell like mine.  

So from now on, I like to tell His Story because it's the Greatest Story Ever Told about the
Greatest Man That Ever Lived......

John Stewart