Do you remember your first encounter with Jesus? Do you recall the feelings and emotions you felt when you realized Jesus knew everything about you and still loved you? Do you recollect how your life changed when you put your faith and trust in Jesus to be your Savior and Lord?
For me personally it was a night I will never forget. I can still feel the doubts and fears that gripped my soul that evening. I shudder to think what my life would have been like if I turned over and tried to go back to sleep rather than getting up and seeking help.
When I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart and life, I did not see an angel, nor did I have chill bumps run up my spine. Tears did not come to my eyes, nor did I have a rush of emotion. For me, there was a peace—a peace that passes understanding—that washed over my heart and soul. When I crawled back in bed I slept securely knowing my life rested snuggly in His nail-scarred hand.
I long for others to know this peace in their day to day lives. I fear that too many of our friends and neighbors stumble around the darkness of their own creation trying to find their way. They run into walls and trip over unseen obstacles within and without. What better gift could we give those we love than the gift of an encounter with Jesus?
Jesus encountered Philip one day early in His earthly ministry. He invited Philip to follow. After a day with Jesus, Philip knew without doubt that he had discovered someone who would change his life forever.
Bearing this amazing news, Philip found Nathaniel, and declared:
“We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:44 NIV).
Nathaniel was a bit skeptical and questioned how anyone from the backwoods village of Nazareth could change the world much less one life. In response Philip simply said:
“Come and see…”
When Nathaniel encountered Jesus for himself he quickly realized that what Philip had testified to was absolutely true. As you can see one encounter leads to another that leads to another. This simple pattern is the genius of the movement of the Christian faith. Christianity spreads from person to person to person.