Friday, November 23, 2012

The Joy I've Come to Know

Dennis Nederveen
I would like to share the amazing testimony of my friend from Luxembourg, Dennis L. Nederveen.  Please read what he has to say about his experience coming to know Jesus in Holland, as a young, university student.  He writes: 

I was adopted at one year old and raised in a home of Dutch reformed parents. My mother read the bible and taught me to pray and sometimes she also spoke about Israel. However we did not attend church and when I grew up I stopped praying and quickly fell in a life of self-gratification. 

When I went to a university in the 1980's, far away from my parents I lived a rather wild life on campus with many others. Still I was feeling very alone amidst all my friends. I remember I once cried out to the sky. I was not even sure if there was a God listening.

But God answered, not flashing a light but bringing friends and people in my life that were somewhere special. They knew about Him. First a police inspector who handled a ‘lost’ case I had claimed. He radiated kindness and great calm but did not even mention Him. Later I learned he was a real Christian. Then I also met some new friends at university who knew about God. One was a particular favorite of mine. His father borrowing him many fast luxury cars and he lived a wild life I found rather fascinating. But his wild life was different from mine. His life often seemed to be directed.

We became friends and one day I asked what he was doing on Sunday. He said: “I am going to church”. What? I had never thought of this and was curious enough to go with him. We went to a Pentecostal Church, and from the moment I came in, I knew these people had a joy I didn’t have. During the meeting, the Pastor Evangelist warned all sinners with great conviction to run to the cross fast. I was deeply convicted, but full of intellectual reserves I decided to check this out a little bit more.

Back at home I prayed a special prayer: “Lord, God if you do exist, and all these happy people are something more than just a happy group of believers, then I ask two things:"

1. "I will start studying this Book, from which they say it is directly from you, called the Bible. I will study it seriously under the condition that you give me all the time for my research."

2. "Furthermore, I will attend this church to check it out. However, the first time anyone tries to convert me or make me a member, this research will stop immediately. I will then conclude that You do not exist, or are not at all powerful as they claim, and that this is just another group of happy people together.”

At 21 years of age, and after twelve months of reading the Bible, I had written two diaries full of questions. I finally concluded that God had been kindly listening and answering ALL my questions, and that I had no way to deny his existence at all, nor the deep truths of His Bible. I then came to a final question:

"Who are you?"
By this, I wanted to know, "Do you have emotions? Do you like people? Do you really understand us?"

After this question I noticed that something like a window of Heaven above my head was opened. During not less than 6 months I received every request I made from God.

Just to mention some of these, as you can probably imagine me as a young student: A wonderful girlfriend, visiting special places, passing a very difficult exam, visiting special and far countries, having real friends and on and on. In short I was showered with blessings and heart desires before I could even mention them. And that happened every single day.

During this shower of love I came to my personal conclusion: “Father, You have been so very kind and patient to me, You allowed this entire research of mine while nobody tried to make me a church member. Now after 18 months I decide with all my heart you are the most lovely and most glorious God and Father and I want to serve You, Your Son and the Holy Spirit for the rest of my days to the best of my ability.”  I asked Jesus publicly in my heart by going forward at the next church call for repentance and was later baptized in water. 

That was the beginning of my journey with the Lord, which brought great peace and joy to my life, like I had never experienced before.  All my problems didn’t go away immediately. 

In fact, in His holy presence, I now became aware of my deep struggles with sin that had gripped me all my life.  Through many victories and setbacks, as well as painful heartaches and sickness, the Lord has patiently brought me to where I am today. 

I am amazed by His loving kindness, His quiet but so awesome power, His nearness. I must say that I am much more in love with Him than ever before.

Dennis L. Nederveen

[end of testimony]

If you have just read what God did for my friend, Dennis, and you do not yet know Jesus personally, I want to encourage you today.  Just as God revealed Himself to Dennis in a very complete way, He will do the same for you, and make your life all that it was meant to be.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Author's note: You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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