Tim Rayner. VOCALS.

The New Look 50a Tim
The New Look 37c Tim

I was five years old when I first made a commitment to Jesus. My mother had been reading my nightly Bible story – the parable of the wheat and the tares. Although I know the parable now I can’t remember much of then. I remember being scared, I remember praying for Jesus to come into my life and I remember feeling the love of God. I remember just the emotions – I was too young at the time for me to remember now what exactly happened, the gaps were filled in by my mother in later life.

So that was the start of the story but not, I think, the most important part. Jesus was definitely in my life, but for anyone who gives their life to God at such a young age there is always another part to the story. You live, for a while, off the faith and beliefs of your parents. So I lived, for a lot of my life, as a bit of a ‘secret Christian’.

At the age of around 21 I was living a double life, going to alcohol fuelled parties some Saturdays and going to Church on Sunday, like the good little Christian hypocrite I knew myself to be. I still believed in God, but I didn’t really follow him. A friend challenged me at the time as I was being a bit vague about my faith. He said “If you really care about what you believe you shouldn’t be afraid to question it”. So that’s what I did. I looked at atheism first. Athiesm was no solution. You only have to look at the beauty and complexity of our planet and our Universe to see there’s an intelligent mind behind it. So I looked at beliefs next. I looked at more religions, belief systems and cults than you could shake a stick at. In the end I came to this conclusion: only one belief made sense.

All other religions had these impossible people. These people who were fully human and yet somehow perfect. All of them seemed to claim that you could reach holiness on your own. Christianity is the only religion that admits that humans are flawed and we can’t make it on our own. The Bible is full of people who screwed up, big time, and were still blessed by God. The only man in the whole book who didn’t mess up was Jesus, and he was God in human form. Even he was tempted – although he never gave in to his temptations. It was the only religion which fitted with the real world: a world of screw-ups and difficult situations. When I came to the end of my search I knew what to do. I can’t say I’ve lived a perfect life since then, if you’ve read this last bit you’ll see that that isn’t the point. The point is that Jesus died for sinners like you and me. So that we can live our lives for him, no matter what we have done or will do he is there to help us and forgive us. We cannot make it on our own.