Praise and Prayer Needs
Pray that exposure to the Word through the radio program would help transform faith from an Italian cultural identity to a true, life-changing relationship with our Lord and Savior.
Lino's Story: I am 50 years old and grew up in a family with moral values and principles. About God, though, I had the idea of a faraway entity who would not consider me, as He was too much involved in all the many big problems of the world. So I thought that I was not important enough that God would have any kind of interest in my little life, nor would He have any interest in what I did or even thought.
Thus my 'creed,' weak and inconsistent, was put to the test, once I started dating the one that later became my wife.
As an ex-cult member, she kept their doctrinal lines. I always was proud to be part of 'the right religion,' but for me the belonging to a certain 'church' was more important than believing in the 'real God'. We argued a lot. This situation made me feel frustrated, but helped me think sincerely about 'Truth' and brought me to the point that one evening, after another quarrel with my bride, I asked God to show me who and where He really was.
Just a little while after, one evening in the car I was searching on the radio for some music, and finished up on a channel that talked about the big flood, about Noah in the first book of the Bible: Genesis. I had never ever before heard such an accurate analysis and a 'verse by verse' lecture.
During that time I was working in town as a courier express so I was able to listen to a lot of programs in my truck: Bible meditations, Christian music, testimonies and teachings. I thank the Lord that He used all this input in my life, so I could come to know the Lord who once I had considered far away, but who instead loved me. God was not indifferent or insensible to me, to what happened to me, to what I did or thought, but HE wanted to be close to me, had become man, revealing Himself in His beloved Son Jesus Christ, who had died for me on the cross. He had turned me out of darkness and brought me to His marvelous light. Jesus had taken onto Himself the condemnation that was mine, had died on my behalf on the cross, and was risen for my justification.
One day, after listening to your program and the invitation of the speaker – and the guidance of the Holy Spirit—I stopped my car right on the roadside: I understood the weight of sin on me, confessed to God that I was a sinner not worth His pardon, but I believed in what Jesus Christ had done for me, and invited HIM to come into my life. The oppression I had sensed left in that same moment, and I was full of a sensation of peace I cannot describe.
I still remember, shortly after being converted, my desire to be close to the Lord through reading His Word. I passed hours and hours studying the Bible. I felt strongly His presence in my life, wanted to get to know Him more and more, reading His Word for hours. I spent a lot of time in prayer, trusting Him fully. And I saw in a very concrete manner how the Lord answered my prayers, and was present in my life. It was fantastic! I was happy.
Then dark moments arrived: those moments became days, days became months, then years where I no longer lived in His presence. ‘The World’ had taken over my relationship with Jesus. I no longer spent hours in His company, but gave Him only a few moments of my existence. Yes, mine was no longer that abundant life that the Lord had given me, but had become a flat existence without taste, annoying.
I had abandoned the Lord, but He never abandoned me, He remained faithful, even though I was not. Nevertheless I was a child of God, He had taken me into His family, I still was special for Him as each one of His children is in His eyes. He could treat me like a slave since He freed me from the slavery of sin, He paid the price for me at the slave-market, so I am His property, belong to Him. As every slave, I belong to my master, I do not have any right, just am I His. But His grace is immense, enormous, and I cannot understand it, but He has freed me, I am not a slave, but a Child. It is the love for my Saviour that makes me His slave, I want to follow and serve Him, for all He has done for me.
In my miserable condition the Lord had mercy on me, I confessed my sins, my rebellion, and the Lord forgave me. I turned back to the Lord, to study His Word with renewed desire and hunger. The Holy Spirit reminded me of the story of the Prodigal Son – I really felt like that prodigal son who had left his home and ended up with the pigs. A child of God who has tasted ‘the Lord is good’ cannot turn back and feed himself with ‘unclean food,’ as he did before. His nature is changed: it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me.
Psalm 40:1-3: 'I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.'
From Italy: I listen to your program every night and I’m very happy. I exhort you to go on because what you do is very important. It’s actually necessary that the gospel is preached.
From Italy: I’m very old. From where I live I can’t hear your radio program, but I listen to you on the internet and I download what I find on the website. You have a great communicator, with clear speech, even for an old man like me. I was able to download Ruth to Philippians. I’d like to have also the programs before Ruth. If you could send me an Mp3 copy of those programs, I’d be very grateful. What I download I give to some interested friends.