A 30-DAY GUIDE FOR NEW BELIEVERS
by JOHN D. BECKETT
DAY 15 A PERSONAL RELECTION
How am I doing at the halfway point? How am I doing – truly, not as I wanted to. See my comments at the end of this “Day” post.
We are midpoint in this 30-day study. As I think about our connection with each other through the Internet, I am both amazed and a bit mystified. Rather than taking up another topic today, I’d like to simply share a few personal thoughts.
I never imagined I’d be writing this study. Here is how it came about. Some years ago, a friend called me on a Saturday morning to watch space shuttle Columbia returning to Earth. Just 15 minutes prior to its scheduled touchdown in Florida, however, something went terribly wrong and it began to break up. In a moment, seven astronauts (six Americans and one Israeli) were lost — just as they were coming home. Many thoughts raced through my mind, but one question gripped me: Did they know Jesus Christ? I turned off the TV that morning and began writing a little booklet about how one comes into a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. I called it “Coming Home.” I thought perhaps this message could help others, providing a roadmap to answer life’s greatest question: How should I relate to God?
Coming Home was published and thousands of copies were distributed. It was translated into several other languages. I received comments that it really was helping people, but I wanted this message of God’s love to reach many more. One day I met Mark Weimer, a California businessman who had recently joined with some other Silicon Valley business leaders to start a new venture called Global Media Outreach. Their goal was to find new ways to spread the message of the gospel over the Internet. Mark read my little booklet and proposed formatting it for the web. In February 2006, Coming Home went live on line as www.lifesgreatestquestion.com. We purchased ads on Google and later Yahoo! to help people find the site.
As I mentioned earlier (Day 7), statistics indicate that at least one million people each day are seeking insights on the Internet into the deeper questions of life. In a remarkable way we began connecting with thousands of such people (like you) from all corners of the world — over 170 countries within a few weeks. More than 12 percent of those visiting the site indicated that as a result of their visit, they had made a decision to follow Christ. Frankly, I was stunned. Internet technology, so often used for wrong purposes (like pornography) was becoming a means by which people throughout the Earth could find new life in Christ. We were able to track countries of inquiry, and they included the US, India, the UK, the Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan, Canada and South Africa, and though less in number, places like Burundi, Cuba, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Fiji, Malta and Lesotho through such search words as “The meaning of life,” “God,” “Hope,” and “Life after death.”
In July, as my wife, Wendy, and I were beginning a summer vacation, I developed a strong concern for new believers, wondering what materials might be available to help you become more firmly established in your faith. When I didn’t find much in the way of help, I felt strongly directed to be part of the answer. That is when I began writing this 30-day study. I consulted with Mark and he was thrilled. He, too, had been sensing the need for such material, even to the point of it covering a 30-day time span.
Now, as I write, I feel a growing “connection” with you. I can say, as Paul said to the Philippian believers, “I thank my God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3 NIV). You and I will likely never meet, at least not here on earth. But I want to affirm that you are dear to Wendy and me, and more importantly, you are very precious to God.
Now I want to encourage you. Keep on the journey. Don’t give up! God has a wonderful adventure planned for you. Whatever you face, always remember that God is faithful. If you let Him, He will complete the process for which He created you, and fulfill every purpose for which you were redeemed.
God has a plan for me. It’s no accident that we’ve met through the Internet.
Copyright © 2006 by John D. Beckett
Well, I have not been doing too well with keeping up everyday as things have happened that have delayed me: illnesses, volunteering, internet issues… But really, I wanted to complete this 30 days in the alotted 30 day time – not having in breaks in my study. But then around day 8 I think it was, I thought; I need to include my oldest son with me here. That this is such a wonderful study, and he would really truly benefit from this as I have. So, then he found himself playing “catch-up” which I really didn’t like, because then he couldn’t REALLY get into what is being taught. So, I stopped due to illnesses and other things, plus to give him a chance to catch up. It’s been great, when we get the chance, to read through this journey together.
I’m disappointment in myself for not maintaining the time-frame. But that’s okay – God still Loves me and He has the plan for me. It’s been interesting to see, even in my delays of staying with the day’s – how things have turned out so interestingly needed on JUST that certain day! God is good and wonderful! I truly am gracious that He is here to help me through. I pray this study continues to bless you all & look forward to moving through this journey with you.
God Bless, HL