Dionysis Theodorou, April 7, 2009
My love for Israel started in 1999 less than a year after I had fallen in love with Jesus.
I had been living in New York since 1994. In early 1997 I was running a small, home-based business selling computers. I was working round the clock and was very tired and not very happy with what I was doing. I also had problems receiving funding to expand the business due to my student status and things were starting to get tight as large companies released computers at super competitive prices.
I had always felt drawn to the supernatural and had started reading the Bible at the age of six. I bought my first Bible at my school jumble sale in England for 2p.
Since then I have been fascinated with the supernatural and remember having received--at my request--a few children's Bibles over a few Christmases as gifts. I loved the stories and longed to learn more about this God who created everything and who had such an intimate relationship with His creation. I always knew in my heart that God was the God of Israel and that the true God was the God of the Bible who is the God of Israel.
As I grew into my teenage years I grew distant from my reading of the Bible, although I always felt a connection and a love for the God of the Bible. I started to be interested in the occult and started reading and learning about different religions and beliefs which included transcendental meditation and reincarnation.
As my teenage years drudged on and problems in the family began to torment me and have an affect on my mood, my character and my behaviour, I began to find ways to escape whilst desperately attempting to improve myself. In retrospect I think that it is the conviction of sin that set me on the desperate search to rid myself of this sin and recreate myself a new person.
Needless to say, my attempts amounted to nothing until one uneventful day in April of 1998. I was tired of running the computer business and by this time had had a burning desire in my heart to find what it was that I really wanted to do with my life but most of all to know God.
Around the middle of 1997 I had concluded that my research into the occult and religion had not strengthened my faith and that all the self-help and self-improvement books that I had read had had no apparent or implicit effect on me whatsoever: in fact I was more convinced than ever that the true God was the God of the Bible: the God of Israel. I bought myself a Bible and I started at the beginning: Genesis. I started reading the New Testament simultaneously just so that I could cover more ground, save time and bring about a change more quickly.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
The conviction of sin. Why did I want to bring about a change? Because of the conviction of sin. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners. I didn't want to change and to get rid of sin in my life because I had done something terrible. Looking back I understand that. I was convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit so that I would confess my sins, ask for forgiveness and ask Jesus to come into my life.
Jesus answered and said unto him (Nicodemus), Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
That's what happened on that uneventful day in April of 1998. All my reading of the Bible from front to back and from back to front and side to side didn't bring me the peace I was looking for; rather, it made me feel an even greater sinner. What, with all this talk of devotion to God, godliness and love, forgiveness and loving your enemies and going the extra mile and turning the other cheek. I was frustrated and could not possible live up to those expectations. In my frustration I turned to God. I asked Him to forgive me for not understanding and for my sins, I asked to be given eyes to understand, ears to hear and a new heart that would love and serve Him eternally. I was aware of the change on the very night that this had happened. I was born again and I didn't know what this meant.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
I didn't read and understand the above verse until November--five months later--when it suddenly hit me that I was in fact a new creature in Jesus and that all old things had in fact passed away. Hallelujah.
In fact the book I read immediately after asking the Lord to help me understand and to be the Lord of my life, was Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities all is vanity if you don't know God: this is exactly what I had wanted