As a child I was under the impression that the Bible and all things I was taught at church were merely allegorical (possibly true) stories.  They were a guide for the way my parents and society expected me to live.  However, I came to believe that God is real, and that his Son Jesus was given as an unblemished sacrifice to atone for my sins and the sins of others throughout the ages.  As an act of appreciation and love for Jesus, I try to live by His teachings as recorded in the Bible, I also try to obey his direction through His Holy Spirit dwelling within God's Temple, namely, my body.

Actually, I would not have chosen those exact words back then, and I don't think my understanding was quite that developed.  Even a year ago, I don't think I would have understood words like "atone" in the way I do today.  I am sure that, as I mature as a Christian, I will gain more of an insight into what being a Christian is all about.  But my original faith was genuine.

I believe in Christ.  Part of that belief involves a desire to follow his teachings which emphasize compassion, outreach, love, and mercy.  But my belief is not merely by blind faith, I have evidence of God's workings.  I can discern between the urging of His Holy Spirit in me and my own thinking.  Some people think of the Holy Spirit as their conscience, but they are not the same.  Conscience is driven by society; the Holy Spirit is driven by God.  For example, suppose I am approached by a panhandler on the street.  Society (and my conscience) tells me that I should ignore him, but God's Holy Spirit tells me to meet his needs.

I like to give in to God.  I can see His constant watching over and protection of me.  As an engineer, I think logically.  I like to study theology (the study of God), for doing so gives me greater insight into just how marvelous God actually is.  i like to make guesses and theories about God (ask me sometime how quantum mechanics can explain the dichotomy of predestination vs. free will).   Although I have understanding of many things of God, few things are absolutely clear.  However, if I delve into something particular about God, I am inevitably given satisfactorily consistent understanding through His Holy Spirit, typically answered forthright in the Bible.  Oftentimes there is prerequisite knowledge and wisdom needed for full understanding.

My testimony is best shared individually, customized to reflect the concerns and interests for those who hear it, as God customizes His love for each one of us.

With the Love of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Curtis Smith

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