God saved me by appealing to my heart. As my faith and devotion to him grew, he began to impart knowledge and insight, an understanding of his ways, a desire to study and learn and grow even deeper in his wisdom. It’s a process of mentoring and maturing, one that will continue until the day I die, but it began with an appeal to my emotions, not my intellect.
I grew up in a family that knew nothing about Jesus. My mother and father were children of the darkness, immersed in a lifestyle of the occult, blinded to the light of Jesus’ wonderful grace. I vividly remember my mother’s eyes. They were cold and dark and empty. Emotionless eyes. There was nothing there: no love, no feeling, no compassion . . . nothing but blackness. Looking into her face was like staring into the pit of hell. At times I felt as if Satan himself was staring back at me through the barren, vacant eyes of my mother.
By the grace of God I was later able to lead my mother and father to the Lord. She became a powerful witness to God’s wonderful forgiveness, and for the first time I was able to look into her eyes and see the love and compassion that I had always longed for. The emptiness was gone, and in its place was pure beauty, a soul freed from hate and despair. She was a child of freedom.
How can we ever again be silent when we’ve witnessed the miraculous transformation of a soul set free from Satan’s grip? Once we’ve seen what Jesus can do in and through a life devoted to his will, we become forever changed. We begin longing for all the wisdom and empowerment that the Holy Spirit offers. We can’t stop ourselves from pleading on behalf of the lost, yearning to reach them with God’s message.
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.