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"Because I live, you shall live also" John 14:19b NIV
In the opinion of many, Ravi Zacharias is probably the best known Christian Apologist of the past to decades. Filling a void, he came to world prominence at a time when it needed more Christian Apologists and millions have since come to feel as if they personally know him through his strong, intellectual and inspiring explanations and apologetic explanations.
So that some may even know him better before he is taken from us to be home with the Lord, we who enjoy him may better know him still, here is an amazing story from Ravi's personal life of how God works through the generations among us:
As Ravi Zacharias grew up in an Anglican family in Delhi, India, he had little use for Christianity, and as a self-identified atheist at age 17, he attempted suicide by poison.
While in the hospital recovering, a Christian worker left a bible with Ravi's mother and told her to read to him from it everyday and to start each day with John 14:19, "Because I live, you shall live also".
It had the desired effect on Ravi and he clung to that verse as if his life depended upon it, which it did. It was God's generational signature upon him, as he would see thirty years later. But from that day forward, he never looked back at what he had done, nor ever again to the philosophy of atheism.
When Ravi came up through the ranks of hard work and determination, an appearance in a Billy Graham Crusade made it evident to him that there was a lack of qualified Christian apologists. He turned to that field of Christian apologetic and the rest is history.
This story now goes back to Ravi's childhood in Dehli and to the death of his grandmother when he was nine years old. He attended her burial in a small Christian cemetery (not many Christians in Delhi in 1955) and still remembers her fondly to this day, for many reasons as we shall see.
While traveling through India in 1993, almost 30-years to the day that Ravi accepted Christ as his Savior in that hospital room at age 17, Ravi told his wife Margaret "Margie" that he wanted to see his Grandmother's grave.
As the two worked their way through the weed and brush covered neglected cemetery, they came upon her headstone. To their utter amazement, after washing away the dirt and dust from her headstone, an engraved bible verse became apparent, which was: "Because I live, you shall live also" John 14:19.*
The same verse that had given Ravi the will to reconnect with life and to become saved was now before his very eyes and he knew that only God (Christ) could interweave that thread of grace through generations like that.
He would later say of that day: "A purposeful design emerges when the Father weaves a pattern from what to us may often seem disparate threads. Even today, if you will stop and attend to it, you will see that God is seeking to weave a beautiful tapestry in your life." **
In typically fine Zacharias oratory, no one could have said it better, nor meant it more.
"Because I live, you shall live also." Thank you Jesus!
* Note: Many have speculated that the impact that John 14:19 had upon Ravi as he lay in the hospital was simply because he remembered seeing it being on his Grandmother's headstone at her funeral seven years earlier. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In the India of the 1960s, a deceased person (Christian) was displayed in the home for one, perhaps two days and then quickly buried (un-embalmed), as was Ravi's grandmother in the only Christian cemetery in Delhi at that time. It would be some time before a headstone would have been placed, and Ravi never saw the grave after the day of the funeral until 30 years later.
When he saw the bible verse on the headstone in 1993, it was indeed the first time he had seen it. And you can just imagine how Ravi did immediately credit God with the generational threading of that verse that had saved him, both physically and spiritually. What a tremendous story!
** From The Logic of God, an Essay by Ravi Zacharias’(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019
Please read this further note: This man whom so many have enjoyed hearing and learning from his many "Let my people think" presentations over the years is presently going through the late stages of cancer (bone cancer and a very aggressive tumor located at his pelvis/lower back).
If you are one who enjoys Ravi Zacharias,, please take the time to go to https://ravi.care/ThankYouRavi and express your appreciation. Ravi's family is sharing these appreciations and comments with him.
05/19/2020 Admendment - Ravi Zacharias passed away this morning at his home in Atlanta, GA.
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