When I was 16 my dad passed away and I started attending Catholic School. I was also part of a Catholic church which was full of rituals and ceremonies. I was taught to pray to Mary and taught lessons on being a moral person. I found them boring and meaningless. It tickled my conscience, why should I pray through Mary? I remember my late dad taught me how to pray, that we should end our prayer, only in Jesus name.
In the absence of my dad and his influence and Christian parenting, I easily lost the grip of ‘Christian’ behavior. I plunged deeply into sins, gave in to temptations, hatred, anger, envy, self-pride. It was easy to slip away into a worldly life since God is invisible and I did not feel accountable to Him. I realized I did not know who God was, He seemed so far away, I was a like an animal rolling in the mud of sins and did not feel any remorse.
I moved to Singapore for work and attended a Catholic church but it was not long before I completely stopped. One day my brother invited me to a Church which he just recently joined. He used to be lazier than me with Christian attendance but suddenly he changed! He became diligent in studying everything about Christianity and shared with me. I started to discuss with him and asked many questions about God. One of my questions was "What are we saved from that we should believe in Jesus as the Saviour?" and my brother simply answered, "From the wrath of God".
I was excited that I finally found answers to my various questions but also started to feel uneasy. Will God forgive me despite the many sins I have committed? Am I still worthy to come back to Him? That night in my quiet time, I felt so filthy and unworthy, I cried out to Jesus and confessed my sins and begged for forgiveness.
I was still unsure of God's love and my salvation. How can I know if I am forgiven? I continued my prayers requesting for a new heart that will love, fear God and long to be delighted in His word. And God did hear and answer my prayers. As I drank in the Word of God, I slowly felt the love of God speak to me through beautiful verses from the Romans chapter 8 – “that there is now no more condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus” and “nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord”, not even the devil. I realized God’s love was great enough to fill the emptiness and bitterness in my life. I never remembered feeling so contented as I did at that moment. I am now sure my salvation is by His grace alone through my faith in Christ, I found my hope in Christ alone. I have joy and peace beyond understanding.
The day I said yes to Christ, life is not about me anymore, but it's for Christ who now lives in me. My old self-has died and now I have life. The temptation to sin still comes and perhaps even more aggressively, but I don't enjoy sinning anymore! I feel sadness and grief when I sin, my conscience is struggling when the temptation to sin comes. I feel sorrow for the lost who are hopeless without having Christ in them. My goal is to pursue Christ-likeness and so others will also know Christ and glorify God. Soli Deo Gloria!