“Because He first loved me"
“If they are willing to go so far, it must be something very real to them,” I thought when I saw my Christian section mates in BMT going beyond what was convenient to love people around them. It was also around this time that I started attending ACC. Since then God has sent people into my life and revealed himself to me in a personal and impactful way..
I grew up in a non-Christian family. Before coming to church, I led a relatively privileged, smooth-sailing life and was happy. I never truly saw a need for God. But as school work and activities intensified, I became more stressed. I envied some of my close Christian friends for they seemed to be at peace no matter what problems they faced. One of them is Marcus. We were in the choir executive committee. Despite facing conflicts in the committee and stress from the choir master to perform to a high standard, he always had a positive attitude. I knew he was a devout Christian, so I thought: “Could this be because of his faith?” Even though I was unsure I even believed in God, I found myself praying to Jesus whenever I was confronted by difficulties. I’m grateful my prayers were always answered. I was sure it was more than just a coincidence. I became curious about Christianity and attended ACC more regularly. God continued to draw me close to Him throughout national service.
When I enlisted in January of 2016, I was in a section where 75% of the guys were Christian. They were probably the nicest, most devout people I have ever met. No matter how tired they were, the band of brothers took care of me and put my interest over their own. Their devotion made an impression on me. They used every pocket of rest time they had to study and scribble notes in their Bible. If reveille was at 5.30am, they would be up by 5am to do devotion. They would also fill up everyone’s water bottle. I thought they were crazy. But witnessing how much they pushed themselves for God and for others inspired me. How could they love me like a brother even though we barely knew each other? If they were willing to go so far, perhaps God really is real. I started to ask more questions and my buddy gave me a Bible three weeks into our BMT. I started reading more of God’s word, and my faith grew stronger.
In Isaiah 53:3-5, I read that “We despised Him and rejected him; He endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at Him —we ignored Him as if He were nothing. But He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that His suffering was punishment sent by God. But because of our sins He was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment He suffered, made whole by the blows He received.” How could anybody bring himself to suffer such a painful death fo people who do not love Him at all? I thought. But Jesus loved us so much. He bore our sins on the cross and redeemed us once and for all. His ultimate act of love touched me deeply, and I felt a sense of release. God continued to show His grace and mercy through my struggles. I’m thankful that I’m saved in the name of Jesus. Jesus has changed my life and perspectives. I’m excited to have Him alongside me on my life’s journey.
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Delivered from Depression - Chia Wen
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Drawn by Kindness & Love - Amos
Encountering Jesus, for Real - John