I grew up in a world where God did not exist, or He was only seen as a genie who grants wishes. My family is non-Christian so I wasn’t exposed to God or who He is. I had never been to a church and even in primary school I went to non-scripture classes. For the first half of my life I really hadn’t known or experienced God and He didn’t affect my life in any way.
I attended PresbyterianLadiesCollege for high school, and although it was a Presbyterian school, the school’s religion didn’t mean anything to me. I was just sent there because it was just another private school. There were religious education classes which were compulsory, and being the Asian child I was, I would listen in class and study for the exams to do well in the subject, but never actually take the information to heart. This was probably the first time I was exposed to this person called God and what He did.
It wasn’t until year 9 when my friend Valerie invited me to the combined BLAZE (youth group) and IGNITE (young adult group) monthly games week at CBC was I actually exposed to what a church was like and what Christians were like. I would show up every month be- cause it was just playing games and it was fun. After a while I did actually start going to the youth group that was on every week, and me being the playful per- son I was, continued going to church even when it was exam time and the friends who brought me to church stopped going. I was what people would call a “social church goer”, who went to church just for the social aspect. I never really thought what going to church and being a Christian meant. I only attended youth group and never went to service because I found it boring and couldn’t understand the content.
In 2009, I went to BLAZE Youth Getaway Camp for the first time, which is held during Easter every year. It was during this camp that I began to understand and question what going to church and being a Christian actually meant. It was customary on the last day of the camp to take communion and it was the first time I had heard of what taking communion really meant. Pastor Steve Turner read out to us 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgement on them- selves.” For the first time I questioned myself, “Why have I been going to church for the past year?” I realised that I had brought judgement on myself that one time during service when I unknowingly took the bread and drank the cup just because everyone else was doing it. Now that I understood the meaning of communion, I realised that I now faced judgement for my actions and I was overcome with fear as I felt the weight of my sin fall on me.
1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” Although I was aware of the gift of Jesus dying on the cross, taking our judgement and punishment for our sins, I couldn’t accept it. I wasn’t able to because in my mind I saw Christians with their believing families being able to spend their eternity in heaven together, whilst I coming from a non Christian family, I would be forever alone in heaven. I wasn’t able to commit to Christ and accept all that He had done because I hold my family close and really value them. The good news about what Jesus had done for me, giving me eternal life lingered on my mind for a while. It took a while to sink in and after much contemplation; I finally came to the conclusion that if I didn’t do anything then my whole family including myself would be doomed to hell. It was then that I decided to commit to Christ and hoped that through myself, I could be a Christian example to my family and lead them to eventually believe in God and all that He had done for them. Another truth that helped me was the reminder that I wouldn’t be alone in heaven as I would have my Heavenly Father and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ with me.
Of course, the story doesn’t end there. After becoming a Christian your life doesn’t just become sunshine and rainbows. There are points in life where God reminds us of who we are, who He is and how our faith affects our life. Last year I faced a wake-up call in my Christian walk. I was trying to keep up this perfect and happy Christian façade, when in reality my life wasn’t like that. I’m not perfect, I don’t always serve for the right reasons or remember who it is I’m serving. But, God in His mercy keeps revealing to me through His word and His people how I can keep living for Him.
Ephesians 2:1-10, pointed me back to God and what really matters in life. It talks about how we were dead in our sin, following the ways of the world, bound for a course of eternal death in hell. But then because of God’s great love and mercy, we were made alive in Christ through His death and resurrection. It is by this grace that we are saved through faith, not from our- selves or anything that we do – it is a gift from God. Grace reminds us that our salvation has nothing to do with us or what we do. It’s all about what God has done. It reminded me to stop putting the focus on my- self and to base my identity on God and the things He has already done for us.
Ephesians 2:8-10 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from your- selves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that 10 no one can boast.
created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.