MY CHAINS ARE BROKEN
My family and I had been going to church since 1995. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1996 then got baptized in 1998.
In High School, I became an active member of the youth ministry. From being part of the youth band to becoming a leader, I really enjoyed serving the Lord. The youth ministry was my comfort zone. As much as I was enjoying serving in the ministry, I will be the first to admit that during that time I did not really understand fully the reality and depth of what Jesus did for me on the cross. As I was busy with ministry and serving every Saturday, and attending occasional retreats, there was a sin in my life that I kept, even if I was serving the Lord: That sin was pornography.
I was introduced to pornography at a very young age, and it elevated from magazines, to VHS tapes, to VCDs, to DVDs and then thru the internet. Deep inside, I knew it was sin. This was an internal struggle that I kept for many years. I thought I could overcome this easily since I was serving in ministry and would eventually be convicted. But I was wrong. The more I did not deal with it, the more it grew on me. There was always an appetite to have more of it.
Because God loves me, He saved me from a major downfall. He intervened. During the time when I just finished composing the theme song of our youth ministry, leading and discipling a group of young men, and was about to head the campus Bible Study in college with two other men, my discipler discovered my secret sin. It was an immoral sin that I did not tell my accountability and discipleship group for fear that I will be asked to step down in the ministry and give up the men I was discipling. I admitted and confessed my mistake to my discipler and group.
As a result, I was asked to step down from ministry for about 6 months. Because of this, I developed bitterness and lost the appetite to serve again. Pornography dragged me deeper into a life of selfishness and sin. This led to a lifestyle of sex and immorality.
I chose the temporal pleasures of the this world over the eternal pleasures God offers.
But God is faithful and He did not want me to continue on with this lifestyle. God took away a relationship that was of real great value to me. I was so devastated. Worse, a week after the breakup, my family found out my mother had stage 2 breast cancer. I was very angry with God. Why did He allow these things to happen and why did He allow me to suffer.
I realized God was drawing me back to Him. He was convicting me heavily. In the midst of pain and confusion, I began to understand how much I needed God. I was like the Prodigal Son, wasting so many years trying to do things on my own, enjoying the pleasures of this world. I decided to attend a Bible study after 5 years of avoiding it. The bible study leader greeted and welcomed me. After a long chat with him, he found out I was a musician and was looking for a guitarist for the praise and worship time. In short, my first bible study after 5 years led me to play the guitar again during praise and worship.
By the grace of God, He gave me the humility to ask for His forgiveness. I confessed my sins, asked Him to renew me.
I prayed to God to help me overcome sin, and to give me back the desire to read His Word, to know His will for my life, and to serve Him faithfully. I spent more time with my family, especially during that time when we had to be strong for my mom.
God reminded me of how much He loves me through the trials I was facing that time. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
I’m a sinner who needed to be saved. God broke me in order for me to understand what Jesus did for me on the Cross.
By God’s grace, after fully surrendering and recommitting my life to Him, He helped me move on from the heartbreak. By God’s grace my mom was healed from her cancer at that time too. He likewise placed a desire in my heart to go back to His Word and ministry.
I know what my purpose is, and that is to follow the Lord and serve Him all the days of my life, living a life that is pleasing and glorifying to Him. Since I finally gave my whole life to Christ in response to the Cross, my journey has been a picture of God’s grace in my life. He blessed me with an opportunity to serve 3 times at the Feast of Tabernacles (a yearly gathering of Christians from all over the world) as part of the orchestra in Jerusalem, Israel. My trip to Israel made me discover and experience the Jesus of the Bible thus wanting to study God’s Word even more.
Today, by the grace of God, I lead worship in both our mother church and in one of the satellites. Because of the talent God has gifted me, He allowed me to compose, sing and record a worship album released last October 2013. He even uses me to give messages in the Singles Bible Study and at youth gatherings. I am now a full time staff handling online evangelism strategies through our international partner Christian Vision. And finally, after 10 years, God has entrusted me to once again lead a Discipleship group of young men as well as an online group via Skype.
Though I still struggle and face temptations everyday, I choose to respond to the Cross moment by moment to remind myself that I am now forgiven and redeemed by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Though my family still faces trials today – currently my mom’s third battle with cancer- I still choose to trust Jesus because He has brought me this far by His grace, and He will never stop being good. Hebrews 9:22 says,
“And according to the law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”.
Indeed, in Christ I am forgiven. And because I responded to the Cross, Jesus Christ is now truly my Lord, my Master, my Savior, and my Redeemer.