Hello everybody my name is Jabez and I am here to give my testimony of how I came to know Christ, I was born on the 4th of September 2003, I was born in Penang, Malaysia. I was raised in a Christian family and was brought up with Christian values. From what my earliest memory could recall, I remember going to Sunday school and learning about what Jesus was like and what he had done for us. Essentially from kinder to year 2, my relationship with God was growing and my understanding of the bible was accumulating. In year 2 our family migrated to Melbourne, Australia. Here, we regularly attended a Church in Camberwell and even though we went there every Sunday, my intention was never focused on learning more about God. It was more because my family went, and I had to follow them as well. During these few years I never really thought that I needed God in my life. Skip forward time a little, to year 5. This was about the time that we changed churches to Knox Preaching Point. Before this church called this Glory Methodist Church, we called it Knox Preaching point. During this time was when my faith about God was challenged. I had friends at school that weren’t Christians and the people I hung around with were always making jokes about Christianity. They would often ask me, “How do you know God is there if you can’t see him” or “How do you know the bible is real?”. These questions really made me doubt what I was believing in. As a result, I fell away from God.
I spent most of my days at school messing around and during every week when I would go to Sunday school, I wouldn’t listen there as well. That resulted in my relationship with God deteriorating. I started falling further away from him and I did not bother to spend time with him either. However, I continued to go to church, not so much because I wanted to be there but was more because my family went, and I had to go. Near the end of year 6 I was really worried about making the right friends in high school because most of my friends were going to different schools. I never asked or talked to God about putting the right people in my life, so some friends came along, and they weren’t Christians. At school we would get into fights with people and often that would get me into suspensions, my behaviour, the things I said, jokes I made, none of them were honouring God. At this point in my life, I was living a double life. At school I would be a completely different person to who I would be on Sundays.
Near the end of year 7 and at the start of year 8, my teachers thought that my friends and I were causing too much trouble being in the same class, so I was moved into another class by myself. Having the chance to have a new start I didn’t know what to do. I was lost and alone. During this time, I was still going to church and youth and one night when we were having worship at youth, this song came up, it was called “broken vessels”. It really touched my heart as I was lost, and this song was talking about once being lost but now being found. As this song was being played, I reflected on my life. I realised that I was living very miserably without God and that my life was only full of things that made me temporarily satisfied.
That night I asked God to help me, I asked him to be a part of my life again. The bible verse John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” reminded me of God’s love for me. At this point in my life I have forgotten how much God had loved me and I have been disobeying him my whole life. When I felt weak or useless, he was there, he reminded me to “be strong and courageous”. When I felt discouraged, he reminded me to “not be afraid and do not be discouraged”. When I was lonely, I started seeking and talking to him and he was there for me. After that year of experiencing his love I started to pray more and read the bible consistently every day. I started to go to church and youth each and every week willingly and I started to serve him with a willing heart. To sum up, before I truly came to know God, I had had this feeling of emptiness inside me. It didn’t feel like my friends were there for me and I felt alone. Each day when I woke up, I would feel very unmotivated to go to school. I felt lost.
But through it all God’s grace was sufficient, and He has been faithful to me even though I haven’t been. He changed the way I spoke and the way I acted at school and around my friends. He taught me to love and serve others like how Jesus loved and served us. Without him today, I wouldn’t be who I am now. Comparing myself to the past, I would be afraid to let people know that I was Christian. I was afraid of being judged. But now because of Jesus Christ I am no longer afraid. He is not just a God that has created us but also a God that also loves us like a father. We don’t deserve God’s love, but yet He has given us the greatest gift, sacrificing His one and only Son Jesus Christ for us. Knowing Christ and being able to have a relationship with him have definitely been the greatest blessing in my life.
Because of Jesus, I have been able to walk through the difficult times by the assurance and comfort I find in his words written in the bible. My journey with God doesn’t just stop here. I still make mistakes; I still fall away from him at times but one thing I can say for sure is that I need him in my life. He’s the reason why I am here today. Thank you.