Everyone faces different challenges and struggles in their lives. Sometimes, fear of rejection and disappointment of our past take control of our future. Our journeys in life should be an expression of freedom in Christ and what He has done for us. This series titled “Life Stories” explores the testimonies of our Pluslife speakers and how God intervened in each of their lives. This series challenges us to be honest with one another as children of God.

Life On The Dark Side

By: Joshua Mathew

For our first session of the series ‘Life Stories’, Joshua shared with us his story about “Life on the Dark Side” and how Jesus set him free. Though he grew up in a Christian home, Jesus was honoured religiously out of his fearful heart. The need to disobey God was a constant desire and could not be stopped by his own will. Loving God became a fearful burden to fulfill. He explained how past wounds, failures and insecurities were triggers that tempted him to live a life separated and rebellious towards God. Through bitterness and dissatisfaction it was easy to displease God. Yet encountering Jesus Christ changed everything, especially his heart. Through his life story, we learned that Jesus sets us free to love God genuinely. He encouraged us to daily celebrate and live in the love God provided for us in Christ so that we can hate sin and love His Word, the anchor to our soul.

The Revenant

By: Benjamin Thomas

In our last session, we heard about Benji’s life story titled The Revenant as he compared being born-again to that of returning from the dead like in 1 Corinthians 15:2-4. Before accepting Christ, Benji was consumed by the god of himself. He was highly concerned about his reputation, pride and ego and lived a lifestyle of legalism for the approval of others. He discussed the temptations of sin he faced and gave into, realizing that none of that gave him enough satisfaction. While trying to find truth in science and philosophy, the power of the gospel revealed itself through God’s word. Although he initially struggled with the concept of grace, he realizes now that it was the Spirit who drew him and Christ himself dynamically changed his heart to raise him to new life. Motivated by the gospel now, Benji approaches his relationships differently and follows Christ out of a sincere love of knowing it was Christ who loved him first and that there was nothing he ever did to earn it.

Longing To Belong

By: Ian Opiniano

In our last session, we continued our “Life Stories” series as we dived into Ian’s story. We discovered how his “Longing to Belong” that started from childhood would develop into his search for acceptance in various outlets of the world, but would ultimately lead him to Christ who satisfies every need. “My story is not to elevate my past sin, but to elevate the present Grace of God” Ian’s life story shows that becoming a Christian doesn’t make you perfect, but by God’s grace begins the journey of sanctification.

Why Me?!

By: Joel Mathew

Closing off our “Life Stories” series, Joel took us through a quick glimpse of his life and showed how pride became the ground for him to live in sin. And the thoughts that would run through his mind were “Why did I sin like this? Why didn’t God stop me from sinning? Why do I suffer in life? Why me?!” Yet God in His appointed time saved Joel from that spiritually dead, sinful state. And now, the thought that keeps running through his mind is, “After everything I’ve done and still do, why choose me? Why save me? Why me?!” Ephesians 1:3-14 is the assurance he leans on. God didn’t choose Joel to be saved because he had something good in him; God chose Joel in love for His glory. The rock he stands on is no longer pride but Jesus. And the Holy Spirit is the one changing him to be free from sin, empowering him to live the christian life victoriously. Joel’s life story shows that as a Christian we are chosen, set apart, redeemed, saved and sealed for redemption, not because of anything good found in us, but by His Grace alone. And just because we as Christians face the good, bad and the ugly on this side of eternity, it doesn’t stop the promise of God found in Romans 8:28 that all things (together) work for good to those who love Jesus and are called by God.