A few weeks ago, I caught up with one of my blockmates. If you read a few of my earlier posts, this is one of the guys I would play CounterStrike with often. (BLOG) As we talked, we marveled at how far God had taken both of us already. And I asked his permission to blog his testimony.
I still remember the first time I shared to Daimler. It was 2001. We were in the second semester of our first year in college. It was from the second of floor of SEC-A in Ateneo de Manila. We sat on the ledge, our legs dangling out, looking at the people walking around. I shared what the Gospel message is and what it meant to have Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It was the best presentation I’d ever given and I was shot down immediately. I still remember his exact words:
“So you’re telling me, I’m supposed to put my faith, my whole life in the hands of this God. And just follow Him around like I’m some dog and He’s my master?”
“Uh… yes,” I stammered. “And He’s a good master! He’ll take care of you!” But I knew I lost him already. He graciously ended the conversation, and we left it at that.
I went home feeling so discouraged. Why wasn’t it working? Why didn’t he repent right there? There’s no way the Gospel is not powerful, so was it just me?
Three years later, I got part of my answer. It was our last year and last semester. In fact, we were at one of the many parties that celebrated the end of college life. Daimler and I were talking at the table when someone came handing out beers.
“I know you don’t drink, Joe, so I won’t even offer you. How about you, Daimler?”
“None for me, thanks.”
Me to him: “Why aren’t you drinking? Cutting back?”
“No. Oh, I forgot to tell you! I’ve become a Christian!”
“WHAT? When? How?”
He then recounted how he came to faith. Because of a series of selfish behavior and bad decisions, he’d made a royal mess of his personal life. Even though he was able to avoid much of the consequences, he couldn’t deny how badly he’d acted. He knew he was sinful.
Then someone invited him to a camp with CCF. At the camp, he heard the Gospel being shared again: how Jesus, the son of God, became man to die for the sins we committed in rebellion against God; how He gave new life and unlimited grace to anyone who would believe.
With the knowledge of his own sin at the back of his head, he couldn’t accept it and he left the room. He told me that he was thinking in his head, “Hindi ka pwedeng mamatay para sa akin, Lord. Lugi ka sa akin.” (You can’t die for me, Lord. I’m not worth it.) Daimler was always business-minded. And then while he was thinking those thoughts, that’s when he was made to realize that that’s what the Love of God means. He didn’t die to get something from us, to put us to work, or because we are clean and worthwhile. But He loves us, and that made us worth dying for.
Daimler put his faith in Jesus that day and has since been discipled. While his Christian life has not been without it’s ups and downs (like everyone else), he’s definitely getting closer and closer to God, resulting in a more and more life change.
I wanted to share his story for a number of reasons:
1. Share your faith! You never know what God will do with it. While we were having lunch, Daimler said, “I still remember that first time I heard the Gospel from you in first year.” It wasn’t a waste of time. Sometimes we pre-judge people and think that there’s no point sharing to them because they never listen. We don’t know that. God’s Word is powerful and will always have an effect.
2. We are all messed up. All of us are like Daimler was. We are all inherently sinful and messed up. Some of us do a good job of hiding it from others. Some of us can compensate and so we potentially fool ourselves into thinking that we aren’t actually that bad. But sooner or later, we will come face to face with the realization that we are more wicked and flawed than we’re ready to admit. And that’s a good thing. Because…
3. God’s free gift of salvation is available to whoever will believe. Some of us might think like my friend did, “Why would you do that for me? I don’t deserve it.” No, we don’t. But God loves you and that’s enough. The question is, do you believe? I’d you’d like to know more about this, send me a private message and we can talk about it.
Thanks, Daimler, for being willing to share your story!