No Longer The Same
By Jenny Then
Since my baptism at River on 27 March 2016, I have grown from a baby Christian to a growing Christian. Praise God.
Initially, life as a Christian for me was tough because I felt there were a lot of Do’s and Don’ts to observe. One that I really struggled with was not to gamble. Being a regular 4-D and TOTO gambler for more than 20 years, there was an internal struggle within my soul. It had been a weekly ritual for me that on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, I would anxiously wait to bet on my favorite numbers and hoping to make a windfall. Reading the Bible was also a struggle because each time I opened my Bible and started reading, I would fall asleep. It even came a time that when I couldn’t sleep, I would read the Bible, and I would be snoring and sleeping soundly within minutes. This went on for a few weeks and I realized I had yet to experience a breakthrough in my old self.
In the month of June 2016, I had to move to stay with my niece, Maggie, for about three months, as the flat I purchased had to undergo renovation. I thank God for my niece’s kindness and generosity to offer her place for my sister Joyce, my mother and me to stay in during that period. Maggie shared with us that she had a strong prompting from God to do that. Praise the Lord! God showed His love and care for me in such a personal matter.
During my stay with Maggie, my spiritual life has grown tremendously. Almost every night, she would share her knowledge about the Bible. Each time after the sermon on Sunday, I would complain to her about how difficult it was to understand the different Bible characters and verses that were taught. Then my dear niece, Maggie went to source for video clips and Bible verses that related to my questions and doubts about God. She also gave me materials to read to help me understand the Bible better. Praise God that Maggie was so resourceful in teaching and guiding me to learn God’s Word.
This was really an awesome milestone in my life. I started off with little spiritual maturity but began to experience tremendous spiritual growth. I began to look forward each day to learn the Word of God by reading the Bible. I would first say a short prayer to God asking for wisdom and revelation. Gradually, I finished the first four Books in the Old Testament and Hebrews in the New Testament. Now I know that all Christians are the seeds of Abraham; the God that I worship is God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Jacob has 12 sons who formed the 12 tribes; Jesus is from the tribe of Judah. In the Old Testament, God has commanded a set of laws to follow such as guilt offering, sin offering and peace offering and many more. In the New Testament, I learn that Jesus has fulfilled them and now I am under the new covenant. Praise God. God has been giving me the understanding of His Word.
Our Pastor at River, Reverend Dr Stephen Tan, taught in one of his sermons the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And and the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” With the help of Holy Spirit, I will apply this commandment in my life.
Reading the Bible, I learn that our God is so holy, perfect and loving. After reading the Book of Leviticus, this verse is always on my mind. Leviticus 11:45 “For I, the LORD, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. Therefore, you must be holy because I am holy.” God must have a purpose for me to remember this verse. I will continue to meditate on this Word and let God transform me.
To be like God is impossible. But with Christ Jesus, everything is possible. I used to fall asleep whenever I read the Bible but now, I love God’s Word and am growing in my spiritual life. Not only this, with the support of my sister, Joyce, my niece, Maggie, as well as the constant encouragement and prayer from both my Pastors, Reverend Dr Stephen Tan and Reverend Monica Sng, I have stopped betting on 4D and Toto supernaturally! Thank God for giving me the ability to break this habit of more than 20 years! My life has since become more peaceful and my beautician even commented I look more radiant and joyful. I am so blessed with God’s love and care. He has made me a more considerate and lovable person. Praise the Lord!