In Christ There must be
Transformation of Life
by Sister Leah Troncoso, May, 2003
I am the youngest of nine children in the family and was born knowing that my parents are Christians. At the age of 7, I first heard through Sunday school the name of Jesus, who came to earth as a baby, who died on the cross to save me from my sins, and who on the third day rose from the dead. As a young child I could see that my parents were not really so serious about their Christian life.
Years after, when I grew up, I was baptized. I saw myself active in the church, yet I could not resist worldly pursuits. In short, we lived a ‘mixed’ life. I remember once I was sent to a Youth Rally with some other young people. I will not forget the theme. It was 2 Cor. 5:17, which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” [NKJV] I was convicted of my sins, and with tears, I came forward, rededicating my life to God, for I knew my life was not pleasing to Him.
Later, I got married and had three children. When life became tough for us, I decided to go to Hong Kong. When I arrived there, the first thing I did was to look for a church and I found Kowloon Baptist Church. I had some training there, yet I did not grow much. Do you know why? Well, in Hong Kong, there are so many attractions. Especially at the end of the month when I receive my salary, I enjoyed buying things for my family, as well as investing my money in the Philippines. Although I was active in the church, yet my heart was focused on earthly security. Because of this, it hindered my growth in the Christian life.
After several years of working in Hong Kong, I went home to the Philippines due to some discomfort in my body. At that time, the fellowship I was attending, Grace Christian Church, was in Yau Ma Tei, under Pastor Loquias. It was God’s will that when I planned to go back to Hong Kong, right away God provided me with an employer. In less than a year, I was back there. Upon my return, the church was already under the Disciples Church workers, after Pastor Loquias’ passing away. I saw a big difference in the life of the sisters as compared to the time I left. I saw how they had grown spiritually, and because of this, I was attracted, I was challenged, and I was encouraged.
I desired to come closer to God. Because of this desire to obey the Lord, God gave me disciplines in my life, in order to correct me of my wrongdoings. There were several disciplines in my life which God revealed to me. The worst experience I have ever had in my life was that a relative of mine argued with me on something. Do you know what was the problem? The self! The self wanted to exalt itself. Nobody would accept their faults. And so, it came to the point that tempers flared! We had no control; we did not have forgiveness; we did not respect the leaders; we did not respect the church; and above all, the name of God was put to shame. I came to analyze this. Is this the kind of life that God wanted for us? Why did this happen? This happened in order to reveal what kind of Christians we are. Are we really His people? If we are His people, are we changed? Aside from arguments, there was slandering within the family. Are we really changed? If we are changed, we had the obligation to work out what God had worked in. We have to work out that salvation that God had given to us. To “believe and be saved” is not enough. In the Christian life, there must be “dying to the self”. There must be transformation of life, so that the life of Christ will be manifested in our life. As far as the self is concerned, those things that happened in my life were so degrading, so humiliating, and thus, the self could not accept them. It is really hard to forgive when the self is controlling one’s life. Really, it is hard, especially when the conflict is in your own family.
For a few nights, I could not sleep. I came to the Lord in prayer. I committed all these things to Him, asking Him to give me strength and power to forgive, for I know I cannot do it by myself alone. I cannot do it. But thanks to the power of God’s Word in my life, He reminded me of His words in James 1:22. The command in these words of the Lord is still very strong in my life. He said: “This time, Leah, you are not a listener anymore, but a doer of My word.” “Forgive, for I have forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:32). Yes, the command is very strong: “Forgive, for I have forgiven you.” By the grace of God and the power of His Holy Spirit, I learned to forgive. I learned to love. Brothers and sisters, do you forgive those who sin against you? Do you love your enemies? Be a doer, for this is the will of God for the life of His people.
As I was writing this testimony, I was meditating on this part. As I was recalling why these things happened, these words came to my mind: “As you desire to obey Me, you will experience these things. Degraded? Humiliated? I was hang on the cross!” I praised and worshipped God at that moment, for He was able to let me fully understand what these things mean in my life. He prepared me for His purpose.
To all the leaders of this church, I praise and thank God for how you labored much for my spiritual life. Because of your love and dedication to this church, I was able to come closer and experience the Lord deeper in my life. Please continue to pray for us that God will continue to transform us and equip us for the advancement of His kingdom.
(c) 2012 Christian Disciples Church