4460 cdd Apology Accepted
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 18 Number 230
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: 1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” NKJV
Hello, my name is Pastor Ian Mariano with Gracepointe Church in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, Philippines. I was born in General Santos City, Mindanao, Philippines, the oldest of two children. This is my Cross testimony of the faithfulness of Jesus in my life.
My dad was a painter, but he died at the early age of 41 when I was in fifth grade. I had to grow up quickly. Mom did the best she could, and we attended church every Sunday.
A year later I was in church when the preacher spoke of John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” NKJV
It was electric and caught my attention. It was then I realized I needed a relationship with the Son of God. I gave my life to Jesus that day and made Him a promise that when I grew up I’d be a Pastor for Him.
At this young age I became passionate for Jesus. I started tithing and my life revolved around the Lord. I became a leader among the youth which lasted through high school. I was a Vacation Bible School teacher as well as a student leader in everything Christian.
Immediately after high school I started to backslide. I was walking away from all I learned and taught. The world was separating me from Jesus. My aunt loved me enough to send me an admonishment letter. She reminded me of my commitment to Jesus and to become a Pastor for Him. Her love and concern touched my heart.
I reconsidered where I was going and what I was doing. I apologized to Jesus and asked for forgiveness. My apology was accepted as only Jesus can do! I asked the Lord for the finances and availability to go to Bible school. Within two weeks I had five offers from Bible schools.
I chose Jesus for my life and entered Bible School for the next five years. Here I met my future wife Mylene as we ministered together. But it wasn’t until years later that we married.
In Bible school I became an interim Pastor while studying. I was walking by a group of people who were morning the imminent death of a friend. He was contagious, and no one wanted to touch him. I entered the house and whispered in his ear, “Receive Jesus Christ into your life.” Three times I whispered before he said, “yes” and then he died. His entire family and friends received Jesus Christ and joined the church.
Our congregation is poor at Gracepointe Church. There is no money for doctors or medicine. It seems every week someone needs healing. When we pray the Lord answers and they are healed.
The Cross to me means that my shame, failures, sins and rebelliousness were all hung on the Cross with Jesus. He forgave me for everything. He changed my life for the best and provided eternity.
This Cross planted let’s everyone know that there is a Christian Congregation in this place. We witness for Jesus and the gospel is here. No matter the persecutions or political interference Jesus reigns.
We are just getting started. For four years we met in homes. Now we have been here as a congregation in this building for three years. We optimistically look forward to what Jesus will do next.
As a Pastor I enjoy preaching the true word of God as revealed in the Bible. And leading the congregation in heart felt hymns of worship.
My favorite Bible verse is John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” NKJV
Thank you, Pastor Bill and your readers for the Cross.
Prayer: Father thank you for second chances as Jesus accepts apologies and starts over for His glory. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!