Beyond the Series: Grace to Sacrifice

Beyond the Series: Grace to Sacrifice

Following Jesus requires denying ourselves and taking up our cross. In this article, Pastors CJ and Mye Nunag share their thoughts on how to embrace a life of obedience and sacrifice.

 

Was there a point in your life where you had to make a big sacrifice to follow God?

PASTOR CJ: Life, generally—in light of following Jesus—is comprised of making sacrifices. But these are not sacrifices caused by sin or disobedience. It’s just that, at some point, there are preferences that we have to let go of for the sake of following Christ.

Years ago, I shifted vocations to follow Jesus. Initially, the plan was for me to become a medical doctor. Everything had already been laid out, including the resources, but I decided to give that up when I was called to serve the Lord and do full-time ministry.

Even until now, there are still sacrifices that I make every day in order to follow Christ. (Like when God prompts me to give more even after I have been faithful in giving.) But obviously, all of these pale in comparison to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. All of these are nothing compared to what He has done for us.

PASTOR MYE: Sometimes, we feel like we are making sacrifices because we are giving up the things that we want, but in reality, we are simply embracing what God wants for us.

There was a time in the past wherein, just like CJ, I thought I had it all figured out. I was supposed to go to law school when God started calling me to a different path.

Even before I became a Christian, I had always wanted to be part of a change in our nation. I thought the best way to do that was to help create laws for the betterment of our country. So I thought I could work in a government office as a lawyer. However, even if it was a noble desire, it wasn’t what God wanted me to do—He wanted me to do full-time ministry. I could have been successful pursuing that career, but I couldn’t have lived with the fact that I was not at the center of God’s will.

 

How do you continue to respond in faith when troubles come?

PASTOR CJ: We find the grace to sacrifice because our Savior sacrificed for us first. Most of the time, it doesn’t feel like we’re making sacrifices anymore, because God is giving us so much grace to do it.

PASTOR MYE: Personally, knowing that God has gone ahead of me as I go through whatever situation gives me the strength to face it. I know I just have to move forward, trust Him, and hold on to His grace as I go to where He wants me to be. There will always be challenges when we follow Christ, but knowing that I’m at the center of His will keeps me grounded in faith.

PASTOR CJ: Responding in faith is really about moving forward and learning how to trust God despite difficult situations. So when there are things that I don’t understand, I take time to reflect and talk to people, confirm with scripture if possible, then take the next step even if things are still a bit vague. I take time to slow down if necessary, but I still continue moving forward.

PASTOR MYE: I guess, the more we move in faith and have a revelation of who God is, the more we become willing to sacrifice. We realize that there’s nothing we cannot lay down before His feet. There’s nothing we can’t give up for Him.

 

Indeed, there’s nothing better than following Christ and being at the center of His will. In the end, it is always worth it to live a life of obedience and faith.

 


Pastor CJ and Pastor Mye serve in our church in U-Belt. They have been married for fifteen years and are blessed with two children—Samuel and Elle.

Beyond the Series is a set of interviews with Victory pastors on topics related to our sermon series.

Never the Same

Never the Same

JD Perez“Frats, drugs, alcohol, and pornography,” twenty-year old JD Perez enumerates, when asked what ruled his life before he met Christ. Violence was so ingrained in his character that hurting other people was the norm for him. “I would beat up a guy just to prove I’m not afraid of him,” he shares.

His temper and misguided behavior estranged him from his family. His relationship with his siblings deteriorated, and he was disrespectful towards his elders. Instead of attending classes, he would spend his time at a computer shop to play video games all day. The rotten condition of his heart manifested through his words and actions. “I would chain smoke, get drunk, curse a lot, and beat up other people out of spite,” he shares, “I was the perfect example of immorality.”

With no regard for his future, JD exploited various vices and lived a hedonistic lifestyle. He became such a troublemaker that his neighborhood started treating him like a criminal.

JD Perez 3His turning point came during his third year in high school, when a friend invited him to attend a worship service for young people. That’s when he met Jomari Badiong, the guy who would eventually disciple him and become his mentor.

When he heard the gospel for the first time, JD discovered God’s radical love. “He completely took hold of my hardened heart and He taught me how to love and forgive,” he says.

Through <a href=”http://facebook.com/one2onediscipleship”>One 2 One</a>, JD learned of a Father’s love that is unconditional, steadfast and eternal. Faced with such overwhelming truth, JD couldn’t help but share how God transformed his life radically. He started preaching the gospel to other people, risking persecution and being called a hypocrite. After all, he was the neighborhood troublemaker.

“The gospel changed my life inside out, but I wasn’t content to be the only one experiencing God’s life-changing love,” he shares, “I had to share it to other people, no matter what.”

JD Perez VGWith encouragement from his mentor, Jomari, he felt empowered to start his own Victory group. Today, JD leads two Victory groups, and mentors college students aged 17 to 19 years.
He considers discipleship very important and stresses that a healthy relationship is a big part of it. “When you disciple someone, you discipline them because you love them,” he says, “After all, God doesn’t just want to see us saved, He wants see us changed, too.”

In the future, JD yearns to lead more people to Christ as he pursues his dream of becoming a Mechanical Engineer. “My mentor is so passionate in sharing the gospel, even in public places, that it rubbed off on me!” he exclaims. He is in faith that if God can change his hardened heart, He can also change the lives of his brothers and relatives, who have yet to know Christ.

“Discipleship is a catalyst of change!” he declares.

Training and Leading the Next Generation

Training and Leading the Next Generation

We are privileged to be partnering with parents in training their children to be leaders of the next generation. Read this testimony from one of our Kids’ Church volunteers and know how God is changing the lives of our kids.

One of our teachers asked a ten-year old boy why no one was fetching him after the service. He told his teacher that he visited Kids’ Church alone and he lives in Fairview. He saves up his daily allowance so he has enough fare to go to our church.

When asked why he kept on coming back, he said, “Kasi po, alam ko (pong) may magandang plano si God sa buhay ko.” He also no longer picks fights with his siblings, among other things.

I’m just amazed with how God has touched the hearts of our kids. I’ve witnessed how much He loves them. I now fully understand why Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

– Sharon, Victory U-Belt

Aside from our weekend services, our Victory locations also hold Kids’ Church services catering to children aged 0-12 years old. Join us at a Victory location nearest you to know more about it!