SAVED Stories: 1 Timothy 1:15-16 by Ren dela Cruz

SAVED Stories: 1 Timothy 1:15-16 by Ren dela Cruz

Jan 18 , 2021

Ed Navarro

My name is Ren dela Cruz. My Saved Story is both the time I gave my life to Christ, and Him saving me from something harmful. Growing up as an only child in a middle class family living in Tondo, I was exposed to fits of rage, vices, foul language, and pornographic magazines at an early age. To fend for us, both my parents worked extremely hard, but the downside was I longed for love and affection even then. I brought with me everything I was exposed to as a child and especially had a penchant for lying and constantly craving the attention of men. In my college years where freedom and experimentation was the norm, I took things to the next level - partying, trying drugs, and even casual sex. This continued on throughout my early 20s, until I met someone who wanted a serious relationship and whom I thought I would end up marrying. Yet infidelity tore the relationship apart, and right at the moment a big issue was also threatening to break my already dysfunctional family. Devastated and wanting to escape, I went back to the lifestyle I had always known. But this time, all the lust-filled escapades and vices in the world could not cover up the huge, gaping hole in my heart. Instead of feeling the high I had before, I felt used up, tired, and hopeless. Desperate, I contemplated on taking my life. Little did I know the LORD had already started His work in my heart — in one of the darkest times of my life, I begged the God of all creation to prove He was real, and to show me that life was still worth living. 

Sure enough, the LORD answered. Shortly after my desperate plea to God, an acquaintance I met invited me to a church retreat — I went not knowing anyone, nor anything about it. It was there I heard the LORD speak directly to me. The void in my heart started being filled, and my biggest questions were answered. I heard Him loud and clear -- He was calling me back home. 
 Understanding Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for someone like me both broke my heart and changed the way I saw my life. God’s sinless Son allowed himself to be beaten, spat on, and nailed to the cross to die in the place of a sinner like me. I felt both unworthy, and deeply loved. I repented of all the sin I had committed against my body, against others, and ultimately against my LORD, and put my faith in Jesus Christ. I asked the LORD to help me leave my old life behind and I welcomed the start of a new one—surrendered to Him.

By God's grace, I am now living life vice-free — for over seven years. I am pursuing a life of purity, and plugged into a local Christian church, who pray for and guide me in my walk. 

The LORD is also continuously restoring my family, starting with my grandmother, who grew in her love and devotion to God and His Word before she passed away. My mom is now also living a life in Christ, surrendering her life to the LORD in a retreat she attended, and now part of a Dgroup and serving in ministry. God has also started His work in my dad, whom we constantly pray for, and who has gotten to attend several Sunday services with us and has heard the gospel.

In His goodness and grace, the LORD is also using me to share His love to others — serving through various ministries as He leads, conducting Bible studies, and being a missionary through the airwaves as a DJ in Saved Radio, a Christian Radio station.

What used to be a life so dark and hopeless, He continues to turn into a story of His overwhelming love, mercy, and grace.
 Taking the words of Paul the Apostle in 1 Timothy 1:15-16: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”

This is the truth that I now rest my life on: I found the hope I needed to live, the love I longed for my whole life, and the power to be free from the control of sin -- all at the cross.

I am Ren dela Cruz, a sinner saved -- and constantly being transformed as I follow my LORD and Savior -- Him who gave His life so I may live. All praise be unto my LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.