1 Feb 2015 by Jason Law CM –
From the top of the financial world, to the lowest depths of any experience a man can go through, and back through redemption with a miraculous, awe-inspiring and loving God, Marcus Liew has experienced it all, and recently he shared his story with Christianity Malaysia.
Marcus’ story started ten years ago, during a time of financial crisis in his life, ‘Out of good intention, and lack of knowledge, a relative of mine introduced me to a man in a temple. I gave him some money to help me and shortly thereafter, my cash flow improved miraculously.’
‘That was how I got involved with temple worship, and I started to donate money to the temple, sometimes up to hundreds of thousands to pay for temple building. Naturally, in time they made me a chairman of this temple and I was actually one of the youngest temple chairmen in the nation. I used to consult the man I knew in the temple for everything, even for advice in my business. With his consent, I entered into a new business partnership.’
Initially, life was good for Marcus and he even made as much as RM150,000 per month.
‘Looking back, even the devil has his power,’ Marcus shared. ‘I was supposedly the king of my world and living the dream of my life. I smoked up to four packets of cigarettes a day. I entertained every night and I drank to the extent that I bled almost daily. However, when my business started to collapse, the people I thought could help me all left me.’
About a year ago, Marcus was called by the National Bank of Malaysia. At first, it seemed they just wanted to get some statements from him, but Marcus found himself unexpectedly charged for two business offences. Not having the RM600,000 to post bail, he soon found himself in jail. ‘I saw things no one should have to see. The way the inmates were treated; it was inhumane. The prisoners had no dignity and purpose left in life. In my life as well, it was the lowest moment that I have ever experienced,’ he related.
While his parents borrowed enough money to post bail, Marcus went into depression. All his friends left him, and in those days, he thought that he no longer had a future. It was shameless for a man and he had no self-worth if he could not support his family, but everything had been stripped away from him. He was bankrupt and everything that money had bought for him was gone. The only light left in his life in those days was his wife and family.
‘I remember I was sitting alone with my thoughts one day when my wife told me that no matter what happened, the family has to stay together. She suggested that I visited her church pastor, but I had my pride even then. The only response I gave was “I am a chairman of a temple.” I remembered that in the past some Christians had spoken to me about God’s judgment on sinners and people who did not know Him. Looking back, I realized that they may have good intentions but that was a major stumbling block for me at that time. But my wife is a smart woman.’
‘She suggested that I meet a pastor who had been a university friend of mine. I did not object but I gave him the same response that I gave to my wife. He commented that I was a tough nut, but he also said that though I did not choose to accept Jesus, it did not mean that He would not help me.’ The pastor connected Marcus to two members of his church – Mr Ling Teck John and Mr Liew Ah Onn.
Mr Ling is a lawyer and gave Marcus some helpful advice. Mr Liew also shared about his personal testimony, and Marcus related that after hearing about Liew’s experience, his own problem seemed so small. ‘This brother had went through so much, and I was initially puzzled why he would want to help a wreck like me, especially when he did not really know me that well at that time. He and his wife were so supportive and I owe so much to them.’
Later, Marcus’ wife shared with him the story about Jesus and the prostitute. When everyone condemned and wanted to stone her, Jesus showed her love by forgiving her, ‘”You are like that woman in the Bible. When everyone shied away from you and wanted to stone you, brother Liew and family showed you love.”’
One day, brother Liew asked Marcus if he would like to accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. This time, Marcus did not let his ego take control of his life. ‘I simply asked what it took to accept Christ as my Savior. Brother Liew took 45 minutes to explain and then led me to Christ. It was that simple but I felt a huge burden lift off my shoulders and I broke down. I still had some snags regarding my position as temple chairman but God took care even of that. One day they simply called me up and told me that I had been fired from the position, and I just gave thanks to God.’
‘This was a real paradigm shift in my experience,’ Marcus shared. ‘Previously, all my life, I had thought that a man owes everything in his self-worth to himself. “If you want people to look up to you, you climb the social ladder and become a rich and successful man. If you have power, people will look up to you”. Even my religious outlook used to be that way; the more you are able to donate, the more the gods will look kindly on you.’
Marcus’ experiences could have easily broken him but he shared that, looking back, he realized that God had been there even at his lowest depths. ‘Even then, God was already working to redeem me. Now all that matters to me is that more people will come to know and love this awe-inspiring God who is large enough to love us first, even when we refused to recognize Him.’
Today, Marcus has quit smoking, drinking, and swearing. He no longer entertains late into the night, and his wife can confirm that he has been a responsible father and head of the family. The Lord has blessed his business and 90% of his staff today is Christian. The Lord has even employed him to lead more than 16 people to Christ.
‘In my past, I had never knew this amazing God who could accept and love us so much that He would reach down to a broken man. Only now do I realize the impact and magnitude of what He did for my sake even 2000 years’ ago. It took the testimonies, love, and support of Christians to bring this about but I am so grateful to God and these people that He had brought into my life.
‘Today, I tell people of my experience so that they could learn from it. I advise them not to be stubborn or allow their ego to take charge. I only wish I can counsel and share with more people about the gift of salvation and perfect love of Jesus which is available for all,’ he shared.
The day I talked to Marcus I could see that this guy was a strong, confident man, a man who knew his true worth, and that that true worth can only come through the way God sees you.
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