Written by a member of ACTS Ministries Fellowship Bible Study. FBS meets 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th Sundays at 4:00 pm at Tenth Presbyterian Church.
After a 39 year career as a drug and alcohol abuser, an incident occurred prompting me to look to God with gratitude. God spared my life when I was stabbed in the heart and was supposed to die—but didn't! My old self did die a little bit because that's when I began to open my heart to God.
I was raised Roman Catholic, but I didn't know much about Christ, the Bible, or salvation through Jesus Christ. I thought that if you said you believed in God you were saved but that was only half true. Jesus Christ to me was of secondary consideration. I couldn't connect Jesus’ death and resurrection to my salvation and redemption. I frankly didn't know enough about the Gospel to know how to believe it.
So I had to learn what Christ did and why he did it. I began to collect tracts from street evangelists to study and I'd go to churches and talk to a pastor and be prayed for. I would also seek out Christians for encouragement and information.
While searching for Christ my walk didn't change much, but I was beginning to grow intellectually in my knowledge. I was still spiritually dead and thinking that I could sin in moderation and it would be all right. I would say to myself that I wanted to be transformed, but I wouldn't let myself make a true confession. I'd hold back the sin of my addiction. I was aware that confession and repentance have to work together but "I" couldn't get it together.
My life was a mess. I ran away from God. I lost all the "things" I had acquired and I almost lost my toes to frost- bite because I was living on the street.
After struggling with confusion and guilt for a while another incident occurred where I knew God was with me. I was going to hurt one of my roommates for stealing from me, but that night I couldn't sleep. So I decided to read some Christian material. As I was reading and meditating the anger, pressure, and stress I was feeling just went away and I began to smile. I couldn't stop smiling for weeks, and then months. God's holy presence had come over me.
My transformation had begun. My worship and praise started to be real and sincere. It was good being in Christ. It was uplifting to say to people who offered me drugs and alcohol that I no longer used it. The Lord had begun to do many good things in my life. My whole position and circumstance in life changed. In Christ, everything was getting better and better all of the time.
Today I'm full of joy about the blessing God has given me. I'm free from the slavery of addiction sin. I don't have to do that anymore. I'm free to walk with the Lord. I'm free to cherish the hope that my Savior promised.
Dr. Martin Luther King said in a speech: "Free at last, Free at last, Great God Almighty, I'm free at last." And now I am free—freed by Him whose love has filled me with love, love to give and share, love to live by.
© 2019 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By David Apple. ©2019 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org