Summary: This is my testimony in sermon form. It tells of how God’s Grace has taken my old drug addicted life and transformed me into something brand new.
1. 1st Corinthians 15:9-11 AMPLIFIED VERSION
The apostle Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth:
15:9 “For I am the least worthy of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving to be called an apostle, because I once wronged and pursued and molested the church of God, oppressing it with cruelty and with violence.
15:10 But by the Grace (the unmerited favor) of God I am what I am, and His Grace toward me was not found to be for nothing. In fact, I worked harder than all of them, though it was not really I, but the Grace of God which was with me.
15:11 So, whether then it was I or they, this is what we preach and this is what you believe.”
You can call this a sermon or a testimony tonight, it really makes no difference to me, but I’d simply like to speak to you for just a little while on this thought, “I Am What I Am ONLY By The Grace Of God.”
2. Grace simply means the unmerited or undeserved favor of God.
Webster’s Dictionary defines Grace as “Unmerited divine assistance given man for his regeneration or sanctification”. It also says that it is, “A virtue coming from God”.
You can’t work hard enough and earn grace.
You can’t be good enough for grace.
Grace is freely given to us by God.
Romans 3:23 - 24 from the Amplified Bible says, “All have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. All are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is provided in Christ Jesus.”
Thank God for His gift of Grace.
Where would I be tonight, but for the Grace of God.
3. Some time ago, I was at a church for the weekend services and I staying in the evangelistic quarters.
It was late on a Saturday night and I was seeking God’s direction for the following days services.
While I was in there meditating, I began looking back at my own life and where I was in my walk with the Lord at that time.
I thought to myself, “Here I am preaching, singing and sharing the good news of God’s mercy in my life and I was pretty amazed at how far I’d come over the past few years.
To think, I’m actually preaching. Me???!!!
That’s nearly unbelievable.
Nobody could be more unworthy than myself.
I’ve come quite a long way from where I used to be and life is going pretty well over all.
I’m selling CDs and tapes.
My schedule is staying full.
I’ve really done quite well for myself.”
If you’ll notice in my thoughts, I was giving myself a whole lot of credit for where I’d come from.
“Lord, Help us to realize that we are nothing within ourselves and that ALL GOOD things come from you alone!
But as I pondered these sorts of thoughts and I felt a hint of pride welling up within myself, this question began piercing it’s way into my consciousness, “What has Grace done in your life?”
As I began to focus on this question, I began to see what God was wanting me to see.
I began to realize that there’s a lot more to it than, “I’ve done pretty good for myself”.
I began to realize that because of things that I had done for myself years earlier, that God’s Grace had to reach that much farther for me.
I realized that Grace is the reason that I’m alive!
Grace is the reason my mind is working and my heart is beating.
Grace is the reason that I’m able to sing and preach.
It didn’t take me very long to see the handprint of God’s Grace all over the days and years of my life.
I cried and said, “Lord, I know what I am.
Forgive me for boasting within myself.
You have delivered me from drugs, alcohol, death and hell and I Am What I Am today ONLY by your Grace and nothing more!”
My friend, we’d better know that it’s only by His Grace that we’re able to be here right now.
If things are going well in your life, you’d better remember that God gets the glory.
4. Whenever I was in drug rehab, I was there with 14 other addicts.
They were 14 other nice folks, who simply had a real serious problem, just as I did.
This isn’t a brag or a boast in anyway upon myself, but I can say that by the Grace of God I was able to establish a relationship with Him and it’s only through that relationship based on His Grace that I’ve remained clean and sober for 4 ½ years.