I am 54 years old. I was saved when my mother took me to church when I was 12. I was brought up in a traditional church in Naples, Italy, where all the sermons and teachings were based on the law, and I heard how God would smite me if I did not keep them perfectly.
At the age of 15, I moved to Australia with my family, and I stopped going to church and reading the Bible as I felt that it was all too hard. However, I have never stopped believing that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He had died on the cross for me.
In 1984, 11 years after migrating to Australia, my mother went home to be with God. After that, I started going to church again and for four years, I did really well even though the teachings were legalistic. Unfortunately by 1989, a series of life events including a breakdown in my marriage caused me to backslide. But for some reason beyond my comprehension, I held on to the belief that Jesus loves me.
When my mother passed away, my dad was saved. He became such a man of God, always praying and spending time in communion with God. He also kept telling me that he was always praying for me to return to church as his only desire was for his entire family to serve God. At that time, my brother was already strong in his faith but I kept telling my dad not to waste his time on me as I was done with Christianity for good.
In February 2011, my Dad, who was 83 years old then, fell sick and lapsed into a coma in the hospital. The doctors gave him less than a 10 percent chance of waking up and told us to make preparations for his funeral. But God had other plans as against all odds, my dad woke up and was out of intensive care, getting ready to go home within a couple of days. To say that the doctors were amazed would be an understatement.
After my dad woke up, we spent the next three days getting his will, his property and his financial assets in order. During this time, we spent all our time with dad, loving and caring for him, and we could not wait to take him home.
However, his health condition took a quick turn for the worst and within three days, he passed away. I could not understand why God gave him back to us for 10 days only to take him again, and I immediately thought that He was punishing me for not going to church.
While my dad was in coma, I’d promised him that if he woke up and got better, I would return to church. Even though he did not survive, I decided to keep my promise to return to church. So I went to his church and felt proud to have honored him. However, I didn’t stay at his church because it had a congregation of mainly senior citizens. God subsequently led me to another church headed by a pastor who introduced me to Joseph Prince’s message on grace.
When I listened to the message, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. For the first time in my life, I felt so close to my Savior and all I could do was cry and say, “You are awesome, Jesus,” over and over again.” I have since listened to more than 70 of Pastor Prince’s sermons and read his books, Unmerited Favor and Destined to Reign, and am currently waiting for the delivery of another eight of his books.
Through Pastor Prince’s teachings, I have learned that I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ through His perfect finished work on the cross. I have experienced the super abundance of God’s grace. I have also learned that as Jesus is in heaven, so am I in this world. So every time I go through a trial, I just ask myself, “Is Jesus going through this in heaven? No. Well, neither am I here on earth.”
I have learned to bring Jesus into every situation quickly so that I can rest in His unmerited and undeserved grace and love. Through Pastor Prince’s teaching on Joseph and David in the Bible, I have learned that when God is with you, it does not matter what things look like in the natural as God is above all of it. I have learned to trust Jesus and I tap into His love and wisdom daily. I know for sure that He is faithful and will NEVER leave me or forsake me.
My account is a testimony of how God works ALL things for the good to those who love Him. He brought my dad back from a coma so that he could put his affairs in order, and spend some time with his family, relatives and close friends before he went home.
God also used the passing of my dad to call me back to Himself and orchestrated every other event that led me to Pastor Prince’s teachings. God has never forgotten me even though I turned away from Him and this time, the seed has fallen on fertile soil. Hallelujah, praise Jesus! God answered Dad’s prayer and now his entire family serves the Lord!
Now, I am learning the message of grace as it is my desire to bring it to as many people as I can here in Australia. I know it won’t be easy as like Pastor Prince, I keep running into good folks who just don’t want to let go of the law. But I’m trusting the Lord to lead me each day to share the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with others.
Robert Naddei | Australia