‘One Thing I Desire’

“He [Barnabas] was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”    Acts 11:24

It’s been almost a week since Pastor Chuck Smith, “changed addresses” and went back home to be at one with the Lord, and I still miss him.  As I was pondering my thoughts, reflecting back on all the Men’s Conference’s I went to hear Pastor Chuck Smith.

One thing that kept coming back to me was what a Good man he was!  If there ever was an example, a template that God made of a modern day prophet who loved God with his all his being, and chose to live a life of obedience towards God, there is no one like Pastor Chuck Smith.

I recall how many times I would listen to his Romans 5,000 series that became my cup of cool water after all my reading, studying the Word of God.  Pastor Chuck’s legacy is imprinted on CD’s, and everywhere online that can be viewed or listened to on just about any device you have, any time of the day or night!

       As I was doing my devotion today, I ran accross this passage in Acts 11:24~                       “He [Barnabas] was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

The Holy Spirit said to me, “This man, Chuck Smith, he was a good man!”  Why? Many reasons, but the key reason was that he was full of faith and the Holy Spirit.  This should come as no surprise to anyone who has heard his teaching, and that the Holy Spirit who lived in Pastor Chuck, lives in us who believe, and He is constantly producing the fruit of the Spirit, conforming us to the character of Jesus Christ.

That is what made Pastor Chuck so special and unique.  He understood this, and taught to all of us that that same Spirit alive in him could abide in all us to have the same character of Jesus Christ.   It’s no wonder that Pastor Chuck’s influence was so great on the lives of those who sat in under his teaching,  Pastor Chuck’s life was constantly under the influence of God’s Spirit!

pastor chuck radio

“He [Barnabas] was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”  

Paul, under the influence of the Holy Spirit gives us a great  “spiritual profile” of a man named Barnabas.

Barnabas appears to be the kind of Christian all of us would do well to emulate. He was a righteous man who obeyed the Word in daily life so that his character was above reproach.    Barnabas was a man who was filled with the Holy Spirit, which explains the effectiveness of his ministry.

That he was a man of faith is evident from the way he encouraged the church and then encouraged Paul.

How did Barnabas encourage these ? For one thing, he rejoiced at what he saw. Barnabas approached it positively and did not look for things to criticize. It was a work of God, and Barnabas gave thanks for God’s grace.

I remember a story that Pastor Chuck used often when he first opened up Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Apparaently they had just laid down a sparkling new carpet inside the Man Sanctuary, and everyone including the elders of the church were thrilled!

It just so happened that this was the period of time in the sixties when Pastor Chuck, thanks to his wife’s influence was opening up the church to the young hippies. One day a ‘problem’ ocurred when these young people began to invade this new church, news carpet and all! Well, the elders weren’t too happy when they saw that all these young kids were coming to church barefoot!  The elders were upset because these kids were bringing dirty feet on their brand new carpet.   Well, as Pastor Chuck saw what was happening, he proceeded to get a bowel and water and towels and waited at the door for thses kids to come to church and proceeded to wash their feet!

What a great lesson to learn and seen by all who attended. Pastor Chuck , like Barnanbas, brought a fresh outlook and chose to look at the problem positively, and chose not to criticize  these young people.  Pastor Chuck saw it as an opportunity for everyone to see that it was a work of God, that by ‘grace we are saved, not by works, lest anyone boast, it is a gift of God.’.  Thus the Calvary Chapel movement spread like wildfire, because being a Christian wasn’t based upon what you did, what you wore to church, it was based by the grace God has given freely to all who receive it.

Finally, Pastor Chuck  emphasized dedication of the heart as he taught the people the Word of God.  He revolutionized Bible Study by reading the whole Bible, ‘word upon word, line upon line’.  Reading the Bible no longer was a ‘distant, boring’ ritual. Pastor Chuck brought the Bible alive through the Holy Spirit, encouraging everyone to ‘spend time daily, alone with God, and ‘fellowshipping with God’ daily.

I recently had a close friend and devout Brother in Christ asking me, now that Pastor Chuck is gone, what men were being raised by those whom Pastor Chuck personally discipled to plant churches.  Men like, John Courson, Steve Mays, Raul Ries, Jeff Johnson, and many more who all were raised by Pastor Chuck.

My answer was, I couldn’t account for other Calvary Chapel churches, but I’m convinced that if we take this mantel and live lives like Pastor Chuck did, filled with the Holy Spirit, dedicated to the teaching of the Word of God, verse by verse, and bringing in personal application and devotion daily unto God, than I believe God will keep on raising up men and women to stand for Him.

What Barnabas did for Saul needs to be practiced in our churches today. Mature believers need to enlist others and encourage them in their service for the Lord.

It was one of D.L. Moody’s policies that each new Christian be given a task soon after conversion. At first, it might be only passing out hymnals or ushering people to their seats, but each convert had to be busy. As previously mentioned, he said, “It is better to put ten men to work than to do the work of ten men.” Many of Mr. Moody’s “assistants” became effective Christian workers in their own right and this multiplied the witness.

I believe it’s time for the church to stand and be counted, especially in these latter days when the faith of many is waxing cold.  God has called us to ‘build, and edifyu each other in the faith”   We need to pray and ask God to bring out the potential Baranbas’ of the church and keep the work that Pastor Chuck began by and through the Holy Spirit going 100%.   Please take the time and pray for your church, and ask God to help you be a Barnabas, and encourager, that through this testimony of faith, others will ‘put their hands on the plow” and never look back!

CHUCK AND WIFE

Here’s Today’s Video! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYBLCV1nqHE

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