Today my mind is filled with both sadness and joy. Sadness over the fact that Pastor Chuck Smith is no longer hear with us. But thankful that He is more alive than when He was here with us. He is in the presence of the Lord. He has heard the Words of Jesus "Well Done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the Joy of the Lord."
As far back as I can remember Chuck has been my pastor. No doubt that is a testimony that many people share. I am so very grateful for the legacy that Chuck has passed on. A legacy of living for Jesus, of preaching the gospel, of running your race and finishing well. The commitment to teaching and preaching the Word of God. These were not only things that he taught, but more importantly these were the things that he lived.
As I look at the church today and see various ministries that God is using around the world I picture it as a relay race on a track. A track has many different lanes for different runners to run in. In the Christian race we are not competing against one another, we are on the same team, we have the same goal. Our approach or philosophy of ministry may vary, but there is still unity in the midst of our diversity. Some men run in one particular lane identifying with an approach to ministry, while others run in another lane. Yet within the race there comes the moment when the baton is passed. One runner has completed his race, and passes it to the next man to run his.
For me, I know what lane I am called to run in. There is another generation coming up that is desperately in need of the Word of God, just as the former generation was. I want to hold the line of sound doctrine. I want to continue to "simply preach the Word simply." I want to take the baton and run the race to win. Pastor Chuck blazed the trail and like so many other men, I am in the ministry today partly because of his influence. His words echo in my mind this day, " you have one life to live and it will soon be past, and only what you do for Jesus will last." By the grace of God I will run my race and finish well. I miss you papa chuck....