Thursday, January 26, 2006

Calvary Chapel SE Pastors' Conference Day Two

Day Two
Session Two
Pastor Chuck Smith

I was late this morning and missed the first session with Don McClure. Don is one of my favorite conference speakers and I’m sorry I missed it. There was some sort of flap around something he said about the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets that have been so en vogue lately. This isn’t a direct quote, but I heard that he said something like: “What’s with these ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bracelets. What do you mean? He’s in you. Why do you need to look at your wrist? You’re an… well, you’re an idiot.”

Hey. Ease up! I didn’t say it. Don did. But I’ve thought that for sometime.

Thankfully, Pastor Chuck came out to save the day. He introduced his talk by talking about reconciliation (appropriate after the WWJD comments from the previous presenter).

His text was 2 Corinthians 5:18-21. We have been given the “Word of Reconciliation”; we are ambassadors of Christ. The apostle Paul says this about himself. We are co-laborers with Christ. Never see yourself as alone in the ministry. The Lord said, “Take my yoke upon you”. But the ministry isn’t supposed to be a heavy burden. His yoke is light.

Chuck flipped back a page or so and referenced 2 Corinthians 4:3-9. “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.” (At this point, Chuck referenced Gayle Erwin’s Book, The Jesus Style).

Serve the people. Don’t lord over the flock with presumed authority.

Paul speaks of treasure in 2 Corinthians 4:7. That treasure is the glorious knowledge of the glory of God in Jesus Christ.

Earthen vessels are mentioned in that verse. God takes his most valuable treasure, and places it in a vessel so common place that it is almost worthless (how’s that for your self-esteem?).

Chuck said, “I contain a valuable treasure. I’m not the treasure. I’m not God’s gift to the church.” Chuck continues, “I need to impart this gift so that I don’t get the glory, but I impart so that God gets the glory. I’m not to draw attention to the earthen vessel [myself]. I want to draw people’s attention to the treasure [Christ].

Keep the treasure pure.

Chuck illustrated this point the way only Chuck can. In his refrigerator is a plastic jug full of ice water. After awhile, if the water sits in the pitcher for too long, the water takes on the flavor of plastic. Yuk! That’s not very refreshing. “How about an ice cold glass of plastic flavored water to satisfy you thirst?”

Remember those sweaty summer days of playing outside and drinking out of a hose? The first guy gets a mouthful of warm, hose flavored water. Disgusting!

We need a pure drink of water. That’s what we need to present to the world. Jesus unflavored by the earthen vessel.

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