March 29

2 Samuel 4-8, Psalm 88

Chuck Smith said, "I have to look at my own life and at all that God has done at Calvary Chapel, and I chuckle because I know how undeserving and unworthy I am. Many people have been encouraged and say, "If God can do it for Chuck Smith, He can do it for anyone." I love it when I hear young men say, "When I heard Pastor Chuck teaching the Bible, I thought I could do it too." I don't take that as a put-down. I take it as a tremendous blessing that God would use me to show what He can do, by His power, through an unimpressive vessel. God is impressive!" I don't think anyone who ever saw or heard Pastor Chuck preach would be surprised at all by these comments. When searching for a church around 7 years ago, one of the things that made me call Calvary Chapel of Old Bridge home, was the humility of our lead pastor, Pastor Lloyd Pulley. He never lords over the congregation but frequently refers to himself as one given the gift of teaching, and is otherwise in his eyes no higher than any other. Most churches desire and ask for volunteers. Calvary Chapel wants to know if any desire to serve God. The distinction is huge. One enables one to exalt themselves in how much they do, while the other seeks to glorify God.

We read in 2 Samuel 7:18, "Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: "Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that you have brought me this far?" Notice David realizes in total humility that it is all God, not himself. This is why despite David's sins, (his biggest is yet to come),he was a man after God's own heart and was used mightily. We read in 5:12, "So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for the sake of His people Israel." Notice in these comments David does not take any of the credit for himself, and he doesn't seek his own glory. It was never about David, but about God.

Every Christian needs to remember this truth whether a pastor, a ministry leader, a member of a congregation, every Christian. Many churches do not remain strong for more than 50 years because this truth is forgotten or ignored. You may have heard that every movement starts with a man, over time if that movement loses it's proper focus it becomes a machine, and if allowed to continue that way eventually becomes a monument, devoid of life. At Calvary Chapel of Old Bridge if we desire to serve God, we take a 5 week course called, "Called to Serve". This helps those attending realize that they have the privilege of serving rather than the burden of volunteering. This helps us to get the focus off ourselves and on to God. May we see ourselves as empty vessels whose primary ability is a desire and a vehicle to be filled and used by the Holy Spirit. With that realization there is never any room for pride, ever.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster