Monday, January 02, 2012

Chuck Smith, Founder of Calvary Chapel, Has Lung Cnacer

This afternoon I learned that the founder and long-time leader of the Calvary Chapel movement, Chuck Smith, has been diagnosed with lung cancer and will undergo treatment this month. You can read about Chuck's condition here and I pray that you will. He needs the body to rise up and pray for him at this time.

Although I've never met Chuck, he's had some influence in my life and ministry. First, one of my sisters believed in Jesus in the early 1970s through one of his outreaches, and although she never really came out of the world and followed Jesus with all of her heart, I found out years later that she prayed over me every day in those years (she's 15 years older than me). It would be decades before I myself would understand who Jesus was and accept him into my life as well, but surely the Lord stored up those early prayers and "heard them" when the time was right.

Second, years later, when I had entered into full time ministry and was preaching week in and week out, I came across some material Chuck had written about the place the Word of God ought to have in the life of the church. In fact, I just came across that material the other day and reminisced how the Lord had used it in my life. To make a long story short, I read Chuck's philosophy of preaching when I was struggling to decide which way I ought to go with my own preaching life. And suffice it to say that he convinced me to trust the Lord and his Word and simply present the whole counsel of God, in a systematic fashion, in the prominent worship services of the church. For this I am forever grateful to Chuck, and more so the Lord's work in and through him.

Father, you've been so faithful to Chuck Smith over the years, and you've caused the Calvary Chapel movement to be so fruitful. You have glorified your own great name through them and for this we praise you with all of our heart. And now in Chuck's time of need, we lift him up before you and pray that you would bring healing to his body and peace to his spirit. Also, be with the many thousands who attend Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa. Teach them to put their hope and confidence in you alone for indeed, all flesh is like the grass. "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

In the mighty and merciful name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.

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