Chapel Service

Gateway Motorsports Park

August 24, 2018

“The Present of Presence”

Bob Butcher

This is simply my “read on your way home flight chapel.”  We had the privilege of hearing from Pastor Don Rivers from Racing With Jesus Ministries at our Gateway Motorsports Park Chapel today. But. I wanted to always have something for you to read in case you were not able to attend Church at this event.  So here are my thoughts:

Living in His “presence.” That’s what I want to bring to you today. 

I was reading a short note about having daily Fellowship with Jesus by Pastor Joe Stowell who is the president of Cornerstone University and author of over twenty Christian books.

Pastor Stowell says:  “I’ll never forget the time I had the privilege of sitting next to Billy Graham at a dinner. I was honored but also somewhat nervous about what would be appropriate to say. I thought it would be an interesting conversation starter to ask… 

  • What he loved most about his years of ministry.
  • Was it knowing presidents, kings, and queens?
  • Or preaching the gospel to millions of people around the world?

I was totally taken aback when Billy Graham replied without hesitation:

“It has been my fellowship with Jesus. To sense His presence, to glean His wisdom, to have Him guide and direct me daily and moment by moment—that has been my greatest joy.” 

Pastor Stowell said “I was instantly convicted and challenged. Convicted because I’m not sure that his answer would have been my answer, and at the same time challenged because I wanted it to be.”

That’s what Paul had in mind when he counted his greatest achievements to be of no worth compared to the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”.

 “I consider everything as worthless because of the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”  Philippians 3:8

Think of how rich life would be if Jesus and our fellowship with Him was our highest pursuit.

Well now, personally as your NASCAR K&N Pastor, I have thought about that very issue so many times.  Probably by now for those who have known me all these years you have heard me say this when it comes to all my past success in ministry overseas, around our country, and especially my former racing career.

I find it difficult to express all that history unless I am sure it has the ability to glorify the Lord and actually teach at least one person a life changing, valuable lesson they will remember forever and hold dear. 

I have argued with Him, fellow YWAM leaders, and even Kathy concerning what qualifies as being valuable to share in meetings, teaching classes, etc. and what is not over the years.

Someday, no matter how successful each of us are in our careers, no matter what they are, those gifts, …(and they truly are His gifts that He places within us and allows us to choose to develop and use to glorify Him)… I pray each one of us wisely comes to this conclusion that it’s all about Him and our fellowship with Him grows stronger and life becomes so much richer when we do this.

Simply remain faithful where God has placed you, use the gifts He has placed in you, and give Christ first place in your heart.

You can & will make a difference!

This could become each of our prayers:

“Lord, forgive me for chasing after things that matter far less than my fellowship with You. Thank You that You stand ready to enrich my life with Your presence and power while You use me for Your glory.”

If you desire to study and consider this subject further read the background around our scripture verse today: Philippians 3:7–14

7 “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”