Rick Vacek story
Photos of Ralph Freso
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Towards the end of his speech on Monday, John Talley III shared a statement from 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon.
âThe cry of the Christian religion is the simple word ‘come’,â Spurgeon once said. âComeâ is the very motto of the Gospel. “
It is estimated that Spurgeon’s thoughts were heard by over 10 million people in nearly 40 years of preaching, and now you can add about 5,000 more to that total thanks to Chapel at Grand Canyon University.
The quote also added a little something extra to the thoughts of Talley, executive pastor of the Roosevelt Community Church in downtown Phoenix, highlighting his theme, “Come and See: Meet Jesus.”
On a day with GCU alumni, Talley (Class of 2015, Christian Studies) followed the music of a group of graduates focusing on verses 35-42 of Chapter 1 of the Gospel of John, which Talley likes to call a “divine invitation.”
Talley’s point: We need to follow Jesus in three ways, and the first step is to recognize Him.
The passage from John tells how John the Baptist recognized Jesus by simply saying: “Behold, the Lamb of God”. As a result, Peter encountered Christ and became one of his disciples.
It had application in Spurgeon’s day. The microphone was invented in 1876, some 22 years after Spurgeon began preaching across England, and when auditioning in an auditorium he kept shouting the same words John had spoken almost 2,000 years earlier. A janitor heard them and converted.
âHis life was transformed and Charles Spurgeon didn’t even preach a sermon,â said Talley. “He was just repeating a phrase over and over again. “
Likewise, said Talley, we should spend time with Jesus regularly. As Jesus said in verse 39, âCome and see,â and Peter and the others did indeed spend the rest of the day – and the rest of their lives – with Him by their side.
Spurgeon put it this way: âHave your heart in accord with Christ, and He will visit you often, and so will turn the days of the week into Sundays, meals into sacraments, houses into temples, and the earth into paradise.
Talley listed several ways to keep Jesus front and center in your mind.
First, there is prayer, which Talley called âhumble communication with Godâ. You can pray just by listening through meditation and solitude.
âPrayer can be difficult for many of you for a variety of reasons, but it is the language of God,â said Talley. “And it’s a door for us to spend time with Him.”
The second is just as simple: read the Bible or listen to it on an app.
âYou have to get the Word of God within you so that you can get the God of the Word,â Talley said.
Finally, there is community, which usually means joining a church. The pandemic has reduced that, Talley noted, but it’s essential because it puts you with people âwho can pray for you, who can sharpen you, who can hold you accountable. â¦ When we are in the midst of God’s people, God is there.
This led Talley to his last way of following Jesus: telling others about Him.
He told his own story of how a neighbor shared the post when Talley was 19. Talley, in turn, went to his brother right away and did the same. This led to his role today.
âFollowing Jesus means we really open our mouths and share the message – boldly,â said Talley. âAnd, yes, you will be ridiculed. Yes, people will laugh at you. Yes, you will be misunderstood. But the Word of God will never come back void.
âAnd you can be used as a vessel, you can be used as a tool to help someone transform their life. Because meeting Jesus leads to transformation.
Spurgeon puts it succinctly thus:
âEvery Christian is either a missionary or an impostor. “
In conclusion, Talley underlined the words of Psalm 66: 5:
Come see what God has done,
His impressive actions for humanity!
âMy encouragement is just this: Come and see,â he said. âThere is an invitation to be in the family of God by faith and repentance, not to rely on one’s own understanding but on the understanding of God. …
âCome and see with your depression that you have.
âCome see with your anxiety that you have.
âCome and see with the doubts you have.
âCome see what happened to you when you were a little boy or a little girl that no one knows.
âCome see and taste the Lord is good. Enter into his grace, his presence and his mercy. Surrender to Him. Because when you meet Him, you won’t be the same.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [emailÂ protected].
To listen to the music of the alumni group and the full lecture by John Talley, click here. To learn more about Talley’s teachings, visit jtthinks.com.
The meeting (7 p.m. Tuesday, Antilope Gymnasium): Evening of prayer (The Thursday Sanctuary is canceled due to Veterans Day)
Next speaker of the chapel (11 a.m. on Monday): Jason fritz, Illuminate Community Church, Scottsdale
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