Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One More Sermon to Preach

Message found on a note in an aging preacher's office:
"One of the great joys of my life - Preaching! As for 'talent' I don't even compare to some! (But) as for 'appreciation' - No one is more grateful than I! God blessed me and I'm thankful! God's allowed me to preach 35 years, found a place for me in service, used me..."

This note belonged to Charles K. Burgess, a preacher in the church for the last 50 years. He gave his life in service to the Herren's Chapel church of Christ for the last 42 years. As I attended his funeral today, I thought about how I want to be remembered. I thought about what type of life I want to lead. I thought about faith, family, and fellowship within the kingdom of God.

But above all, I thought about one person's deep and endless love and devotion to God. Those who are not preachers may not know it, but preaching the gospel is really nothing more than a person's public celebration of their relationship with God. Although I was never blessed to personally know Charles Burgess, I feel like I do know him in a very personal way. We share the same goals, dreams, and wishes for here and eternity. He loved God and the church, so do I. He loved his family, so do I. He loved the lost, so do I. He had a passion for preaching, so do I. He prayed Hezekiah's prayer when he first contracted cancer, so did I.

The litmus test for a person's love for God is their life's work. I think it is safe to say that if you simply looked at the life of Charles K. Burgess, the most natural reponse would be, "That man loved the Lord." And after all, when all is said and done, what could be better? Jesus said this is the first and greatest commandment (Matt. 22:37).

This Lord's day morning, I am honored to preach one of the great sermons first preached by Charles Burgess. This is his outline, but the words and ideas belong to our God. I know I can't preach it like Charles could. But I believe he and I share the same passion for the message, and hope for the results.

My favorite point in his outline, is the last one. It is the one I truly want to share from my heart to yours today. It is powerful if you will receive it, and I think that as we honor Brother Burgess, we can see the benefits of its message:

"We have but one life to live; how are we living it?"

"...through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks." ~ Heb. 11:4


  1. Thanks Jeremiah for posting this. Charles was a good man and I believe he was a man of God.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. As a member of the Herren's Chapel congregation, I realize we were so blessed to have Bro. Charles as long as we did. He will be missed. His life and service is something we should all admire.

  3. Thank you Jeremiah for posting this! I was 13 years old when Charles began preaching at Herren's Chapel. He was always there for all the ups and downs of my life. Marriages, baptisms, deaths... he was such a wonderful example. He was a sincere, good man! He will be remembered and missed for a very long time!