Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. -- Psalm 34:8
“Taste and See.” Few likely remember, but that was the very first message I delivered here at Gibbon Baptist Church. I was 23 years old. Fresh out of Seminary. Still wet behind the ears. And you took a risk to invite me to come candidate here. I told you that I wanted to help you all taste and see how good Jesus is. Then you voted me in.
So my question to you is: Have you tasted and seen?
Many of you have expressed your sadness at seeing Melissa, McKinley, and me go. You’ve told us you’ll miss us. We’ll miss you too--you have no idea. I hope I’ve been a good pastor to you. I’ve given my best to preach dynamic messages to keep you engaged and spiritually fed. I’ve led you to some places you maybe didn’t think we would or could go. I hope you can say that I’ve been good. But what I want even more so is for you to declare unequivocally that God is good. That his Son Jesus is awesome. That you’ve personally experienced his powerful Spirit in your life.
It’s one thing to watch a Husker game on TV, it’s another to be surrounded by a sea of 90,000 cheering fans all wearing red. It’s one thing to hear about Tornado Alley, but it’s another to see the dark clouds raging, hear the hail pounding, and feel the 70mph gusts blow around everything that isn’t bolted down. It’s one thing to play with a baby, it’s another to hold your own child in your arms for the first time. These were just a few of the experiences I’ve had here in my five-and-a-half years in Nebraska. Even if I had read about them, or heard someone talk about them, or even saw them on TV, it would pale in comparison to the first-hand experience. It is for this reason David encouraged us in Psalm 34 to experience the goodness of God first-hand. He wanted you to know it personally, as if you had tasted it in your mouth. As if you could feel it on your tongue and on your taste buds. (I think that’s one of the reasons Jesus taught us to physically eat the bread and drink the cup in communion).
I hope that through my preaching, leadership, and personal ministry you’ve been able to taste and see how good God is. We say you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Week after week I’ve put before you God’s Word. And I’ve highlighted the Gospel at the center of it all. I tried to imitate Paul, who told the Corinthian Church, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified”, because Jesus and his work on the Cross is what’s it’s all about. I’ve wanted you to be able to see Jesus in your mind’s eyes. I’ve wanted you to personally experience God’s goodness in a profound way. So again I ask: Have you tasted? Have you seen?
My time at GBC has now come to a close. But God is working fresh and exciting things right here and right now. He’s opening up new hearts for the gospel to stream through. He’s calling some of you to step up into new positions of ministry and leadership. Using the language of Narnia, “They say Aslan is on the move.” He has big plans for GBC and for your life. He is very good. Don’t ever forget it. The good news is still the best news in the world and the only news that saves. I’ve tasted and seen, have you?
Please add your bio info through your member profile page, or through your dashboard.