Today our Spanish River Church family grieves with hope!
David Nicholas, our founding Senior Pastor, received his heavenly calling Tuesday night, January 25th. Fittingly, his home-going occurred on the 52nd anniversary of the day Jesus first called him to Himself.
As I reflect on David Nicholas, I think of the eulogy King David bestowed on Abner,Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day?(2 Samuel 3:38 ESV)
David Nicholas was a prince and a great man! This is not a simple sentiment.
The writer of Hebrews admonished early followers of Christ with these words:Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of lifeand imitate their faith.1That is David's greatness: the outcome of his way of life and his faith. That outcome includes a church with a worldwide reach, 245 churches started, a 560-student school, a few thousand people who call SRC home, and a church with a gospel DNA. But numbers only tell part of the story; ultimately outcome is measured one life at a time.
Today I received phone calls, e-mails, and text messages from people in the U.S., Colombia, India, and Brazil. All expressed their appreciation for this man. On three different occasions today I have listened to a room full of people share their "David stories." In each instance, the outcome was a transformed life. I walk away from those encounters thinking of Paul's words to the church at Corinth, "You yourselves are our letter of recommendation."2Something tells me we've got enough letters to fill a post office.
Those of us who know David well will think Gospel and Church Planting when we reflect on his life. Certainly these are two of his hallmarks. But to really know David is to know a man who met the Savior and walked with him day-to-day. David knew the secret of the vine: I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser . . . . Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:1,3-5 ESV)
David would tell me, "When you know how much God loves you, then you trust him. When you trust him, then you obey him." That is the faith of David Nicholas! It is that kind of abiding that produces that kind of life that produces that kind of outcome. A prince and a great man indeed.
Now to imitate that kind of faith!
1Hebrews 13:7 ESV
2 2 Corinthians 3:1-2 ESV