I was sorting through some old stuff tonight and came across a sermon outline from Richard M. Cassity, one of my all-time favorite preachers. His friends called him Dick, but our entire county knew him as “Preacher Cassity.” He befriended me when my days as a pastor were just beginning and his were coming to a close. To give you an idea how great a man of God he was, I’ll list some facts that he once included in a little booklet about himself. Over the course of his ministry, he served as Supply or Interim Pastor in 30 churches, performed over 300 weddings, conducted over 1,400 funerals, and preached over 200 revivals. Needless to say, he was quite a fellow.
I was privileged to hear the last sermon that Preacher Cassity preached for our local pastors’ conference. The date was February 3rd, 2003. The sermon was entitled “My Desire,” and the opening text was Psalm 37:4: “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” After Preacher Cassity’s death, a fellow pastor gave me a copy of the hand-written outline for that sermon. Allow me to pass along the nine desires that are listed on it. After each desire, I’ll cite an appropriate passage. Some of these were passages that Preacher Cassity referenced in his sermon; others are ones that I’ve included.
#1: A Closer Union With God: Psalm 42:1: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.”
#2: A Deeper Compassion For the Lost: 1 Corinthians 9:22: “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
#3: A Spirit-Filled Life: Ephesians 5:18: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”
#4: A Committed Life That My Prayers Be Answered: Psalm 37:5: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in him; and He shall bring it to pass.”
#5: To Be Kept From Care: 1 Peter 5:6-7: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
#6: To Fulfill My Minstry: Acts 20:24: “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
#7: To Thank Him For “The Calling”: 2 Timothy 1:8-9: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
#8: To See All the “Family” Saved: Acts 16:31-32: “So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.”
#9: Most of All To See Jesus: Philippians 1:21-23: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”
Well, after reading Preacher Cassity’s list, it isn’t hard to see why he was such a tremendous Christian. His desires were all wrapped up in the Lord. Tell me, can the same be said of your desires? If not, what better time could there be to change your desires than right now? Just say, “Starting this moment, I’m going to have God-approved desires.” It isn’t as hard as you think. You’ve just go to want it. The only person keeping you from having noble and worthy desires is you.
I miss my dear friend, Preacher Cassity. To me, he was a role model, a mentor, and an inspiration. I’ll see him again one day, though. I know exactly where he is: in heaven with Jesus. That was, after all, the desire he prefaced with the words “Most of all.” As I read that last and greatest desire on his list, I couldn’t help but think, “That one is being fulfilled at this very moment.” It’s such a great thing to be able to say that with such confidence.