The Witness – March 8-14, 2015

“The Glory of Victory”

We live in a day when many are discouraged and wonder about the relevance and the future of the church in this modern world.

As we journey to our new campus some wonder if we can actually pull this off. Will we ACTUALLY recognize the privilege before us, accept our individual responsibility and step up to the challenge AND experience VICTORY?

Here is my answer to that question:

Hebrews 11:1 states, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

By faith I already see our campus. What I observe is more than buildings. I see ministry. I see people being fed. I see recreation and sporting events. I see the gospel being shared. I see expressions of God’s love. I see people working together with enthusiasm and resolve. I see worship and prayer and the study of God’s Word. I see a people on mission to embrace those who need Jesus as their Savior. I see the substance and evidence of it all!

I am confident that God’s purpose will ultimately be achieved. God will utilize His people in accomplishing His purpose. I am equally confident that if one generation or group of God’s people do not step up, God will raise up another generation or group.

I am confident by faith, that WE are the generation and THIS is the group that will seize the opportunity that has been handed to us and step up to challenge before us, for therein lies the victory!

We labor together with God, Wes

The Witness – March 1-7, 2015

The Challenge

When the Israelites returned to their home after the Babylonian Captivity, one of their first acts was to rebuild the Temple destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar. They diligently set about laying the foundation. Upon its completion they rejoiced at what they were able to accomplish. (Ezra 3)

As I mentioned Sunday, that is, some rejoiced. Others wept and cried bitter tears because the new temple wasn’t going to be as grandiose as the former. They were longing for the days of the glorious past. How could they be satisfied with anything less than the grandeur of Solomon’s temple? After all, it was one of the wonders of the ancient world.

The account is not about old versus young. It’s not about embracing the past or reaching forward to the future. For you see, both groups squandered the opportunities that God provided. For 15 years both groups abandoned the work of the Lord and left the Temple unfinished to focus on their own homes, their own lives, and their own interests. It’s about the challenge to get busy!

We are not here to look back. We are not here to jump on the latest bandwagon. We are here to get busy with God in what God is doing in these days, for His glory,

What they should have done is what we MUST do; put our backs to the work at hand, embrace what God is doing, and get about the business of serving the Lord.

As of today, there are 41 days until we move to our new campus!

We Labor Together With God, Wes

The Witness – February 22-28, 2015

The Countdown Continues … 46 and Counting

As I write this article there are 46 days until our first worship service on our new campus.  There is a lot to do before then.

Each Sunday during March we will recognize and celebrate the decades of our past. Historical items will be on display each week. The time capsule that was placed in the cornerstone of the 1950 building has been recovered and will be opened for all to see as well.

Our month will conclude on the 29th with our final morning worship service at this location. The Rev. Carl Watkins, former Pastor (1965-69;74-78), will preach the final sermon at 218 West Walnut.  That afternoon our annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on our new campus. We will then return to the Fellowship Hall that evening for a final farewell meal.

Of course along with the celebrations there is the element of moving. We will begin moving items on the 15th and continue through April 4th. The bulk of the moving will be the week of March 29th. Please be available as needed.

If I may, please keep the sale of this building at the forefront of your daily prayers. Specifically pray that 1) ENDSWELL will find the financial backing they are needing to move forward with their project; 2) their next offer will be as much as their previous; 3) if not ENDSWELL, the Lord will send another buyer.

What a privilege to be a part of God’s purpose for Walnut Street at this time!

We Labor Together With God, Wes

The Witness – February 15-21, 2015

From the Archives of Walnut Street Baptist Church – 1948

On the back page of this issue of the bulletin appears our church budget for the year 1949. Keep it for future reference and study it carefully. It is, as it should be, by far the largest budget ever attempted by the church. You will note that the amount necessary each week will be $469.06, This budget is $3,749.00 in excess of our last year’s budget and is actually $1,270.00, more than what was contributed last year for these same causes.

It is a fine challenge for our people. This pastor has always believed that churches should make programs large enough to necessitate the Lord’s interest. As long as we undertake only what seems easily possible we have little right to expect help from above. God is ready to help those who dare to undertake the impossible and the difficult in His name.

The solution, of course, for all of our financial problems, religious and personal, is to be honest with God and bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.

It is amusing and pathetic to hear some people speak of tithing. Not long ago a young business man said, “If all of your church members would tithe even three percent of their income you would soon have enough money to build your new church building.” The amusing and pathetic part of his remark was “tithe 3%.” Every informed person knows that the tithe is TEN PERCENT. It appears that there is room yet for a great deal of teaching along the line of stewardship. – C. H. Warren

We Labor Together With God, Wes

The Witness – February 8-14, 2015

Responsibility, Privilege, and Challenge Lead to Victory

We are embarking on the riskiest, most uncomfortable and challenging action that this congregation has attempted in a generation or two or three.

We are moving to our new campus, the Ridge on Walnut Lane. Having petitioned God through prayer, and meditation, and study, and waiting and trusting, God has led us to the place where we will be worshiping in exactly 8 weeks – April 5, 2015!

Along with all the preparations, excitement, and hope comes the responsibilityprivilege, and challenge of paying for it.

I had a non-member/non-attender come to me two weeks ago and gave me a check because they wanted a part of the blessing. They considered it a privilege to give.

Since God has called us to this place, God has also commanded us to make the necessary financial decisions in our own households, to step up and pay down this debt, as well as, expand the ministry of Walnut Street Baptist Church.

This is a radical time it calls for radical actions.

Over the next three Sundays I will be bringing a series of messages addressing the responsibility, privilege and challenge before us that lead to victory.

Please join me Sunday as we journey to a new beginning!

We Labor Together With God,  Wes