Are You Willing?

We are not willing …. 

I will never forget the man who said that last line to me. It brings tears to my eyes just to think of it. He was sitting in about the third row, by the left aisle in the center section. He told me he wouldn’t be able to double his class in two years or less. He wanted me to know why. He had a “reasonable explanation.” He had a group of 18 men. They were in a room that held 20 chairs. Clearly, he couldn’t double.

You might imagine what I told him. “Have you ever thought about moving half the guys down the hall and starting a new group? Have you thought of speaking 2 Timothy 2:2 into the life of one of your men and asking him to step up and lead a group? Have you thought about dividing?”

“Oh yes, we have thought long and hard about it. My pastor bugs me about that all the time. My Minister of Ed has tried to get me to divide. I have talked to my group. They have talked to my group. [Don’t miss this next line….] We are not willing to do that.”

Willing.

The word hung in the air. He didn’t say he didn’t think it was God’s will. He didn’t say he didn’t think it was strategic. He didn’t say he didn’t think it was wise. He said he was not willing.

It is my conviction that those are words no Christian ought to say to his or her Lord about anything. Not willing? Excuse me? Who is God? Who is slave?

Jesus taught that when the servant is willing and does his duty he earns the title, “unworthy servant.” He only did his duty (see Luke 17:10).

Read more from Josh Hunt “Obedience”

Let’s Move To Walnut Lane

Sunday morning at the beginning of the Worship Service we will vote to approve the proposal presented by The Steering committee. The proposal states that we, move to a phase II Multi-Purpose building as soon as possible with building plans presented for congregational approval. Financing the construction will include; placing our present facility up for sale, obtaining a construction loan, and increased financial support from the congregation.

This proposal has been unanimously affirmed by the Church Council, Deacons, and Trustees.

As we prepare to make this move of faith let us be in prayer seeking not only the Lord’s direction for Walnut Street Baptist Church but also the Lord’s direction for us individually. If we continue the journey the Lord has called us to, then it will require additional financial sacrifice on our part. In addition and just as important it will require increased labor, cooperation, attitude, and unity from each one of us.

I believe we are ready willing, and with the Lord’s help, able to embark on the next exciting chapter of Walnut Street Baptist Church. These are exciting and expectant times.  The Lord has allowed us to be a part of his purpose in our communities. May we work hard and enjoy what the Lord is doing!

We Labor Together With God,

Getting Ready for Sunday School

In the face of a crisis, the immediate temptation is to call for change.

Generally, those on the left side of the social and political spectrum tend to seek change to rules. They push for more restrictions on who can purchase guns or more control over the kinds of weapons a person can purchase. Meanwhile on the right are those who insist that the solution lies in changing the individual by teaching people to behave better, by improving morals or by returning to old-fashioned family values.

While both sides may offer ideas that may help manage the evil in our world, neither approach will ever be able to address the root causes of the violence around us.

Why not? Because rules can only restrain us. They cannot change our hearts.

And that’s where our real problem lies.

The Bible is brutally honest when it tells us that the deeper cause behind this violence – and indeed behind all the pain and brokenness of our world – are hearts that are sinful.

The Bible also offers more hope than any behavior modification or societal change can afford. The central message of the Christian Scripture is that only love can heal a wounded or broken or sinful heart – not the sentimental, hearts-and-cupids kind of love that we’re so used to today but supernatural love. The kind of love displayed by the one who loves you enough to lay down his life for you.

In fact, God willingly hands his own son over to people who perpetrated the most violent and senseless act imaginable – the brutal murder of an innocent person. Yet even as Jesus is dying, he prays for the forgiveness of those torturing and killing him. He prays for you and me.

When we realize that it is ultimately our guilt that is responsible for driving the nails through Jesus’ hands and feet, and when we trust that even so, Jesus prays for our forgiveness, we begin to grasp the love that God has for us.

This is the ultimate answer to this complex issue.

Discourse over laws and social reform are [sic] important, but only God’s love can ultimately heal our broken hearts.

Read Complete article here

  • Is the writer saying there is no value in rules and laws that support godly values? Explain.
  • How would you define godliness, recognizing that it goes beyond mere conformity to rules and laws?
  • How can a person grow in godliness?

Please join us Sunday morning at 9:00 A.M. as we focus on the topic of Godliness and study I Timothy 4:7-10 & Titus 3:1-9.  We have a class for every age. For more information  please email us at walnutstreet@hotmail.com

Build A Bridge

I remember a bitter cold Sunday back in the winter of 1981. Debbie and I made it for Worship. Arthur Farmer was the Pastor and while making announcements he asked whether services for the evening should be dismissed because of the temperature. Only 2 people were not in favor. One was Ed Burris and the other was me.

Since then I have reevaluated my views on Sunday night services. In fact, we dismissed services this past Sunday night so everyone could watch the Super Bowl. Now some would say that doing so is compromising with the world. Others would point out that not everybody is a football fan. Still others would think it hypocritical to dismiss services one week after a message focusing on priorities.

Here is my take; as a disciple of Jesus, I ask, “What would Jesus do?”

Would Jesus go to Sunday night church and be with those who had no connection with football just to be able to boast that he was in Church on Sunday night and that no one could accuse him of compromising with the world?

– OR –

Would Jesus hang out and party and have a good time with those watching the Super Bowl and give his perspective on what real winning and losing is all about?

Like it or not, the Super Bowl has become a national social event. On Monday one is expected to make intelligent conversation about the Super Bowl, either on the game itself, the commercials, or the half time production.

Christians are already stereotyped as being “aloof” (I like that word) and out of touch by many people. Why feed into it?

I see it as a matter of being informed and being able to build relationships that build bridges to the Gospel message.  How do you see it?

We Labor Together With God,