Famine for God’s Word

 

Amos 8:11  “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.

What is going on in our world?  In my lifetime, I have never seen our nation so divided.  The American family is falling into shambles.  Over 40 percent of our babies are now born to unwed mothers.  World powers seem to be raising their swords for a challenge.  Our university campuses are wrought with Darwinism and Marxism.  In the meantime, churches are being abandoned in record numbers.  We are in a society that has more interest in Wi-Fi than in a roof over their head.  Segments of the population are being taught to resist and kill the police.  Where is our world going?

A simple farmer named Amos told the people of Israel they had allowed sin and selfishness to take its toll.  Judgment was coming from God. They would lose their nation.  But what was interesting in his assessment that there would be a famine for the words of the Lord.

I believe the world is going to hunger for the Word of the Lord before we find any peace and direction.

I love you all,
Brother Glen
Senior Pastor

Do You Love the Lord?

Well, it is Valentine’s season again. Love is in the air, and commercials are on the airways. So far, I am trying to decide between a 9 foot tall Teddy Bear, some pajamas that no woman would ever buy or wear, or a box of 6 chocolate strawberries for $19.95, plus shipping. I think I will have to make my way by T.J. Maxx and see what the latest is for my love.

Think about this today: Do you love the Lord? What will you do for the Lord because you love Him?

“Because I Love the Lord,” is a great title for Psalm 116. I put a bold face to help you see it more plainly.

Brother Glen
Senior Pastor

Psalm 116

1 I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications.
2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death encompassed me And the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”
5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.
6 The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For You have rescued my soul from death, My eyes from tears, My feet from stumbling.
9 I shall walk before the LORD In the land of the living.
10 I believed when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.”
11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars.”
12 What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me?
13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the LORD.
14 I shall pay my vows to the LORD, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones.
16 O LORD, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed my bonds.
17 To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of the LORD.
18 I shall pay my vows to the LORD, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,
19 In the courts of the LORD’S house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD! (NASU)

Super Bowl Reflections

Super Bowl LI was so boring that I turned off the game with 9:04 left in the fourth quarter. The Patriots were down 28 to 12 to the Falcons. I flipped the channel over to watch a movie I have already seen a dozen times. While I was trying to kill my boredom, some of the most exciting football history was being made. The Patriots came back in dramatic fashion and won the game in overtime.

It made me think how this can apply to our lives in Christ. Have you come to a place where you have thought about changing the channels on life? Maybe church has become a little boring? Have some things not gone your way? Has frustration over losing gotten to you?

If you have let me give you a few scriptures to think about:

  • 2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.
  • Matthew 16:18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
  • John 16:23 “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 

Keep pressing on!
Bro Glen
Senior Pastor

Don’t miss out on the game of life!

HGTV

Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.

Unless you are living on the other side of Mars, you have watched or at least heard about Home and Garden TV.  Diane has had me in Waco, Texas, twice to see the home place of “Fixer Upper,” one of the most popular shows of this network.  Amazingly, women for the most part can find new and different things to do to the house.

Well, I want to kick off this theme and talk about “Home and God the Vision,” for the next few weeks as we prepare for our upcoming marriage conference at the end of this month.  I see some interesting real home truths that really apply to our everyday home life.  So let’s put the light on scriptural truth and have a little fun with “House Hunters,” “Flip or Flop,” “Living in Alaska,” and etc.  It will be fun but I believe you will find God has a real vision for your home.

Love all of you,
Brother Glen
Senior Pastor

Kids Ministry-January 2017

Hello, 2017!  Perhaps you have found yourself reading here because it’s time to organize your calendar–church functions and missions opportunities to make time for, end of the school year events, vacations to plan, summer camps to register for, etc. Well, following are some dates worthy of jotting down!

January

15:  CentriKid Parent Information Meeting, 6:00 pm in the Choir Room
This meeting is for parents of kids who will have completed grades 3-6 and are interested in trekking to summer camp.

29:  CentriKid $50 Deposit Due
Space is limited so don’t delay!

March

5:  VBS Volunteer Meeting
We need you Walnut Street!  Plan to attend to learn how you can help kids entering Kindergarten-6th grade learn about the “coolest book on the planet”!

April

5:  AWANA Grand Prix workshop

8:  AWANA Grand Prix Workshop

19:  AWANA GRAND PRIX!!

May

10:  AWANA Awards

June

18:  Baby Dedication

26-30:  Operation Arctic: Exploring the Coolest Book on the Planet!
Vacation Bible School 9:00am-12:00pm

July

24-28:  CentriKid Camp
Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, AR

New Year, New Resolutions

Well a New Year is here and already we have probably broken some of our resolutions. Every year I think I will accomplish something physically, financially, or spiritually that will be over the top on the New Year. But what I have found is that life is not lived year by year, but day by day. “This is the day the Lord has made…” “Today is the day of salvation…” “Boast not about tomorrow…”

Living life by the day is much better than having good intentions for a year. If you live by the calendar, you will forget how important the day is. When looking at the year, you will be overwhelmed at what is before you. Jesus said that the day had enough concerns with which to deal. If by the year, you can lose focus of the time element. What I will accomplish in 12 hours narrows my sight better than looking over 365 days.

Simplify your life might be a great goal. Being in the center of God’s will brings the greater fulfillment.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Brother Glen
Senior Pastor

A Note from Grey-January 4, 2017

Over the course of our lives, there are plenty of opportunities that cross our paths, and many that can distract or take our eyes off of the Lord. I have never been 32 years old before so I don’t know what life was like to be a young family in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or even the 90’s but WOW life can be busy!! We can get consumed with keeping up with our neighbor’s buying, or rather, spending habits. We can get consumed with our kids playing ball. We can get consumed with hunting whatever varmint for which we have recently taken a great disdain. Or we can even get consumed with saving for retirement or the next big vacation spot…I hear Tahiti is really nice this time of year! We can get so consumed with these happenings that we lose sight of how life really works, or how our walk with the Lord takes place. We can become so convinced of seeking those items for ourselves that we lose track of our walk with the Lord and ultimately, whether sooner or later, we will falter and find, hopefully not too late, that we have indeed missed what we were looking for in the process.

The best part for you and I is that God’s Word speaks to this possibility. Frankly, God’s Word speaks very often about our ability to become distracted and lose sight of God’s Kingdom. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, who also lost track of God’s Kingdom in his life, writes in Proverbs 4:10-12, “Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble.” What a promise from God’s Word for you and me to remember this year. The promise is eternal, that if you and I follow the Lord, He will lead us in His wisdom. Not in worldly wisdom, but in the wisdom that starts with the fear of the Lord, reverence for the fact that He is in control, NOT us. That passage speaks to ‘when’ we walk, our steps will not be impeded. That is to say that we may stand on the sideline and look down the path we think we are about to walk and try to figure out each step that we will take, but He doesn’t promise our steps will not be impeded then. He promises that WHEN we walk they won’t be impeded. The Lord did not tell us to figure it out, He just told us to follow hard after Him and that as we do that…as we walk our steps will NOT be impeded. Or as the NIV says, our steps will not be hampered.

Let 2017 be the year that our focus remains on the Lord and our relationship with Him. Let 2017 be the year that we are found unhampered in our steps because of our walk with Him, not because of our good planning. Let 2017 be the year that our lives are lived for God’s Kingdom and His glory!

That the whole world would know that He was God and there was NO ONE else!

Grey Falanga
Associate Pastor of Teaching and Minister of Collegiates

Missions Update: Meeting Nabeel

One of the greatest blessing I have had lately has been meeting Nabeel Qureshi. Nabeel is a great man that has converted from Islam to Christianity and has humbled me in his commitment to the Lord and his burden to share the good news to those of the Muslim faith.  Nabeel has written many books to help others understand the reasons he chose Christianity and what the differences are. A couple of examples are “No God But One” and “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”.

One of the most striking things I gained from him was the top three reasons Muslims come to know Christ:

  1. Someone loved them (this can be as simple as a kind word or simply speaking to them)
  2. Someone gave them a Bible in their own language
  3. They had dreams about the One True God.

These three things are easy for us to do. We all should be doing the first one every day as we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. The second one, we will provide the Bibles, we have them in the office, and the third, we need to pray that God would speak to them in dreams and visions. God loves us all. More Muslims have come to know Christ as Lord in the last 10 years than the previous 1,400 years combined!  Let’s join God in what he is doing and see Him glorified.

Larry Turner
Church Administrator/Missions Coordinator

Evangelism Update: EE Report 2016

The fall semester of Evangelism Explosion (EE) ended this past Monday night, December 5, with 21 trainees graduating. Over the 13-week course, our 12 teams made 484 door-to-door calls ministering and sharing the Gospel 143 times. Forty-one people made a profession of faith. These teams shared the Gospel 230 times outside of EE as a way of life and saw forty-four people make a profession of faith. Through studying class materials, two of our trainees realized that they did not have eternal life in Jesus Christ, and each made a profession of faith themselves. If this was all that happened during our 13 week course, then it was certainly worth it. What is a soul worth?

Dianna Shatley and Betty Bingham headed up our new EE prayer ministry, and we saw prayers answered every week.

Participant Testimonials

 “I feel like EE has drawn me closer to God. In fact, I feel like I’m sitting in His lap. In the past, I’ve tried to witness to people, but felt like I didn’t get the point across. Now I have a tool that makes the Gospel clear.”—Kenny Lomax

“I learned more from EE about how to be a better Christian, a witness, and about myself than what I had learned in all my previous Christian life. Also, I got to know other WSBC members that I only spoke to in the hall.” –Mike Mitchell

Jerry Parker
Minister of Evangelism & Pastoral Ministries

SAVE THE DATE:
Saturday, February 18, 2017
9:00am-4:00pm

We will be hosting an all-day “Share Your Faith” workshop, conducted by Don Snipes, of EE International. This workshop is open to the community, and the cost is $15, which includes lunch and all materials needed. Please register through the church office at 870-972-0220 or by emailing me at jerry@walnutstreetbaptist.org.

The Word of God: Who is Jesus?

Arm yourself with a little knowledge!

“Who is Jesus?” was my sermon title for this past Sunday morning. The heretics of the ages have argued that Jesus was not God. John 1:1-4 tells us plainly: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.”

The Word (logos in Greek) has been debated and many varying beliefs have been derived which are in opposition to Jesus and His salvation.  In philosophy the Stoics saw logos as the world’s controlling rational principle, and Philo saw logos as the intermediary between God and man (HIBD).  Gnosticism spun out of the New Testament times and Greek philosophy.  Basically, it was a salvation by knowledge.  In 1945 archaeologists found the gnostic Gospel of Thomas at Nag Hammadi Library. There are others that were discovered before also.  But now, movies, books, and video games are based on these gnostic gospels.  These are 2nd Century writings that are an attack on the Deity of Christ.  The enemies of Christ want to say these are the Lost Gospels that explain who Jesus really is.  These writers were probably influenced by eastern philosophies, as well as Jewish and Christian thought.  They wrote out of the context of Jesus’s and the apostles’ lives.  It would be like me giving an authoritative evaluation of George Washington.  I wasn’t there; so, I couldn’t.

Remember the disciples of Jesus staked their lives in who He was and is.  They did not just agree with what He taught.  He taught the truth.  But they recognized He was the Truth.  He was the very Son of God; same as God.

So when Christians are celebrating the Advent, it is not about a great philosopher who came to enlighten us, this was God, His very Self, coming to save His world.

I love you all,
Brother Glen
Senior Pastor