Watson Baptist Church
Watson, IL


Friday March 05, 2021

"You Know How It Is"

He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalm 103:14.

Have you come to the end of a very imperfect day, when everything has gone wrong, unable at night to put together a sensible prayer? Finally, you gave up trying and lumped the whole tangled mess and committed it to an understanding God, while you sighed very lamely, "Lord, you know how it is."

He does. And what a blessed relief to know that when we do the best we can, not faultlessly but blamelessly, He takes all the loose ends and ragged edges and binds them into a perfect whole. For we are complete in Him.

And I smiled to think God's greatness

Flows around our incompleteness;

'Round our restlessness His rest.

He makes up all the deficiencies, and rounds out all the broken corners. He knows the heart's intent and credits the soul's sincere desire, though it be poorly expressed in the deed. As Whittier put it, He judges our frailty by the life we meant.

This affords no ground for slovenliness. Do your very best. But remember that your very best is very poor. He will perfect it in Himself.

He knows how it is.

Pastor Van
Thursday March 04, 2021

"They Need Not Depart"

They need not depart; give ye them to eat. Matthew 14:16.

The disciples thought it was time to send the multitude away to buy food. But it is never necessary to go away from Jesus for anything. All we need is in Him. Men are going in all directions foraging for food, but He is the Bread of Life. It is not necessary to supplement your diet with anything from the fleshpots of Egypt. All the vitamins and calories your soul requires are in Christ. He is Alpha and Omega—and all the letters between!

But He also said, "Give ye them to eat." We are His agents, His representatives today, and we need never send men away elsewhere from our sufficient Saviour.

But how can we give them to eat? The disciples saw only five loaves and two fishes. The Lord said, "Bring them hither to me." Bring what you have, all you have, and He will multiply it to meet the demand.

What a joy to represent a Lord who never meets an emergency that makes it necessary to dismiss the crowd! They need never depart—for to whom shall they go?

Pastor Van
Wednesday March 03, 2021

Pattern for Revival

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Psalm 51:12, 13.

Here in old testament language is the difference between revival and evangelism, so often confused today. David is saying, "Make me right and then I will go after somebody else!" Too much church work is being done by people who are not right with God and each other, who know neither the joy of salvation nor a willing spirit.

Conviction of sin, confession of sin, cleansing, and a right spirit—all this is revival. Evangelism, soul-winning, personal work, the conversion of sinners—all this flows from revival.

David needed a Nathan, and the church needs a prophet to tell his story and make the application, "Thou art the man." That is not easy—especially if "the man" is sitting right in front of you! There are guilty Davids aplenty but few faithful Nathans.

Pastor Van
Tuesday March 02, 2021

Claiming Our Rights

I appeal unto Cæsar. Acts 25:11.

We are to render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and there are times when we may appeal unto Cæsar. Not claiming our own rights does not mean that we should not avail ourselves of certain privileges as citizens and otherwise. Paul did not court martyrdom, and he defended himself ably on trial. He used all his standing as a Roman citizen and employed every means to get fair treatment.

When persecuted in one city we are to flee to another. We may honor God more by living than by dying. A supine acceptance of circumstances that could be, and ought to be, changed is not a mark of piety. We are not always to remain quiet and expect God to intervene when He has given us common sense to ask for normal rights to which we are entitled. Christians are not to go to law with each other, and for the sake of our testimony it is better at times to suffer ourselves to be defrauded. But the cause of the Gospel is often advanced, as it was with Paul in our text, by asserting our claim to certain rights. Some may have thought it nobler if Paul had let things take their course, without speaking up for himself. God did not think so, for He wanted Paul to go to Rome.

There is a time to appeal unto Cæsar.

Pastor Van
Monday March 01, 2021

Resignation or Acceptance?

It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good. I Samuel 3:18.

Eli was resigned to the will of God as revealed by Samuel. Resignation is better than rebellion or a stiff-upper-lip Stoicism, but it is not the highest attitude. We acquiesce and resign to the inevitable because we have to! After all, there isn't much we can do about it.

Resignation may bring a martyr complex and a selfish pride at putting up with whatever comes. Better than all this is acceptance: accept the will of God when adversity comes, learn whatever lessons are in it and believe that it works for our good. That is a wholesome and healthy spirit. Rebellion or a mere endurance of affliction may wreck us. Resignation may make us "proud that we are humble." Acceptance falls in with God's plan and purpose and enables us to safely trust, even though we may not fully understand.

Some things, of course, are never meant to be accepted. They are the will of the devil and must be resisted and defeated. But that which cannot be changed may be turned to God's glory and our good if accepted and transmuted from a burden into a blessing.

Pastor Van
Sunday February 28, 2021

Happiness or Happen-Ness?

The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel. Philippians 1:12.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4.

"Which happened" is not in the original, but the idea is. This world's happiness should be spelled "happenness," because it depends on what happens. Paul's joy was not over the things which had happened unto him, things the world would call calamities. Yet he was happy because he knew that all things work together for good to the Christian. What men mean for evil God turns to good, as He did with Joseph.

So amidst all these adverse "happenings" Paul can write from prison, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." What this world calls happiness is not what God calls joy. His joy is the bequest of a Man of sorrows acquainted with grief, made available to us by His death on a cross. It is a deep, strange joy that may fill the heart when eyes are filled with tears. It is a heavenly joy beyond the tyranny of what happens and the whims of circumstance. It abides even when our feelings call us liars.

Thank God for "happiness—whatever happens."

Pastor Van
Saturday February 27, 2021

"Then Jesus Came"

When the doors were shut... came Jesus... Came Jesus, the doors being shut. John 20:19, 26.

Are you living behind closed doors bolted against some nameless dread or fear? Is it fear of man, fear of tomorrow, or some other hobgoblin that peers in the window of your soul? The Lord is with you. Not visibly as in this blessed account, but remember that He told Thomas on this same day. "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." You can count on Him, for He promised to be with us all the days—all kinds of days.

No prison bars, no dungeon gates, no walls of blindness, deafness, no Patmos isles of loneliness can keep Him out. The doors being shut... comes Jesus! "He saw them toiling in rowing... and... he cometh unto them." Our very distress is the reason for His approach! The very fact that the doors are shut challenges Him to enter!

There is only one door He will not enter—your unyielded heart. But open that door and He will come in. All other closed doors are to Him an invitation, not a barrier.

"Came Jesus... the doors being shut."

Pastor Van
Friday February 26, 2021

"Nowhere" or "Now Here"

—The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Psalm 14:1.

Emmanuel... God with us. Matthew 1:23.

He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:17.

An atheist had a sign on the wall of his office that read, "God Is Nowhere." A little girl saw it and exclaimed, "Look! It says, 'God Is Now Here!'"

Today godless and lawless millions deny God's very existence. But there are still many who have not bowed to this Baal, who know that the Word became flesh and that in the Holy Spirit God is not only with us but in us.

The struggle is between the "Nowheres" and the "Now Heres." "Is the Lord among us, or not?" (Ex. 17:7)—that is the issue. The fool hath said in his heart, "There is no God," because God is not in his heart. The Christian says there is a God, because God is in his heart. He means more than merely that God is or that God is somewhere. He says God is now here, because God is a present, living reality.

You ask me how I know He lives,

He lives within my heart!

These are they who know that the tabernacle of the Lord is with men because He lives in us, the temples of His Holy Spirit.

Pastor Van
Thursday February 25, 2021

The Beatitude of the "and Yets"

Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. John 20:29.

Thomas could have made a great story of his experience, for few ever had such a privilege as he. But our Lord did not magnify it: rather He magnified the commoner experience of believing without seeing. All of us can claim that beatitude! It is not so glamorous and it does not make a sensational story, but precious in the sight of the Lord are His saints who can relate no amazing experiences but who believe, anyway.

Peter sensed the importance of walking by faith instead of sight when he wrote, "Whom having not seen ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."

And yet have believed... yet believing. There was only one Thomas who could put his finger in the nailprints of the Saviour but their number is legion who have believed without seeing. For reasons best known to Himself our Lord sometimes gives extra tokens to one now and then, but it is very evident that He values highly those who get along without them. Ours is the beatitude of the and yets, and in its blessing we carry on until we see Him as He is.

Pastor Van
Wednesday February 24, 2021

God's Geography

He brought me forth also into a large place. Psalm 18:19.

It may be only a pin-point on the map but if it is the Lord's place for us, it is a large place. God's geography does not read like ours. His ways are not our ways and His standards of greatness and success are foolish to this world. An obscure country church, even the bedroom of an invalid, may be a great place if it is the place of His will and lit with His presence.

And anywhere we may go, it is a large place if God be with us.

To me remains nor place nor time;

My country is in every clime;

I can be calm and free from care

On any shore, since God is there.

Madame Guyon found that God makes the place. Watch your harassed tourist trying to get away from it all. Alas, it matters not where he goes, he has to take himself along and there lies the problem. But

All scenes alike engaging prove

To souls impressed with sacred love.

Blessed is he who travels by God's geography. With him a stone pillow in a strange land may mark the house of God and the gate to heaven

Pastor Van
Tuesday February 23, 2021

Believe Your Beliefs

What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye shall receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24.

Believe that you have and you shall have—that is the grammar of faith! We are to ask for wisdom but we must ask in faith, nothing wavering (James 1:6). The believer already has all things in Christ, and by faith he lays hold of what is already his.

We must not only believe that we receive, we must believe that we believe. We must believe our beliefs and doubt our doubts. Alas, we doubt our beliefs and believe our doubts! To be always examining our faith is to destroy it. There is a strange twist of mind that afflicts some harassed souls who can never be sure of anything. These are ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

We must give ourselves credit for such faith as we can muster. The father of the demonized boy said to our Lord, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." His faith was weak and mixed with unbelief and he knew it, but he knew that he had at least a little faith and that faith he asserted. Of course, our faith, like every other good and perfect gift, is of God, but God expects us to use it, affirm it, not doubt it. "If thou canst believe" implies that we can if we will. God would not ask us to believe if we could not.

Pastor Van
Monday February 22, 2021

"My Home Is God"

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Psalm 90:1.

God is not only our hiding place, He is our dwelling place. He is not merely a Shelter for the night, He is our Staying Place forever. There we are not in hiding, we are at home.

Some flee to Him for refuge but do not make themselves at home. They worry and doubt and fear. The Israelite who worried although the blood was on his doorpost was just as safe as the one who rested in peace, but he was not enjoying his security. Blessed is the soul who learns how to nestle down deep and snug in his Abiding Place.

An old Negro woman was asked, "Are you standing on the rock, sister?" She said, "Man, I'm standing on it so solid I'm mired up in it!"

We might as well settle down in God now, for the day will come when only God will remain. Our bodies, our homes, our financial security, our jobs, all these house us but temporarily, and one day all of them will fail. We had better be "home in God" now. Then if we lose all else we still have all we ever really had.

Your Hiding Place is your Dwelling Place. Make yourself at home!

Pastor Van
Sunday February 21, 2021

No Place to Hide?

Thou art my hiding place. Psalm 32:7.

Your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3.

A little girl, distressed over world conditions, wrote to a magazine editor for advice. He replied, "Let the reader grit her wisdom teeth. There is no hiding place."

It is a sad commentary on our vaunted civilization that, for all our education, science, invention, and boasted progress, we are looking for a hole in the ground in which to hide from our own devices. The theme of books and articles by, of all people, scientists is, "No Place To Hide."

But there is a hiding place. Not in a "refuge of lies" (Isa. 28:15, 17) such as we devise rather than face God. "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?" (Jer. 23:24). Not in rocks and mountains (Rev. 6:15-17). God is our refuge. The only way to hide from His Presence is in His Presence.

In the secret of His Presence

How my soul delights to hide.

He is the Haven of Rest, the Shelter in Time of Storm.

Jesus, Lover of my soul,

Let me to Thy bosom fly.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee.

We need a refuge from the pride of man and the strife of tongues, and we may find both in the secret of His Presence (Ps. 31:20). There is a Hiding Place!

Pastor Van
Saturday February 20, 2021

Depository or Dispenser?

Freely ye have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8.

Jesus speaks of the instructed scribe as a householder who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old. We are stewards of the manifold grace of God, not to keep it but to share it. We have a treasure in earthen vessels. The Gospel is not a secret to be hoarded but a story to be heralded. From the carcass of the lion Samson carried handfuls of honey.

Our Lord said that the Living Water should be in us a well of water springing up into everlasting life, and that from within us should flow rivers of living water. Peter said to the lame man, "Such as I have give I thee."

"To have is to owe, not own," and we are dispensers of God's grace, not depositories. It is a day of good tidings, and if we hold our peace it will go ill with us. Too many Christians are stuffing themselves with Gospel blessings, while millions have never had a taste. We are debtors to all men to give freely what we have freely received.

Pastor Van
Friday February 19, 2021

Got Any Mountains?

Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:23.

Can we confidently claim and expect the conversion of our loved ones? Well, it must be in God's will. "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us" (Jn. 5:14). Does He will the conversion of every one? "The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Pt. 3:9).

Then He will remove this mountain, but we must expect the mountain to move. "All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Mt. 21:22). And the verse following our text says, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

We pray hoping, but hoping is not faith. Faith takes God's word for the deed and in its geography lists the mountain as "disappeared."

Got any mountains you think are unsinkable?

Pastor Van
Thursday February 18, 2021

"Spoken Against"

This child is set... for a sign which shall be spoken against. Luke 2:34.

As concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against. Acts 28:22.

Blessed are ye when men shall... say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Matthew 5:11.

The Saviour was spoken against. The Sect of His followers was spoken against. The Saints of any age are spoken against. We share His shame and reproach. They hated Him and they will hate us. The world hath hated us because we are not of the world. But if we be reproached as Christians, let us be happy and not ashamed (I Pt. 4:13-16).

The Beatitude of the Spoken Against has two qualifications. We are blessed not merely because we are spoken against. The charges must be false—sometimes what "they say" is true!—and it must be for Christ's sake.

The trend today is to try to make the Saviour, the Sect, and the Saints popular. But such is not the Scriptural reputation they bear. When the persecuted become the popular they are powerless. The church prospers in persecution, but pines in prosperity.

Pastor Van
Wednesday February 17, 2021

"The End of the Lord"

Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord. James 5:11.

The Lord turned the captivity of Job and blessed the latter end of his life more than the beginning, but all that is not the climax of the book. It is not an anticlimax but it is a sort of postscript. Job arrived at the peak when he saw God. After that, whether he got well or not, or whether or not he recovered his prosperity, was incidental. He had got through to God. The main purpose of God was not to explain Job's suffering or suffering in general. Job got through to illumination, which is better than explanation.

God does not always restore our lost prosperity. Some of the greatest saints die in their poverty, their adversity and their boils. But if they have got through to God Himself, they have reached life's greatest goal. What happens after that is incidental. They are ready to say:

"Now Thee alone I seek;

Give what is best."

Do not pine away in your adversity, seeking explanation or restoration of your former prosperity. Seek to know God and thenceforth enjoy Him forever, whatever happens to your belongings and your boils!

Pastor Van
Tuesday February 16, 2021

Adam and Atom

Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28.

A nervous generation reading "What To Do If The Atom Bomb Falls" needs to be reading what to do if Judgment falls. The biggest issue is still spiritual, not atomic but Adamic, not the atom in the universe but the Adam in you and what to do about it.

Jittery humans looking for a place to hide from their own inventions had better ponder the state of their hearts before the safety of their hides. "No Hiding Place" is a common phrase now, but God is still a refuge and a shelter in time of storm.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee.

Quit worrying about the atom and do something about Adam. There is a "last Adam" who can make you a new creature and give you power to become a son of God. These are beyond the reach of atoms, their true life is hid with Christ in God.

Pastor Van
Monday February 15, 2021

Followers and Fishers

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19.

Here is a double-barreled combination, a command and a promise. A soul-winner is a creation of Christ, "I will make you fishers of men." Soul-winning is a product of discipleship. Jesus takes the disciple and makes not a depository but a dispenser out of him and through him reaches others. Andrew went after Peter. Philip won Nathanael. Peter fished for Cornelius, and the evangelist Philip drew in the eunuch.

Fishing for souls proceeds from following the Saviour. It is not a pursuit all by itself, to be studied and practiced independently of all else. It is a consequence of obedience, and the Lord who never fails has given His Word guaranteeing the product.

We cannot do it alone. Remember the failure of the disciples in their fishing. "Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing." But when they fished at His bidding, the miracle happened. And Jesus said, "Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men." It happened when Peter said, "At thy word, I will." "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Pastor Van
Sunday February 14, 2021

Choosing Your Angel

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hebrews 1:14.

Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. II CORINTHIANS 11:14.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God. I John 4:1.

Angels ministered to Jesus, they minister for the saints, they minister to little children. But Satan goes about as a Mock Angel and does more harm in that pose than as a roaring lion. Again he comes as the Accuser and whispers insinuations which harassed believers imagine proceed from themselves. Christian in Pilgrims Progress was grievously beset in the Valley by such a spirit. Satan can produce a false conviction and we may mistake his voice for that of God's Spirit. In such a dark and dismal state many harassed souls fancy they have lost their salvation or have committed the unpardonable sin.

We are commanded to test such voices by the Word of God. We need not walk in such company. Submitting first to God, we must resist the devil, bidding him in the name of Christ to depart.

Do not take up with the wrong spirit. Satan apes God, and we must not be ignorant of his devices. While on your guard against the Roaring Lion, do not be deceived by the Mock Angel!

Pastor Van
Saturday February 13, 2021

Reproach and/or Riches

Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. Hebrews 11:26.

Moses had to choose one of two kinds of wealth, the reproach of Christ or the treasures of Egypt. He esteemed the first to be the greater riches and so laid up treasure in heaven.

He chose the imperishable, "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." He saw the invisible: "He endured as seeing him who is invisible"; He did the impossible: "By faith they passed through the Red Sea."

Moses got off to a good start in his parentage. This same account tells us v. 23) that his parents hid him when he was a baby and that "they were not afraid of the king's commandment." We read later that Moses forsook Egypt, "not fearing the wrath of the king." Like parents, like son!

Moses' choice was reproach and/or riches. It is a matter of whether one wants to get rich or be rich. We can be rich in Christ Jesus or perhaps get rich in Egypt, but we cannot do both. It is never "Christ and..." It is always "Christ or..." We cannot serve God and mammon.

Pastor Van
Friday February 12, 2021

Two Lost Words

All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:18-20.

Here is our Saviour's prerogative: He claims all power; our Saviour's program: discipling, baptizing, teaching; our Saviour's promise: to be with us all the days, even to the consummation of the age.

What a set-up! All the world before us, all power behind us, the All-powerful One with us!

In the teaching phase of our Saviour's program, we do not read, "teaching them all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Much of our teaching today is just that, the dissemination of information. It says, "teaching them to observe..." Here are the two lost words of the Great Commission. Throughout the Word of God the accent is on doing, observing, keeping the commandments of the Lord. Today we teach them, but we do not teach people to do them. The Word is hid in the head but not in the heart. It is the Word hidden in the heart that keeps from sin. You can have a head full of Scripture and a heart full of sin.

Pastor Van
Thursday February 11, 2021

The Word or the World

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 17:14.

If you stand on the Word you do not stand in with the world. McLaren says, "The measure of our discord with the world is the measure of our accord with our Saviour." Our Lord said the world hated Him and would hate us. "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:18-19).

"The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (I John 3:1). What has happened to all this today? The average church member courts the world's favor and rejoices in being hail-fellow-well-met and shows off the world's prizes and rewards. If to love the world is to be the enemy of God, we have some strange contradictions among us!

What some think is the world becoming more Christian is just Christians becoming more worldly. We can have the word or the world but not both. There is no concord between Christ and Belial. Read John 17; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; James 4:4; I John 2:15-17. We are strangers here. Don't make yourself at home.

Pastor Van
Wednesday February 10, 2021

His Blood and His Bidding

Christ died for our sins. I Corinthians 15:3

Come unto me. Matthew 11:28.

Just as I am, without one plea

But that thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

We do not come on the ground of His teaching, His character, His life, but rather on the ground of His death. The problem of our sin was not taken care of until Calvary. There is a salvation offered today on the ground of Christ the Example, Christ the Teacher, Christ the Ideal, but the sinner does not come on the plea that "Thy life was lived for me," or "Thy example was revealed for me." Christ's life and example and teaching have their place and a great and glorious place it is, but I come in my sins because His blood was shed for me.

And then His Bidding. He invited me. He bids me come, just as I am. I don't have to dress up. He will dress me up after I come. My righteousnesses—the best I am and can do—are but filthy rags, rags because they do not cover me and filthy because they only defile me.

HIS BLOOD: "But that Thy blood was shed for me."

HIS BIDDING: "And that Thou bid'st me come to thee."

May your answer be, "O Lamb of God, I come!"

Pastor Van
Tuesday February 09, 2021

Get Through to Jesus!

If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. John 7:37.

Some stop too soon in their quest for a satisfying experience of the Lord. They get this blessing or that and settle down there and make their blessing an end in itself and a yardstick by which they measure everybody else. The part becomes greater than the whole. They major on the gift instead of on the Giver. Others experience no "blessing" at all, give up and resign themselves to a dry faith, and plod along through dull and mediocre years.

Others go too far. They run past the Lord into delusions and excesses and fall into snares of demonism. Pitiful cases they are, starting out honestly and earnestly, but not guided by the Word.

Jesus simply invites us to Himself, whether for rest (Mt. 11:28) or for the Spirit's fulness (Jn. 7:37), and guarantees that if we come He will not cast us out (Jn. 6:37). It is not difficult to get to Jesus if we really want to come. And anyone who gets through to Him will be all right. "All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him."

Pastor Van
Monday February 08, 2021

"Get" or "Give"?

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? Matthew 19:27.

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. Acts 3:6.

A lot of water had run under the bridge in Peter's experience between these verses. Too many disciples are out for what they can get instead of what they can give. "What do I get out of church, what is there in the Christian life for me?" Church members too often expect service and never think of giving it.

Peter had no money to offer but he performed a miracle. The church today no longer says, "Silver and gold have I none," but neither can she say, "Rise and walk." Men, money, movements, there are aplenty but few miracles. And there will be none until the Getters become Givers.

Have you moved from "What do I get?" to "What can I giver

Pastor Van
Sunday February 07, 2021

What Lack I Yet?

What lack I yet? Matthew 19:20.

The rich young ruler had morals, manners and money. He would be welcomed readily into many churches today, with no questions asked. He would make a good "joiner," but he would be a poor disciple.

Salvation is free but discipleship costs everything. Somehow, we have utterly lost sight of our Saviour's drastic and often severe challenges to prospective disciples. Letting the dead bury the dead, denying self, hating loved ones, putting the hand to the plow—He used terms that demanded absolute obedience and unquestionable loyalty. Today we have tempered all this down and removed its sharp edge and have gathered a host of indifferent "joiners" who have not the faintest idea of what it means to "sell out" for Christ.

Jesus lost this prospect. The young man went away. Why didn't our Lord take him on milder terms and later lead him into complete surrender? That is our technique today, but Jesus was out for disciples, not "joiners."

"What lack I yet?" Here is the painful lack in our churches, because it is the lack of so many of their members.

Pastor Van
Saturday February 06, 2021

The Technique of the Towel

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. John 13:14.

Our Lord steps from magnificence to meniality: "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands... began to wash the disciples' feet." From sublimity to service!

In the early days of Communism one leader wanted to admit all who accepted the theory and purposes of the movement. Lenin insisted that only those who were so devoted as to be willing to do the most menial tasks be received. "Fewer but better" was his motto. He said, "Give me one hundred fanatics rather than a thousand indifferent followers."

"The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." Considering how we have to coax and beg church members to do a few things for our Lord, we can easily see how we are loaded down with excess baggage, nominal disciples who agree in theory but have never learned our Saviour's technique of the towel.

The average church member would do well to look in his concordance and see how many columns it takes to list all the "serve," "servant," "service" references. We come to church to sit but will not go out to serve.

Pastor Van
Friday February 05, 2021

Take Hold of God!

There is none that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee. Isaiah 64:7.

The prophet is not lamenting that there is none that stirreth up himself. There have never been more "rousements" in our religious life than today. We whip our jaded nerves into a St. Vitus's dance but it is an end in itself; we do not get through to God. The way out of a spiritual stupor is not by getting into a stew. The stirring up of ourselves is a means to an end, to take hold of God. We must rouse ourselves to employ the means of grace, draw nigh to God that He may draw nigh to us.

We must stir up the gift of God. Like sugar in the lemonade, it may be there but it needs to be set in motion. The ashes need to be scraped off the coals in our hearts and the fire rekindled.

A lot of our religious bustle today does not take hold of God. We get excited and strike in all directions and keep the Lord busy putting back ears we lop off in our misdirected zeal, like Peter at the Saviour's arrest. It is not merely stepping up our activities nor is it an emotional binge; it is arousing ourselves to employ the means God has provided, the Word, prayer, and all other ways of laying hold of Him.

Pastor Van
Thursday February 04, 2021


By him all things consist. Colossians 1:17.

The supreme experience is to get past all lesser experiences to Christ Himself. Most of us stop short of the Giver because we are forever seeking this or that gift. Many a saint can testify to years of being occupied with this doctrine and that, this blessing and that, but coming one day into the larger place of resting in the Lord Himself, finding in Him their reward, their portion. Anything short of that is fractional, immature, incomplete. We are complete in Him, not in any experience or favorite doctrine. Here is the experience that excels all experiences because it includes them all. The whole is greater than any of the parts.

"Getting through to God" is not a strange emotional experience—although it may indeed move the emotions—but simply arriving at the blessed point where we rest in the Blesser and not in a lesser "blessing." Then, whatever we may lose, we have Him, and in Him we have everything. All things are ours, and we are Christ's and Christ is God's.

Pastor Van
Wednesday February 03, 2021

Sanctified for Others

For their sakes I sanctify myself. John 17:19.

There is a sense in which we, too, must sanctify ourselves for the sake of others. We live in a sin-sick world infested and infected by the microbes of evil. We live in a satanic world order, and as the physician seeks to save the patient while he fights the disease we must love the souls of men but contend with the sinful powers that beset them. Surgeons and nurses must keep fit and clean, and so must we who bear the vessels of the Lord. We must keep strong by the food of the Word, by resting in the Lord, by exercising unto godliness. If we develop points of infection they must be dealt with. Any habit or interest that lowers our resistance to evil must be abandoned. The offending eye or hand must be plucked out or cut off, for sometimes spiritual surgery is indicated. "Habits of life though harmless they seem" must be dropped if they get between the soul And the Saviour so that His blessed face is not seen.

For God's sake, for the sake of others, for our own sakes, let us sanctify ourselves.

Pastor Van
Tuesday February 02, 2021

From Hearing to Seeing

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Job 42:5.

Job was a good man already. He feared God and eschewed evil, and God called him "my servant Job" and said of him, "There is none like him in the earth." Job had heard and had believed. That is good enough to start with. "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Moreover, Job had lived an exemplary life.

But, like many who have come that far, he needed to see God, not in a vision or manifestation to the senses but in a personal, overwhelming, humbling, pride-shattering consciousness of the very presence of God Himself.

Through the ages, such an experience, though wide and diverse in its patterns, has marked the men God has used most. Too many have heard and believed and lived but have not seen. God brings us to where we can say, "But now mine eye seeth thee!"

Pastor Van
Monday February 01, 2021

Saviour or Song?

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not he afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2.

A well-known pastor tells of a soloist who sang with real artistry a great Gospel song one Sunday morning. By musical standards it was flawless, but the minister detected a lack of "heart," although there was plenty of art. At the door he asked the singer, "Was that song real to you or was it just a song?" She flushed, but she was honest, and she finally replied, "Pastor, I'm afraid it was just a song."

We should have both, a Saviour and a song. The Lord Jehovah is our salvation, our strength and our song. When He lifts us out of the miry clay and puts our feet on the Rock, He also puts a song in our mouth. But nothing is so hollow as singing something we know nothing about. A lot of that goes on in churches on Sunday mornings, it is to be feared, and no matter how much of "art" there is, it will not make up for lack of "heart."

Is the Lord your salvation and strength or is He "just a song"?

Pastor Van


Coming Events


Mar 3
Angie Artola
Mar 6
Lennie Livingston
Mar 7
Kaleb Townsend
Mar 10
Pat Loy
Mar 19
Gary Beck
Mar 21
Darrell Durbin
Mar 23
Gabriel Wert
Mar 25
Paula Tieffel - rankie Webb
Mar 27
Clara Brown
Mar 28
Bob Brown - Mike Brown - Brian Clough
Mar 30
Pat Foreman


Mar 9
Leo & Becky DeWeese
Mar 15
Gary & Mary Jane Beck

Our Pastor

Pastor Van Mcqueen

Pastor Van is a graduate of Georgetown Baptist College in Georgetown KY, with a BA in music. He has served churches in KY, IL, TX, and Maryland.

He was married to Dorothy for 48 years. She passed away in 2001. He has two married children. Cindy Slyvester and Doug McQueen. Two grandchildren and three great-grand-children.

Pastor Van has served in almost every area of church-related service. He spent ten years in the field of fund raising for churches. He has no hobbies except he likes old trucks and owns and has restored an old 1950 Dodge pickup. His first love is Jesus, second is his family and third is the Watson Baptist Church.

Our Church

The Watson Baptist Church began as a Mission extension of Jackson Township Baptist Church in 1895. The first church, "The New Zion Baptist Church" started with 17 members at the White School House, later the place of worship was changed to the old Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Cannon of Mason presented a church bell to the church in 1904.

A new church was built in 1969 and the name became "The Watson Baptist Church". The land was donated by Glen and Agnes Martin. The church continued to grow and an addition was added in 1984. There have been 29 pastors to date.

Contact Information


Watson Baptist Church
100 N Old Watson Rd
Watson, IL 62473

(217) 536-6226

WBC Facebook


Executive Pastor
Gary Beck - 757/816/6589
Aaron Cline - 217343/8861
Roger Loy - 217/240/5811
Leo DeWeese - 217/343/4020

Prayer List

Pastor Van McQueen * All Church Members * Deacon & Associate Pastor Gary Beck
Government: Local/State/ National * Police Officers * Jail: Inmates/Guards
Deacon Aaron Cline * DOM Joe Lawson * President Donald Trump
All Military * Lost people * Your "ONE"
Church growth * Church attendance
Our Mission field of the Watson area.
Health Issues *** Hilda Webb * Frankie Webb * Bill Wright * Loretta Woods
Mike Welker's wife * Opal Rose * Charles Woods * Louise French * Robin Heltsley
Angie Monical * Chris Beck * Shirley Filer * Linda Wright * Todd Wright
Isaiah Wright * Ronni Morris * John Flach * Jeff Campton * Kay Koester
Don Groves * Sarah Morris * Kevin Moshenrose * Edward & Jude Beck * Bob Simmons
MILITARY *** Shane Evans - Kyle Webb - Jimmy Leist - Adam Nevergall - Jake Nelson
Curtis Webb - Chris French - Michael Niemerg - Justin Hovis - Keith Dial
Phil Blackwell - Lucas Kreke - Jackie Hughing - Chad Reed - Chris Jones - JAlex Artola
Ivan Artola - Tiffany Habing - Nic Lucy - Austin Ashworth - Jonathan Knox - Alyssa Artola
Cortney Mosier - Haley Koester