Watson Baptist Church
Watson, IL

Devotionals

Saturday June 19, 2021

Prophetic and Pastoral

And he gave some,... prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. Ephesians 4:11.

In the middle ages the church retired into solitude and seclusion and God had to raise up awakeners. There come high tides of revival and evangelism, and God balances them with pastors and teachers. Moody was a messenger to the multitudes, but he had the good judgment to associate with him men like Morgan and Meyer, who could teach and build up the saints.

We must have both. If we have only teachers we may become passive bible students and fail of aggressive evangelism. We may spend ourselves in public activity and starve the inner life. The church needs both and the individual Christian needs both. It is pitiable indeed if the evangelist disparages the work of the teacher or the teacher belittles mass evangelism.

Some saints need a prophet to blast them out of a comfortable quietism. Some need a teacher to make them be still and take in that they may have something to give out.

Our Lord combined both in His perfect ministry, quietly teaching His disciples and shepherding His flock, while at the same time He was a prophet and challenged us to a life of service in His Name

Pastor Van
Friday June 18, 2021

Carmel and Horeb

Then the fire of the Lord fell... I Kings 18:38.

But the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still, small voice. I Kings 19:12.

God was in the fire at Carmel; He was not in the fire at Horeb. We are not to gather from the still, small voice that God is never in wind, earthquake, and fire. He often is. He came at Pentecost with a sound as of a rushing mighty wind. He came in an earthquake in the Philippian jail.

God works in nature in the cataclysmic, in flood and tornado; and He works in the gradual, quiet process of the seasons. He works in mighty mass movements in revival with a Whitefield or a Moody. But He also moves in quiet gatherings in the day-by-day work of faith and labor of love among the churches.

And into our hearts He sometimes breaks in sudden and tempestuous ways, in mountain-top raptures and third-heaven experiences. But He also works in daily growth in the knowledge of Christ, the quiet walk by His sufficient grace.

You cannot live at Carmel all the time. Carmel happens only once in a while. God is at Horeb too—if you have ears to hear.

Pastor Van
Thursday June 17, 2021

"Waters That Go Softly"

Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly... the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many. Isaiah 8:6, 7.

Threatened by invasion from Israel and Syria, Ahaz of Judah foolishly chose alliance with Assyria instead of reliance on God. The soft-flowing waters of Shiloah represent the benign reign of the house of David as compared with the violent Euphrates, emblem of the Assyrians.

How prone we are to choose earthly alliances, confederacies of the world and the flesh, instead of God's gentle way! The way of the meek and lowly, the rule of love, seems too weak to cope with the ways and devices of men. The world chooses the way of the Euphrates and suffers a deluge of disaster. And in our private lives the still small voice and the quiet way of God seem too mild for some of us. We ally with the boisterous, turbulent spirit of the age and live to regret it. For Assyria always comes to help but remains to conquer.

Remember, it is the Lamb that finally conquers!

Pastor Van
Wednesday June 16, 2021

Abhorrence, Not Tolerance

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Romans 12:9.

We are not to tolerate evil but abhor it. The mood of the age is to put up with evil, allow it, and then move easily to play with it and finally practice it. Tolerance is a pet word these days, and we stretch our consciences while we "broaden" our minds. But the Word of God tells us that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil and that we are to abstain from the very appearance of evil. There is no leniency toward sin whatever in that. Nothing is more dangerous to our spiritual well-being than a mild amiability that smiles at sin. Some have come to think that there is something noble in a mild attitude toward sin. Compassion on the sinful is one thing, but never confuse it with tolerance of evil. We have sunk to an acceptance of that toward which God counsels abhorrence and behold the harvest!

A holy, healthy hatred of sin and indignation at evil is our crying need today, because we fear not God and the fear of the Lord is to hate evil.

Day by Day: A Book of Bible Devotions.

Pastor Van
Tuesday June 15, 2021

GET A MOVE ON"

And beside this... add..." (2Peter 1:5).

In the Matter of Drudgery. You have inherited the Divine nature, says Peter (v. 4), now screw your attention down and form habits, give diligence, concentrate. "Add" means all that character means. No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character, he has to make character. Nor are we born with habits; we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us. We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. Drudgery is the touchstone of character. The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do. 'Jesus took a towel... and began to wash the disciples' feet."

There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task. Routine is God's way of saving us between our times of inspiration. Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes, but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.

It is the "adding" that is difficult. We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we did! The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. If I do my duty, not for duty's sake, but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience the whole superb grace of God is mine through the Atonement.

My Utmost for His Highest.

Pastor Van
Monday June 14, 2021

GET A MOVE ON

"Abide in Me" (John 15:4).

In the Matter of Determination. The Spirit of Jesus is put into me by the Atonement, then I have to construct with patience the way of thinking that is exactly in accordance with my Lord. God will not make me think like Jesus, I have to do it myself; I have to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. "Abide in Me"-in intellectual matters, in money matters, in every one of the matters that make human life what it is. It is not a handbox life.

Am I preventing God from doing things in my circumstances because I say it will hinder my communion with Him? That is an impertinence. It does not matter what my circumstances are, I can be as sure of abiding in Jesus in them as in a prayer meeting. I have not to change and arrange my circumstances myself. With Our Lord the inner abiding was unsullied; He was at home with God wherever His body was placed. He never chose His own circumstances, but was meek towards His Father's dispensations for Him. Think of the amazing leisure of Our Lord's life! We keep God at excitement point, there is none of the serenity of the life hid with Christ in God about us.

Think of the things that take you out of abiding in Christ-Yes, Lord, just a minute, I have got this to do; Yes, I will abide when once this is finished when this week is over, it will be all right, I will abide then. Get a move on; begin to abide now. In the initial stages it is a continual effort until it becomes so much the law of life that you abide in Him unconsciously. Determine to abide in Jesus wherever you are placed.

My Utmost for His Highest.

Pastor Van
Sunday June 13, 2021

Antidote to Self-Pity

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9.

After Paul emerges from his height-to-depth experience of the third heaven and thorn in the flesh to rest in the sufficient grace of Christ, he takes pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, distresses for Christ's sake, for when he is weak then he is strong. He rejoices in the very weakness that drives him to Christ. He does not grumble, he glories. And he does not go on a spree of self-pity. What an opportunity to feel sorry for himself with this trouble that God would not take away!

If God grants you neither a third-heaven experience nor the removal of your thorn, rejoice in whatever He uses to bring you to simple daily dependence on Christ. But do not merely glory in infirmities. Finish the sentence... "that the power of Christ may rest upon me." All else is incidental to that. Let us major on His strength, not on our weakness.

Pastor Van
Saturday June 12, 2021

God's Stimulant

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18.

How this poor world seeks release and escape through drink but instead of happiness reaps a headache! God has provided a stimulant for His people in the power of the Holy Spirit. And there is no wretched "morning after" with a dark brown taste! "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it" (Prov. 10:22). The early Christians were accused of being full of new wine. They had the wine of heaven, of which all the wines of earth are but poor imitations.

And, mind you, the thought here is that of a stimulant, not a sedative. Unless something stirs us we are worthless. All the world's excitements fail to afford a proper stimulus. And a lot of our modern religious "rousements" are but substitutes for the wine of the Spirit, often the old Adam whooping it up in church.

Every other wine runs easily to excess. Only the Christian filled with the Spirit has an adequate stimulant to carry him through these days.

Pastor Van
Friday June 11, 2021

"Come Before Winter

Do thy diligence to come before winter. II Timothy 4:21.

"It is not good that the man should be alone." Adam had God in the Garden of Eden, but he still needed Eve, and God knew it. We must have human companionship. Paul had no wife, so he turned to his friends, and to Timothy, his "beloved son" in particular. He urged first, "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me" (v. 9); then he thought of approaching cold weather and of what it would add to his loneliness, so he repeats his request and says, "Come before winter." It is a touching sidelight on a great soul, but human like us all.

Winter has a way of coming in varied forms, and blessed is the fellowship of a kindred soul. We have the Lord, but He Himself has recognized that we need the touch of a human hand. He Himself came down and lived among us as a man. We cannot see Him now, but blest be the tie that binds human hearts in Christian love. Most precious of earthly ties is husband and wife "in the Lord." If Paul is denied a wife he had better find a Timothy. And may Timothy arrive before winter!

Pastor Van
Thursday June 10, 2021

"The Wall"

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Isaiah 25:4.

How often in the loneliness and strain of our work, when foes, seen and unseen, beset us, we have been conscious of an invisible wall, the angel f the Lord encamping round about us to deliver us. Often we have been helpless, with no strength of our own against the enemy. Yet we have been able to lie down and sleep, conscious that our Keeper never slumbers. "The wall" is a good figure, for we need not be roofed in overhead. Satan can surround us but he cannot roof us over, and we need the upward look unobstructed. Never has God's wall broken down, nor has the Adversary breached it. Because it is invisible, the devil would have us fear it is not there; but it is. He can come so far but no farther.

If ever we needed a wall, it is now. The hosts of evil are making their worst mad assaults, and no ramparts of our own can avail. But we have a fortress, a hiding place, a Rock of Ages. Are you hid with Christ in God?

Pastor Van
Wednesday June 09, 2021

Look Out for the Devil!

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8.

We need not be surprised if, right on the heels of a new spiritual beginning, we are beset with double force by the devil. It is a good sign. It is evidence that we are making progress and have aroused him. He will attack body, mind, and spirit to disable, deceive, or discourage. He will make us dull and stupid, will deaden our spirits and lull us into a stupor. A sense of things present will come doubly strong and heaven will seem far away. Unexplainable things will happen and we may feel that God has forsaken us. Right when we expected ecstasy we shall meet melancholy. Instead of raptures, we shall encounter boredom and wonder why we feel more like sighing than shouting.

Be not discouraged. It is a sure sign of progress. The farther you go, the more you may meet with. But greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. Your Ally has conquered your Adversary.

Pastor Van
Tuesday June 08, 2021

June 8.

Itching Ears and Burning Hearts

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. II Timothy 4:3.

Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way and while he opened to us the scriptures? Luke 24:32.

It is a day of itching ears. Men chase popular preachers who can entertain. Religion is just another fad. And not a few Christians who pass as lovers of sound doctrine cannot endure its application, but move from preacher to preacher, church to church, listening to their pet Paul or Apollos or Cephas. A lot of what goes for Bible teaching and evangelism is but religious entertainment. Men are not moved within to the point of obedience. They have itching ears.

We need an outbreak of holy heartburn, when hearers shall be doers, when congregations shall go out from meetings to do things for God and men instead of pleasantly gossiping while the fowls of the air snatch up the seed of the Word.

God move us from itching-ear retreats to burning-heart revivals!

Pastor Van
Monday June 07, 2021

Stepping in the Light

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. Colossians 2:6.

God would not have us merely "take a stand," He would have us walk. Too many have taken a stand and are still standing; for years they have made no progress. The New Testament makes much of our walk. We walk by faith, not by sight. We are to walk in the light, walk in love, walk in newness of life, walk worthy of our vocation, walk circumspectly, walk worthy of the Lord, walk honestly, walk in the truth, walk as He walked. The Christian life begins with a step of faith—"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord"—and it proceeds step by step—"so walk ye in him."

We are inclined to take a stand and at best strive to maintain it instead of walking daily with God like Enoch. Faith grows as we go. And don't let your tongue get too far ahead of your feet. Let your walk match your talk!

Pastor Van
Sunday June 06, 2021

"Trying to Rest"

Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest. Hebrews 4:11.

We do not labor to rest. That is a contradiction. We labor to enter into rest, we make it our resolute purpose, we go about it in dead earnest. But when we have ceased from our works and entered, then we rest. We make an effort to reach a vacation spot but after we arrive we rest. The Saviour invites us to His rest, and we are not to live in a tense strain, holding on to it for dear life for fear "it" will slip from us. We do not keep Him, He keeps us. We are His guest, not His host, we sit at His table and we need never go away.

The rest of the Christian is not a pose of faith rigidly fixed and maintained. It is not something we screw ourselves up to, it is the very opposite of all strenuous effort. We labor to enter in, we earnestly commit all in a positive, definite, businesslike way. Then the responsibility is His to keep what we have committed; we have simply to abide. Like some vacationists, we exhaust ourselves trying to rest! Let go and let God!

Pastor Van
Saturday June 05, 2021

Believing Is Obeying

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. I John 3:23

It is often overlooked that God commands us to believe. He does not merely invite or urge, He commands it. Living in unbelief or uncertainty is outright disobedience. We do not honor God by indecision and doubt. It is faith that pleases Him. We ought to come to Christ immediately and trust Him and never waver, because He has bidden us come and believe and we can do anything we ought to do. He inclines us to come by His Spirit, for certainly neither the flesh nor the devil ever impelled a man toward Christ. You may be sure that He is working in you to will and do of His good pleasure, and if you will to obey Him by believing as best you know how, you may be certain He will not cast you out.

It is simple obedience to believe. Therefore "repent ye and believe the gospel." "God commandeth all men everywhere to repent." "And this is his commandment, that we should believe."

Pastor Van
Friday June 04, 2021

End and Beginning

Woe is me! for I am undone. Isaiah 6:5.

Isaiah has come to the end of himself. Like Moses in Midian, like Job when he saw God, like Daniel with his comeliness turned to corruption and Habakkuk with rottenness entering his bones; like Peter at Tiberias and Paul with his thorn, he has come to the end of all feeling and trying and praying, the end of all he is and has, to where God begins.

Blessed is that hour of holy desperation when a man reaches that extremity which is God's opportunity and moves out of the wreck of himself into Christ. Nothing in his hand he brings, but just as he is without one plea he takes up residence with Christ in God. He puts no value on anything he has or is, attaches no importance to his feelings or faith or prayers. Christ is everything. We waste many years trying to construct some sort of refuge out of the rubbish of ourselves, until we abandon it all and dwell in Another. From then on we have no confidence in the flesh but humbly look unto Him for salvation and the "all things" that go with it, His sufficient grace for the whole man, for every day, for any need, that we, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

Pastor Van
Thursday June 03, 2021

"Pray Through" and "Only Believe"

And as he passed over Penuel, the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. Genesis 32:31.

The "pray it through" and "Take It By Faith" schools have argued through the centuries and many a soul has been confused thereby. Some have "sought" and "tarried" and exhausted themselves agonizing to no avail. Others have mistaken laziness for passivity and have made a feigned faith an excuse for not resolutely pressing through to God. There is truth in both schools: one must mean business and come to a point of crisis; but, still, all we get from God simple faith must take.

Jacob did not win by wrestling. God crippled him and he ended by clinging. Sunrise at Penuel found him limping, but he had power with God and men. Paul did not pray through until his thorn was removed, but he learned to take by faith grace sufficient for each day. Jacob meant business and so did Paul. But beyond that they walked by simple faith and obedience. It may take wrestling to reach the point of abandonment. After that we cling in humble dependence.

Pastor Van
Wednesday June 02, 2021

Holy Disgust

Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Micah 7:7.

"Therefore" looks back to Micah's complaint, found in the preceding verses. It was an evil time. Micah found no good man about him. Men in authority worked in collusion to do evil. No confidence could be put in people, even in one's family. It reads like the morning newspaper!

But Micah was not left without an alternative. He looked unto the Lord. It is a fine thing when a man in high and holy disgust and distrust of the world around him turns to the world above him. Tired of all else, he thirsts for the living God in a dry and thirsty land where no water is.

Change and decay in all around I see;

O, Thou who changest not, abide with me!

When we grow sick of earth and all it has to offer, we are in good shape to look up. And as some saint has said, "We must get into us more of that which is above us or we shall give way to that which is around us."

Pastor Van
Tuesday June 01, 2021

Don't Stay at Shiloh!

So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. I Samuel 1:18.

Hannah had not been eating and she had been sad (v. 7). But now she had poured out her heart to God, and had entered into a covenant with Him, and she trusted Him for the answer to her prayer. Notice that she did not run up to Shiloh every day and "agonize" and pray the same prayer over and over. It would have looked very religious, but it would have been rankest unbelief. Instead she "went her way, and did eat," and resumed a normal life, "and her countenance was no more sad." She did not live in alternate hope and fear, she lived happily with a glad face.

Some of us need sorely to learn a lesson from Hannah. It is no mark of piety to return to Shiloh every day fasting and weeping. Faith settles with God and then eats a good dinner and goes its way looking happy, not hoping but believing. Nervous, uncertain souls, forever begging God, are really unbelievers. Faith takes His Word for it and lives normally and happily.

Don't stay at Shiloh! Go your way, eat, and smile!

Pastor Van
Monday May 31, 2021

The time of my departure is at hand. II Timothy 4:6.

How often have I noticed when headed home from my travels a relief and release, a lessening of strain and tension. Nothing bothers me, I feel great, I am going home!

Should it not be so with us Christian pilgrims who seek a country? Why should earth's cares pester us? We are on our way home, and nothing can stop us. Death itself but speeds the arrival and is a paying proposition, for "to depart and be with Christ is far better." "To die is gain."

"One sweetly solemn thought" daily reminds us that we are nearer home than we've ever been before. Let time and earth do their worst, they but quicken our heavenward pace! There is nothing to fear. No combination of men or devils can keep us from getting "home. Why should I not be hilarious with a song in my heart? I shall soon be beyond all that spoils my peace and joy. My Lord is over there, and more and more of those I love gather on that side. Nothing can hinder me from arriving. I feel like traveling on!

It is great to be nearing home!

Pastor Van
Sunday May 30, 2021

Purposeful Pruning

Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:2.

"Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth." The beloved child is chastised and the fruitful branch is pruned. Many a troubled soul in an hour of distress has fancied itself the object of God's displeasure. But it is the fruitful branch that feels the knife. The unfruitful branch is taken away and burned. Many a saint in adversity has feared that he is perhaps a stranger to grace, forgetting that it is the bastards, not sons, who escape the Father's discipline.

There is a purpose in the pruning, "that it may bring forth more fruit." Not the feverish stepped-up production of this machine age but the natural, spontaneous fruitfulness of the branch that draws its life from the vine. Too much of our religious productivity is ground out by the methods of this age. The true Christian abides and abounds, and to him the Father-Husbandman's pruning is part of the process.

Pastor Van
Saturday May 29, 2021

Abiding and Obeying

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love. John 15:10.

This is only one of many verses that connect fellowship with Christ with obedience to Him. We are His friends if we do His commandments. If we do God's will we are Jesus' brother and sister. He that has and keeps His commandments, he it is that loves the Lord.

We are prone to make much of abiding, not much of obeying. We bask in the blessedness of being His friends, dwelling in Him, being hid with Christ in God. But Jesus always joins this holy estate with practical obedience. We hang up promises as mottoes but we are not so fond of commandments. Contemplation and adoration and mysticism have their place, but the friend of Jesus is the man who does what Christ commands him. To be sure, His commandment is that we love one another, but that includes a lot of other commandments and is as practical as the Thirteenth Chapter of First Corinthians.

A lot of people sing, "Oh, How I Love Jesus," who are not keeping His ommandments. And He said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words."

Pastor Van
Friday May 28, 2021

Strategy for Victory

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21.

"Overcome evil with good"—here is a principle often overlooked. We do not master our sins and doubts and fears by direct frontal assault, taking them one by one. It is better to concentrate on the positive, become occupied with the Lord, and leave these evils to die from neglect. General MacArthur did not take each Japanese outpost on the way back to the Philippines. He concentrated on a few major objectives and left the other enemy garrisons to "rot on the vine." If we become taken up with every temptation and difficulty we shall wear ourselves out on secondary skirmishes. Let us rather put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh. We can circumvent a lot of our worries by giving our attention to the good. Most of our ailments will die from neglect. We give them importance when we devote time and thought to them.

Make your life a major drive with Christ the objective—"This one thing I do"—and let the devil's minor outposts starve to death.

Pastor Van
Thursday May 27, 2021

Refuge

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3.

Some escape the tyranny of self to a great degree by a new vocation, a new love. But some day the vocation may have to be abandoned, the loved one may die. Christ offers us the highest deliverance, not in a cause or in a philosophy or even in "Christian work," but in Himself. Some dear souls become interested in a new truth like the victorious life and make a fad of it, but still do not get through to Him who is our life.

We are dead, our old self has been nailed to the cross and we are to reckon it a fact, yield ourselves to God and obey Him. It is the message of this third chapter of Colossians as of the sixth chapter of Romans. Self does not crucify self but submits to crucifixion as the Spirit works it out in experience. But we do not major on dying, we rise from the grave to walk in newness of life, freed from the shackles of the old life.

 

If we lose ourselves in anything less than Christ Himself there is no full deliverance. Only "with Christ in God" are we in a safe hiding place.

Pastor Van
Wednesday May 26, 2021

Last God to Go

Lovers of their own selves. II Timothy 3:2.

Self-love takes many forms. Not only pride and vanity and worldly ambition, but a sickly preoccupation with one's own troubles, physical or otherwise. Such self-centered, ingrown souls make themselves the center of their universe. Self thrives on attention. It grows as it is petted and coddled, until it becomes a colossus dominating one's lives and all others it can by making friends and loved ones the slaves of such self-worshipers.

The best treatment is neglect by becoming preoccupied with something or someone else. Such ailments disappear when ignored. The supreme preoccupation is not a mere person or cause but Christ Himself. That is why He asked us to deny self, take up the cross, and follow Him. That is why He bade us lose our lives to find them. When he fills our minds and hearts and lives other gods vanish. And no god is harder to topple from its shrine than self. It will gladly give up all lesser idols if only it be allowed to retain the throne.

Pastor Van
Tuesday May 25, 2021

"An Holy Man of God"

I perceive that this is an holy man of God. II Kings 4:9.

How many of us modern prophets, do you suppose, ever convey such an impression to the Shunammites of today? The words "holy" and "holiness" have been joked about, and to not a few a holy man means a queer fanatic with long hair, robe, and sandals. But we are in dire need of some "holy men of God" who may be out of style with earth but are in step with heaven. The modern variety of religious go-getter may dazzle us with brilliance and efficiency, but he does not make us think first either of holiness or God.

Said McCheyne: "Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, whose life has been hid with Christ in God. These are of the old-time religion, hung to the nails of the cross."

We are weary of the success and happiness school. We need holy men of God who are in touch with Headquarters, who remind us of another world than this.

Pastor Van
Monday May 24, 2021

Friends of God

And he was called the friend of God. James 2:23.

Of all the preachers and teachers and religious folk of our day, how few impress us that they know God! Able and successful, earnest and aggressive, we find in them much that is good. But can we not count on our fingers those who have gone far into the deeper things of the Spirit, who have learned those precious secrets of intimacy with God? To how few could we go in an hour of deepest trouble, to how few dare we tell our inmost problems!

This age of phenobarbital and psychoses does not lend itself to a closer walk with God. The price is great nowadays, and he who chooses to be God's friend may be overlooked in the worship of celebrities. But in our better and needier moments we turn from heroes to seek some lowly soul who has learned those rare lessons of the school of Enoch who walked with God. Our efficient American Christianity is too busy putting things over to be interested in the quiet, slow saints who take time to be holy instead of just singing about it.

Give us more friends of God!

Pastor Van
Sunday May 23, 2021

Living but Dead

I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Revelation 3:1.

The prodigal was dead but came alive (Lk. 15:24). So it is with all who believe (Rom. 6:13). The Sardis church was alive but dead. It had a name to live, but Jesus had another name for it. The name we have for ourselves is not always what our Lord calls us. You say you have eternal life. Does God say so? Not every one who calls Him Lord, Lord, is known of Him. Some Christians seem active enough, but it is not the vitality of the spirit, it is only the vivacity of religious flesh. And how many busy churches are called live churches, while the Lord looks on and says, "Thou art dead." Does Jesus say that yours is a live church? How does it look to Him? Mere activity does not deceive Him.

"She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." She may be animated and really get around, but God says "dead." And a lot of go-getter Christians and churches draw no better word from Him who looks on the heart.

Are you one who was once dead and now lives, or do you seem to live but are dead?

Pastor V Pastor Van
Saturday May 22, 2021

Call to America

Hear the word of the Lord. Isaiah 1:10.

We need to recover Isaiah's thundering call from the mothballs where we have relegated it. The first chapter could be proclaimed, with a few names changed, to America and be strictly up to date. Surely our people "doth not consider." Surely the moral putrefaction Isaiah portrayed (vs. 5, 6) smells just as bad in our land. And God hates our Sunday-morning religion without reality as much as He despised the sham formalities of Judah (vs. 11-15). Religion is popular nowadays, but we will not put away evil and learn to do well (vs. 16, 17). We want a religion that involves no break with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Still, God invites us to reason with Him (v. 18). We reason within ourselves and among ourselves, but we do not want to accept God's reasoning. We want to be saved on our terms, not His.

When America is willing to turn from sin to God and accept His provision, willing and obedient, we shall eat the good of the land. If not, we shall be devoured with the sword, for "the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Pastor Van
Friday May 21, 2021

Endless Quest

Ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. II Timothy 3:7.

When we come to a decision about a spiritual matter, Satan would worry us and keep us in fear that perhaps we did not do right. But never to ome to a decision is still worse unbelief than to come with weak faith. To settle a matter as best one knows how in accordance with Scripture, even though one's cry is, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief," is certainly nearer the truth than not to come at all. Christ will receive all who come. In the Gospels they simply came, and He commended their faith when they thought they had little.

What pleases God is faith, and the weakest faith is better than no faith. Faith does not look at itself. One does not see sight by closing his eyes and looking around on the inside of his head. He looks at something, and what he sees confirms the fact that he has sight. Looking unto Jesus we find that He meets our need and proves that we have faith.

"Ever learning" is not the way to truth. Look and live and learn as you go.

Pastor Van
Thursday May 20, 2021

Rich and Healthy

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. III John 2.

John is not conditioning Gaius' prosperity and health on the state of his soul, but rather is assuming his soul's prosperity as a fact. Nevertheless, it is true that God wants no man to be richer than his soul, and the spiritual condition is the true gauge of a man's real success. No man with a sick soul is really prosperous. Even the medical world stresses as never before the connection between health and religion.

Prosperity, health, and spirituality are here joined, and well they may be. The man who is right with God and men is in a fair way to being in good health. Even if the outer man decay, the inner man is renewed from day to day. And a new body is guaranteed as part of his salvation. And prosperity is assured, for whatsoever the righteous man doeth shall prosper. The man who is rich toward God is truly rich, and he who is healthy in his soul is truly healthy. Along with it, we shall have such material prosperity and physical health as we need—and why should we want more?

Pastor Van
Wednesday May 19, 2021

No Option

Ye are not your own... for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. I Corinthians 6:19, 20.

It has been said that becoming a Christian is optional, but after we become Christians we have no option, we are to obey. Most church members are strangely ignorant of that. We go on living as though we were our own and had paid for our redemption. But we are not owners of anything, we are stewards of everything we are and have. And it is required of stewards that they be faithful. It is required of servants that they serve. It is required of soldiers that they obey. And every Christian is a steward, a servant, and a soldier.

We have no right to anything, we are bought and paid for by the blood of Christ. We are His property. It is not for us lightly to choose what we shall give or withhold. We belong to Another and He has the say-so.

What a long way we are from realizing this on Sunday morning, when we have to be begged and besought to give God a tip! To withhold one thing is theft, for everything is His!

Pastor Van
Tuesday May 18, 2021

"Backside of the Desert"

And he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God. Exodus 3:1.

Consider again where Moses met God at the end of his forty-year postgraduate course in Midian. In the unlikeliest place and at the unlikeliest time God brings us to the Great Moment. Moses, the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter, brought up in the courts of Egypt, had known more glamorous days than now, a shepherd in a desert. But the big day and the hallowed spot, however drab and ordinary on calendar or map, are the time and place when we meet God and do business with Him.

There may not be even a burning bush. And God may not reward with an immediate evidence of His presence and power. But the man who has come to God honestly and simply and humbly, with no reservations, offering a willing heart, feeling or no feeling, that man has reached his Horeb, and though he be on the backside of a desert, he is also at the mountain of God.

Pastor Van
Monday May 17, 2021

"Who's Who?"

"Who am I?" I AM THAT I AM. Exodus 3:11, 14.

On "the backside of the desert" Moses came to "the mountain of God." When God called him to his mighty task Moses was first taken up with his own insufficiency—"Who am I?" But God made it clear that what mattered was not what Moses was but who God is: "I Am That I Am."

Jeremiah had the same fear as Moses: "I am but a child." God corrected him: "Say not, I am a child.... I am with thee to deliver thee." "Who is sufficient for these things?" asked Paul, and then he moved on to declare, "Our sufficiency is of God."

Moses started with "Who am I?" but soon asked God, "Who are you?" It is well for a man to know his own inadequacy, but woe unto him if he stop there. Let him move on to meet God and find Him sufficient.

It is not a matter of who I am but of who He is.

Pastor Van
Sunday May 16, 2021

Eating the Cook Book

Except ye eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. John 6:53.

Many dear people have a lovely doctrine or theory of the victorious life or the indwelling Christ or the Spirit-filled life, and they try to live on their theory, but they do not feed on Christ. They are like a man trying to live on a cookbook instead of food, chewing on a seed catalogue instead of on vegetables. They may be very orthodox Bible students, but they do not chew and digest the words which are spirit and life.

It is tragic to go through our days making Christ the subject of our study but not the sustenance of our souls. It is not the Word hid in the head but in the heart that keeps from sin. To appropriate Christ Himself, the Bread of Life, is to live by faith and grow. You can starve reading books on bread. You can search the Scriptures and not come to Him for life.

Pastor Van
Saturday May 15, 2021

Heat and Light

He was a burning and a shining light. John 5:35.

So spake our Lord of John the Baptist. The Forerunner had both heat and light. It is a combination not always found in one personality. Some saints have heat aplenty, but they need light, wisdom, guidance. Some have light, but it is cold; there is no fire, no warmth. Someone has said, "Youth has fire without light and age has light without fire."

It is hard to tell which has done most harm, hotheaded ignorance or cold-hearted knowledge. The wild street preacher, screaming and tearing his hair, needs to burn less and shine more. The cold, intellectual preacher in stiff Sunday-morning formalism needs to shine less and burn more.

John the Baptist burned and shone. "Stir up the gift of God..." "Let your light so shine..." Give us more witnesses with both heat and light!

77Pastor Van
Friday May 14, 2021

"Foolishness" Still

The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness. I Corinthians 1:18.

It was "foolishness" to the world then and it still is. Religion is very popular today and some are misled by that fact. A scared and desperate generation, having tried all else, is considering religion. But they do not want the preaching of the cross. Jesus the Example and Teacher maybe, Christianity as a lovely philosophy, but not a crucified Saviour. That is still "foolishness" to this age and ever will be.

And to most church members the counterpart of Christ's death for our sin, our death with Him and resurrection to walk with Him in newness of life, is just as unpopular. Gall upon the average congregation to live out Romans 6, with its "reckon," "yield," and "obey," and you will hear few "amens."

The preaching of the cross in its meaning for sinner and saint is still "foolishness" to sinners and distasteful to not a few saints.

Pastor Van
Thursday May 13, 2021

"There Failed Not Ought"

There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. Joshua 21:45.

In recounting the goodness of God to Israel, Joshua tells us that the Lord gave them the Promised Land just as He had said He would. Joshua repeats it in an address to the people (23:14). Solomon said it in like fashion years later (I Kgs. 8:56).

 

If you will survey the path already trod you will say so too. "There hath failed not ought of any good thing God has spoken... all came to pass." If it hasn't, it will. He which hath begun a good work in us will finish it. He will perfect that which concerneth us.

It ought to fill our hearts wtih thanksgiving, our eyes with tears and our lips with praise, for "the goodness of God leadeth to repentance."

"There failed not ought..." But how we have failed Him!

Pastor Van
Wednesday May 12, 2021

Greeks to See Jesus

Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24.

This was a momentous occasion. Some Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Philip and Andrew reported it to the Master. There is no record that He received these Greeks. Maybe they came out of curiosity, anxious to hear a great teacher or see Him perform a miracle. Anyway, Jesus made it clear that His was the way of death and a cross, not earthly popularity, and that we must die to live.

Today we are in danger of being misled by some Greeks who would see Jesus. Many would be glad to have the joy and peace that He gives, would copy Him as a teacher and leader. But they do not want the cross. They resent Calvary, nor do they want to deny self, take up their cross, and lose their lives to find them. Jesus receives no Greeks except by the way which was, and is, to them "foolishness."

Pastor Van
Tuesday Nay 11, 2020

I will say to my soul, Soul,... take thine ease. Luke 12:19.

The rich fool was no fool as a farmer, he was a success. He was religious because he talked to his soul. So many seem not to know they have souls! But his clock was too slow. He said, "Many years," but God said, "This night."

He was never a bigger fool than when he told his soul to take it easy. No man ought ever tell his soul that. Too many souls are taking it easy. I do not believe in soul-sleeping after death, but plenty of souls are sleeping now.

The rich fool gave his soul the wrong advice. He put it on vacation. God does not give the soul a vacation, He gives it a vocation.

"Take it easy" is a familiar parting word nowadays which nobody heeds by relaxing and living sensibly in this age of stomach ulcers and aspirin tablets. But it is no proper word for our souls. Rather, "Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve and press with vigor on," ought to be the theme song of stupefied saints at ease in Zion. And while the sinner orders his soul to take it easy he may gain the world but he loses his soul. He is forever damned because he took it easy and neglected so great salvation.

Pastor Van
Monday May 10, 2021

"Hinder Me Not"

Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way. Genesis 24:56.

Abraham's servant needed plenty of guidance. A man looking for a wife or himself needs all the illumination he can get, but this servant was looking for a wife for somebody else! Being in the way, as he put it, the Lord led him and he found the right girl. Now the subtle temptation to tarry awhile arises. It looks innocent enough, but he is on his guard. It is dangerous to linger. He will be on his journey. "Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way."

We are often faced with the tempter's suggestion to tarry, linger awhile, take it easy. But if the Lord has prospered our way we had better be going. Layovers at Satan's suggestion become layoffs, and we fail of our mission. The diligent servant who is about his master's business will take no holiday when he should be up and about and on his way home.

It would have been pleasant to enjoy the h spitality of Rebekah's kinfolk and they meant well, no doubt. But the most innocent and well-intentioned can spell havoc with God's timetable.

"Rise, let us be going."

Pastor Van
Sunday May 09, 2021

"Will Ye Also Go Away?"

Will ye also go away? John 6:67.

As recorded in the sixth chapter of John, Jesus lost His crowd. And if today we really faced the impact of that sermon He preached on the Bread of Life would not most of us say, "This is an hard saying; who can hear it?" "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." How many, think you, of our present comfortable Sunday-morning churchgoers are ready for that?

The appropriation of Christ our Life by faith—what strange doctrine that is to the average soul! Men follow for loaves and fishes, but they walk out on Him when they discover what He really means. This sort of preaching still will thin out congregations. "This is an hard saying"—we will go elsewhere and hear book reviews.

"Christ our Life"—preach that and you will lose the crowd, but you will have the Irreducible Minimum who say with Peter, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."

Pastor Van
Saturday May 08, 2021

The Three "Cannots"

He cannot he my disciple. Luke 14:26, 27, 33.

If we hate not family and even our own lives; if we bear not our cross and come after Him; if we forsake not all that we have, we cannot be His disciples. He does not say we will be poor disciples, He says we cannot be His disciples at all. Tone it down all you will, the cleverest exegesis cannot do much with this threefold test. Why is it that we are so silent on such texts today? We have let down the bars and we take all comers. Our catch-all invitations gather in a motley mixture, a mixed multitude. Screen them with these three "cannots" and see how much wheat is left when the chaff is gone!

These words were spoken to a great multitude. We would be flattered by such a following, but our Lord immediately thinned His crowd. Is it not ime we whittled down Gideon's unwieldy band to a hard core of effectives? But, alas, this is the day of statistics, and we must make a good showing on the books.

Pastor Van

Activities

Coming Events


Birthdays

June 5
Brooklyn Meyer
June 15
Curt Clough - Sean Dammerman
June 17
Charles Woods
June 18
Karter West
June 20
Margaret Pemberton
June 25
Tammy Loy
June 29
Beth Davis

Anniversaries

June 2
Ray & Sharon Casselman
June 8
Roger & Tammy Loy

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

Address:

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

(217) 536-6226

WBC Facebook

Staff

Executive Pastor
Gary Beck - 757/816/6589
Deacon
Aaron Cline - 217343/8861
Deacon
Roger Loy - 217/240/5811
Deacon
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