I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10
By: David Beatty Jr
In 1998, Calvary Baptist Church received some bad news. The leaseholders on the building notified us that they had sold the building we were occupying and we had only 30 days to move out of it. Though the church had been praying about moving to a new location, we didn't expect to have to move so quickly! The church had recently purchased 13.5 acres outside of the city, but the property was still farmland. There was no running water, electricity, or sewer. It seemed impossible that an entire church and school could move to this undeveloped acreage in that amount of time, but God’s grace was abundant and evident.
Within 30 days, a dirt road was built, utilities installed and a manufactured home was moved onto the site! What seemed like an impossible feat was really just the Lord very clearly showing us His purpose. The church was buzzing with joy and excitement as we held our first services in this property! We were on our new property not in our timeframe, but in the Lord’s.
The church met faithfully in the living room and dining room of the manufactured home every service, and it was tight. Every Sunday the church would stack up chairs, put hymn books away, and set up for school on Monday. Even though it was tight, God blessed Calvary with growth.
Exodus 33:13-15 says:
Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
God was with our church in those constricting times and His grace was sufficient. Calvary Baptist Church then took the step of faith in holding double services, believing that the Lord would bless, and He did! As the church continued to grow, we only had the kitchen, the pastor’s office, and the porch available to hold Sunday School classes. Soon, the church had grown enough to receive financing through a bond program in order to have a new church building built on the property. The 5,000 sq foot building was more than enough to accommodate the church family, and the LORD had provided abundantly.
For the past fifteen years, we have been eagerly awaiting this time when our bond will have been paid off and we can begin looking toward the future for what God has in store for us. It is time for another step of faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”( Heb. 11:6)
We have been entrusted with this task. The Lord established our church body here to reach the lost, teach the saints, and inspire to service. Room for growth is necessary when we are fulfilling God’s purpose for our church. We know the LORD will bless more abundantly if we but trust in His power. We can then look forward to the day when He will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things…” (Matt. 25:21)
If a man sees rain clouds on the horizon in the midst of a drought, it would be derisory for him to set out a tea cup to catch any possible drops. Instead, he would stake out tarps and line up buckets to be fully prepared for the showers of blessings. Psalm 81:10 says, “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
Open thy mouth wide. Beginning August 3rd, Calvary Baptist Church will be having two Sunday morning worship services. The first will be at 9am, followed by Sunday School at 10, and then the second service at 11. This is a step of faith on our part, and our belief in God’s power is necessary to receive the blessings God has in store for us. Matthew 13:57 and 58 says, “And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom. 11:34) We do not claim to know what the Lord has in store or how He will bless, only that He will as long as we walk by faith.
We need more than growth; we need an epidemic. We need to have an uncompromised stand on God’s Word, yet be open and accepting of the lost. We have to make the commitment to put our own selves last and to intentionally minister to others, putting Christ first. We need Christians who love God and allow His love to shine through. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” (1 Pet. 2:9)