Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)
TITLE: The Little Church
By Beckie Stewart
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Deacon Green hoped and dreamed. In the cornfields of the small farming town in Central Illinois, he desired a place to gather the Lord’s people together to worship the Savior. In October of 1846, he chartered not only the Baptist church, but what would be the first church in this tiny community. Stephen Douglas generously donated the money needed for their meager beginnings. Years later they would have the honor and privilege of receiving a visit from President Lincoln. Travelers passed through and many settled into the community to raise their families and crops, because they found it was a healthy place to live as well as worship.
In October of 2001, a new pastor was called to shepherd the flock at Deacon Green’s Baptist church. Unknown to him, a new spirit was present within this church and community. The pastor would only be there a few short weeks before the first signs of trouble began to brew. With integrity and power, he would lead this flock and faithfully preach repentance to the lost and discipleship to the saved. Six years later he would enter the sanctuary for their annual meeting with the realization, that those who enjoyed a “Sunday Only” Christianity, were bound and determined to have him removed.
What took place in that meeting revealed to many the hypocrisy that permeated the place for almost forty years now. Those that had left the fellowship months and weeks earlier, returned for the meeting. They wished to participate in the pastor’s dismissal, so they could get back to the business they knew and loved. He had ruffled their feathers enough. It was way past the time for him to leave. For months they had their secret meetings and carefully schemed what they would do. The tension was high that night, and yet those supporting the pastor remained silent and prayerful.
What happened that evening revealed the truths of Psalm 37. Several members of this hurting flock would be burdened to read and pray through these verses the entire day leading up to the meeting.
“The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow, to cast down the afflicted and the needy, to slay those who are upright in conduct. Their sword will enter their own heart and their bows will be broken.” (Psalm 37:14-15, NASB)
The Lord loves His people and does not forget the righteous deeds that they do. He will not desert a place if even one faithful child remains there. He will not ignore the cries of His children calling to Him for salvation. After forty years of turmoil, this little church would once again be a place where Jesus Christ would be honored and glorified.
*I dedicate this writing to my husband, the faithful shepherd of this flock.
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