On December 10 Baptist Temple reached 102 years of ministry to our community. This past weekend we celebrated both our rich past and the bright future created by God's grace and the generosity of His people.
As of this point we have received $330,874 in pledges for our Heartstong for CHRIST campaign. Our first fruit offering was $44,477.83 plus an additional gift of stock valued at over $8000. More first fruit offering and pledge cards are coming in.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
This is a time for thanksgiving. I thank God for these buildings. Each one represents the faith of those who sacrificed time and treasure. Each represents hope for the future because churches never build according to current need. Each represents an answer to prayer that God would provide resources so His people might do His work.
God told King David, “You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name.” 1 Kings 8:18
Those that came before us did well to build Baptist Temple to lift up Jesus name. Today would not be possible if not been for those who went before us. We are building on their achievements and sacrifices.
I thank God for His people. God's people serve; following the example of our Lord who came to serve rather than to be served. God's people share; showing hospitality to the family of churches and non-profits that make their home on our campus and expand our ministry. God's people give. I thank God for generations of generosity at Baptist Temple.
This is a time of rejoicing; not only for what God has done in the past but for what He is doing in our day through our generation. Some had already written off Baptist Temple. They believed that the 100th anniversary was going to be a funeral service. Some were unsure that we would reach 100 years so a 95th anniversary was celebrated, just in case. Like so many churches around us BT was in decline.
I rejoice that God was not finished with us. These facilities were not built to be temporary. They were built to last into the future. They were remodeled for continued use. God sent partners, workers and money to make our campus buzz with activity all week. Baptisms and new members are filling our ranks and people outside our walls rejoice with us.
I rejoice that we listened to God, and stepped forward in faith. We did it together. This has been a time of growing closer together. During this campaign our older folk worked next to the younger ones; newer members worked alongside longtime members.
We stood firm and did not allow ourselves to be distracted by the Enemy's schemes. We resisted the Devil and he did flee from us. Instead, we gave ourselves fully to the work.
This is a time of anticipation. I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do through us in the future. God has given us the victory. Many will be blessed by your giving. Many more people will be fed and clothed. Many more children will learn about Jesus. Many people will be led to Christ. Heaven will join us in rejoicing!
God has allowed us to bless the future. The amount of money pledged will enable us to take the big leap forward we needed to stay on top of needed remodeling and repairs. It will enhance our current ministries and ensure ministry long into the future. If our Lord tarries I can see a new generation at our 150th anniversary stand up and call you blessed.
This is a day of thanksgiving for God's provision, of rejoicing for our obedience and of anticipation for what lies ahead.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."