As we approach Easter, we are looking at the words that Jesus spoke as He was on the cross.
What’s Happening At Central
The Advisory Board will meet on Monday, April 21st at 6:00 PM.
We will be collecting our annual World Missions Offering on Sunday, April 27th during the morning worship service.
On Wednesday, April 30th, the Watoto Children’s Choir will be at Central Church. We still need several host homes for this event (2-3 children plus an adult sponsor in each home).
Mission Family: Pray for expectant missionaries: Lydia Provow (due April 25, appointee to Bulgaria), Joni Hubbard (Japan, due in August), and Brenda Carney (Japan, due in September). All three have other children. Pray for healthy pregnancies and deliveries. Ask God to be with these parents, guiding them as they raise their children to have a heart for God.
Uruguay: Pray for Molly Barker as she returns to Uruguay later this month to say goodbye to her Uruguayan family, help transition the ministry, and tie up loose ends. Miss Molly retired as of January 1 with almost 50 years of service. She has been stateside for close to a year dealing with various health issues, including two knee replacements. Ask God to give her strength, wisdom, and grace during this transition period.
India: Pray for Carlisle Hanna and pastors in India. Many pastors are aging and that, coupled with their extensive traveling between villages/churches, a harsh climate, and heavy responsibilities, has taken a toll on their health. Pray for rest for the weary, strength for the fatigued, and grace for the drained. Ask God to give healing where that is His will and dependence on Him at all times. Pray for perseverance and diligence in the face of persecution.
Stateside: April is World Missions Month—an opportunity for Free Will Baptists to focus on “the ends of the earth” portion of the Great Commission. Ask God to burden hearts for the millions of people who have never heard the Way of salvation, never seen a Bible, or never heard the name of Jesus. More than 325 churches have signed up to participate in this year’s World Missions Offering (WMO) on April 27. Pray for hundreds more to participate! The Mission is seeking to have 600 churches listed by Sunday. Pray missionaries will not become weary in well doing.
Bulgaria: Pray for the Bulgaria church planting team: Tim and Lydia Awtrey, Jonathan and Amy Postlewaite, Trif and Vanya Trifinov, and Josh and Lydia Provow. Ask God to keep them unified, encourage them as they serve, provide spiritual and physical stamina, and give them much fruit. The Provows are raising funds and prayer support. Pray for safety of travel and family dynamics.
Creative Access: Angie O. and six other women departed March 31st to provide leadership training to Christian women in two Central Asian countries. Pray for them to have safe travels and good health. Ask God to use them to truly encourage and edify our sisters in Christ.
Bible Reading Challenge: Ephesians 6:10-20
Bible Memorization Challenge: Ephesians 6:10 (ESV)…10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Sometimes, I think Christians have the wrong image of what it means to be a soldier in the army of the Lord. We think of picking up a rifle and fighting to make God the ruler of our world. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are called to be soldiers in the army of the Lord, but we are a different kind of soldier! Our armor isn’t made up of Kevlar and ceramic/steel plates. Our weapons aren’t rifles and grenades.
Our armor is what the Lord provides for us. It consists of truth, which is the only effective means of defeating a lie. It is the righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ, not relying on our own works which we are told are nothing more than filthy rags before a holy God. It is a willingness to share the Gospel with anyone who asks, and a faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances. Our confidence isn’t in ourselves, but in what Jesus Christ has already done for us, by dying and rising again He has provided for our salvation.
The only weapon we have is the Word of God, but it isn’t meant to be utilized as something with which to kill people, it is a weapon to be used against the lies and deceit of this world. It is the basis of our truth, and contains the promises of God’s plan for our lives.
I am not saying that it is wrong in all circumstances to take up physical arms; I thank God for the men and women who take up arms to protect our freedoms. I believe it is an honorable choice that even Christians can make. However, in the Lord’s service I (and you) have to remember that our enemy isn’t another human being, we aren’t at war with people. We are called to be a different kind of person, one that loves even our human enemies; one that fights using the weapons provided by our Commander-in-Chief, the whole armor of God!
As we approach Easter, remember to fight the way that the Lord expects us to fight…not with physical might, but by the power of God! Spend time praying this week about who you can reach with the love of Jesus Christ…invite them to church, invite them to know Jesus. Keep that armor in good shape!
I hope to see you in church soon!
Pastor Alan Kinder