Dear Church Family,
Are you the kind of person who learns from their mistakes or failures? One of our weaknesses today is that no one likes to take responsibility for failures. And, often we don’t want our children or grandchildren to suffer because of their failures. But, when we fail, if we are wise and desire to live a meaningful life, then failures can be great times of learning. Peter is warned in Luke 22:31 that Satan has asked permission to sift him. Peter suffered from a dangerous overestimation of his own spiritual strength. Or either he severely underestimated the Devil’s subtleness and his ability to intimidate. In either case, by Luke 22:40, when Jesus is entering the garden to pray, He instructs the disciples, Peter, James and John to “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” I’m sure that you know the story, but while Jesus prays and He wins out against the temptation to avoid the cross, the disciples do not pray. They sleep. And the unfolding story of the trials and crucifixion of Jesus also reveals the disarray of the disciples in the wake of Jesus’ arrest and death.
David Mathis, of DesiringGod.org says this, “First, God really does keep us from some temptations in response to our prayers. God and his Son do not charge us to play at prayer. Prayer matters. The sovereign God chooses to rule the universe in such a way that prayer plays a role. Under his hand, some events transpire (or not) because his people prayed; others do not transpire (or do) because they did not. When we pray not only against our sin, but against temptation to sin, we display a maturing humility. We acknowledge our weakness and the power of sin. And we remember our Father’s heart for holiness and for our good. God “himself tempts no one” James 1:13. The blame for sin falls squarely on the sinner. “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” James 1:14. And yet God, in his grace and mercy, delights to keep us from many temptations — countless times perhaps even when we fail to ask, and how many precious instances in direct response to our asking?”
“Secondly, when we pray against temptation, we begin the process of seeking to avoid it and, in doing so, we become a means to God answering our prayer. God not only often keeps us from temptation because of our prayers, but in the very act of praying, we engage more deeply in the fight. We fortify our souls against sin. We become more deeply invested. We resolve, by the Spirit, to hold to the truth and not “be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” Hebrews 3:13. We remind our hearts that the pleasures of sin are shallow and fleeting Hebrews 11:25, while pleasure in God is deep and enduring Psalm 16:11. Praying against temptation leads us, then, to plan against temptation in tangible ways.”
“Finally, when we do enter into temptation, if we have prayed against it, then we should be least taken off guard by it, and most ready for battle. God loves a heart that prays against temptation, and he often answers our plea. And yet his ways are higher than ours. He knows, in love, when to allow temptation to come. In fact, Jesus says, temptations are sure to come Luke 17:1. Pray as we may against them, God has not promised to always answer this prayer the way we want.
So as we pray against temptation, we prepare ourselves to not be surprised when they do come 1 Peter 4:12. And when we’ve prayed against temptation, we can feel all the more clearheaded that God has lovingly allowed this test into my life. And he has not left me without his promises for these very moments. “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape” 1 Cor. 10:13.”
Now we know that Peter failed in the moment of temptation. And we know that he did so in part because he neglected his prayer opportunities. But, we also know that Peter learned from his failures. When Jesus instructs the disciples to go back to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit, they did so and had a prayer meeting for 10 days. And, when the Holy Spirit did come, Peter emerged from that prayer meeting as a bold and faithful witness that was used by God. Let me encourage you about your prayer life. We are guilty of wanting to do all we can, but I want to remind all of us that we will never be able to do all we can until we pray first. S. D. Gordon said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”
Here are some important announcements!! Please make note of these and add them to your calendar!!
· Family Game night is March 25th (This Saturday!!) starting at 4 pm in our church fellowship hall. Make plans to attend!! If you have questions or would like to help with planning and food preparation, contact Jamie Crisp. This is a great night for some good old fashioned family fun!!
· ATTENTION!! Would you like to participate in training that will qualify you in CPR and AED use? Stay tuned, another training class will be scheduled soon!! Watch your bulletin for the next date. Thanks!!
· This Friday Evening, March 24th!! ASSOCIATIONAL CLOTHING DRIVE INFO!! YOU CAN DROP OFF YOUR USED, CLEAN CLOTHING IN PLASTIC GARBAGE BAGS HERE AT FBC Walton on Friday, March 24th from 6-9 pm. Or you can take it to Oak Ridge Baptist Church on Saturday, March 25th from 9-12. If you have any questions, check with Debbie Wills.
· This is the link to the children's church schedule https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bIgsu2Ha66im1h23NDAhDFcSl6Wqqciv5Bm02g7uz4Q/edit?usp=sharing
· We are updating our list of people who would be willing to bring food for church functions or funerals. If you are unable to bring something when we call you, we will just go to the next person on the list. Please let Delores Cheesman know at 859-356-9614 – leave a voicemail or call Paula Burden at 859-468-2260 – text or leave a voicemail. Please leave your best number for us to call you back. Thanks, Delores & Paula
· Reminder to our Deacons - Deacon’s Meeting - The next Deacon’s Meeting will be on Sunday, March 26th at 3:00 pm. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend.
· Ladies Night Out @ Sherlocks is Cancelled.
· Men’s Prayer Breakfast, Sunday Morning, April 2 @ 8 am. It is going to be a great day! Men, you are important to all that we do as a church. Come and be an encouragement to others!
· PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS! THE NEXT FIRST WEDNESDAY NIGHT WILL BE Wednesday night April 5th. We had a great turnout for our first one and we look forward to starting a new tradition so come join us! Thanks to those who prepared our meal, it was great!! If you have a birthday or anniversary in April, come let us celebrate with you!! Plan to bring a friend, family member or neighbor who does not normally attend. This is open to our entire community, so invite someone to join you! We will see you April 5th at 6 pm.
· MARK YOUR CALENDAR!! COMMUNITY GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE HERE AT FBC WALTON ON FRIDAY, APRIL 7, AT 6 PM IN THE SANCTUARY!! HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!!
· CHURCH FAMILY!! PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THESE UPCOMING YOUTH EVENTS!! - Please put these on your calendar!! QUESTIONS? EMAIL BRO. BOBBY AT firstname.lastname@example.org
ü ATTENTION EVERYONE BUT ESPECIALLY MEN!! We are working on having another camp fundraising luncheon on April 23rd and this will be a Soup and Salad luncheon. MEN, get ready to show off your skills in the kitchen as it will be a Men's Chili and Soup Cook-off! For those interested in sponsoring a child for camp. Currently, the total stands at $142 per student. (That total is BEFORE the fundraiser on April 23rd). Thank you all for all you do to support our youth in this church and in the community!
· Did you know you can give your offerings online? Online giving is a great way to give your tithes and offerings to the church. You can do this by going to www.fbcwalton.org to sign up. You can do this weekly, monthly, automatically, etc. Remember if you set it to automatically take it out of your account you may want to check to see if you need to make changes for the new year. Thank you for your continued faithfulness in giving!
· "Mission Moments"
* Pray for each ministry
* Collecting Peanut Butter, Crackers, and Cereal for the Food Pantry weekly Distribution.
* Collecting anything for Shoebox ministry, we are focusing on anything hair related. (Comb, Brush, Clips, Bows, Ponytail holders)
* Feeding our neighbors and celebrating; Beginning the 1st Wed night each month our Kitchen Ministry Leaders are preparing a meal for anyone who would like to come by to eat. FREE. They will also be celebrating anyone with Birthdays and Anniversaries that month. Bro. David will be sharing a brief devotion. Invite a friend and break bread together.
* Annie Armstrong Easter Offering: We will be collecting offerings for the missionaries in North America through Easter. Envelopes can be found in pews or mark your offering for Annie Armstrong. We will also have Anine Armstrong Mission Boxes available in each Bible Fellowship class to collect it as well.
* If shopping is an issue, you can always participate by donating money and designating it WMU.
NEW Collection Site: Right outside the chapel you will see a wooden bin, labeled for you. Shoebox Ministry - Woman on Mission - Food Pantry. Please place your donated items in that. Thank you so much.