Featured Article: City Seekers

Andy Bonikowsky“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Hebrews 13:12-14)

Various cities in the Middle East fuss over which is the most ancient. Among the contenders are cities like Jerusalem, Byblos, Jericho, and Damascus. The debate often spars over definitions involving the claims of uninterrupted habitation, the presence of the oldest ruins, and so forth. Some argue with archeology while others dig up their evidence from the writings of age old historians.

The writer of Hebrews would not have taken sides in this squabble. He had his sights much higher than any earthly city. He had read the Biblical record of city builders like Nimrod, Pharoah, and Nebuchadnezzar. He was not ignorant of the glories of Niniveh, Pithom, and Babylon. However, he was not too impressed with their splendor and power.

All of that dazzle was now sealed and useless in the coffins of history. Yes, they had risen, and they had shined. But, their glory had forever fizzled out.

It was a different class of man and city that caught the author’s eye. These were Old Testament heroes who had shown a distinct aversion to sinking their roots into earthly soil. In one way or another, many of them forfeited temporary homes in favor of deeds to heavenly mansions.

Enoch simply walked away and disappeared.

Noah built a boat and said goodbye to every place he had ever known.

Abraham turned his back on Ur of the Chaldees and headed for the Promised Land, only to keep on living in tents when he arrived.

Moses had grown up in the luxurious palaces of the Nile, yet he voluntarily chose to leave that all behind and take off for the desert with a multitude of complainers. Why? He had discovered that the reward for bearing Christ’s reproach was worth infinitely more than all the treasures of Egypt.

Even Rahab the harlot came to set her priorities by this rule. With no hesitation that we know of, she exchanged her house on the wall for the fantastic, but unknown, inheritance with the children of God.

Yet all of these examples were mere shadows of the Perfect One who would descend into the manger at Bethlehem. This Man ministered for three intense years with less of a home than foxes or birds. At the end of His ministry, He walked right into the heart of Israel’s most important city to be cruelly beaten and shamed . . . but not to die.

He would not even die inside an earthly city.

The anonymous writer of the epistle wants to emphasize his point. Those who name the Name of Christ do not seek permanent residence on earth. They don’t expect to or want to continue here.

So, what do I look for? Are my eyes focused on the stuff of this world? Do I quietly yearn for the stability of the visible, tangible things of this earth? Do I get antsy if others have more, or better, or prettier?

Then maybe I am still seeking a city down here.

Dear Father, open my eyes to see your city. Tune my ears to hear its music and prepare my heart to worship its Builder.

Prayer & Dates: November 2014

Click the link above to download a PDF of prayer requests and praises as well as the birthdays and anniversaries for November. Note: You will need to login to SecureCloud in order to view this document.  Once you have logged in, click on Files Shared, then Headquarter Happenings, then scroll to the month you would like to view. This step protects people with WWNTBM in restricted access fields.

From the Memo Board: November 2014

Dates to Know

November 11
All US Banks will be closed.

November 27-28
The Office will be closed in celebration of Thanksgiving.

December 1
This is the revised pay date for those who normally receive funds on the 29th.

December 1
October financial reports will be due.

December 16
Please contact us by this date if you will need funds in your account before Christmas, or before the end of the year.

December 22-26
The Office will be closed in celebration of Christmas.

January 2
November financial reports will be due.

January 9
Missionaries will receive their emailed statements of December Support Received.

January 12
All Missionaries will receive their final December support on this day, regardless of the day that they normally receive support.

January 15
December financial reports will be due, along with any remaining receipts or financial paperwork for 2014.


New Associate

The Bailey FamilyJim and Patty Bailey have been accepted with World Wide as our newest associate missionaries.  They will be going to Guam in the year 2015 to serve as furlough replacements for the Quinlan family.  Pastor Bailey has served on our Executive Board since 1983.  He has pastored Valley Baptist Church in Edinburg, VA since 1978.  He will be retiring from Valley Baptist Church January 1, 2015. Advisory Board member and current associate Pastor, Chad Estep, will become the pastor at that time.


Housing Allowances for 2015

The Executive Board has voted, on recommendation from our CPA, that all Housing Allowances approved for 2014 will automatically roll forward to future years.  Therefore, there is no need to submit a new request for a Housing Allowance, unless you do not currently have one in place, or unless you wish to change the amount of your allowance.  Ordained missionaries are eligible to request a Housing Allowance, which provides tax benefits for funds used for housing related expenses.  If you have any questions regarding this, please contact our Office for more details.


Ministry Equipment

World Wide is required to maintain an inventory of all equipment that missionaries have listed on Line 15 of their financial reports.  Please review your records prior to the end of the year, and let us know if you have disposed of or sold any equipment this year so that we can update our records.  Income received from the sale of the equipment will need to be recorded on Line 2 of your financial reports if you previously claimed the purchase as a ministry expense.


Happy Thanksgiving


From Our President: November 2014

Danny WhetstoneOver the years, I have read many of the sermons preached by Charles Spurgeon.  In several of those messages, not only did they ring true for his day, but for ours as well.  He warned those of his day of the peril that was before them if things continued as they were.

What was needed then and now was revival.  The believers in 2 Corinthians 8 first gave themselves to the Lord before they attempted to give themselves to minister to the needs that Paul put before them.  So many things are happening in our world today that certainly deserve God’s judgment.  It is so easy to look at things that happen in the Middle East, Hollywood, and Washington, and say God would bless if only changes could be seen.  However, we are fully aware that judgement must first begin at the house of God.  “If my people” were God’s words to Solomon.  If He brought judgement on Israel and they saw pestilence and famine, they were to look to God.

Yes indeed, God said that His people must pray, seek His face, and turn from their sin.  It is easy to blame the problems in the world on everyone but us; however, would the world be what it is if the church was what it should be?  It is rare to hear fervent prayer in any church these days.  There are mentally prepared prayers.  There are pretty prayers.  There are even preaching prayers, but rarely do we witness heartfelt fervent praying.  It must be easier to curse the darkness than to light the world!

If the world is darker, would it not stand to reason that the light must be dimmer?  Is it under a bushel?  We can do better, but we must want to rise above the darkness that has infiltrated the church.  Once the light has brightened in the church, it must then be displayed so that the world can see that there is a difference.  We must know that the world sees a lot of religion, but very little light.

Please permit me to speak clearly to us as ministers of the Gospel, and even more specifically to those that are taking the Gospel to regions beyond.  You are the only hope that the people watching you have of ever seeing real Christianity lived out before them.  If you find it impossible to represent Christ appropriately in the area that God has called you, please step aside and permit someone to bring light to their dark world.  You could very well be the only opportunity that they will have to not only hear the truth, but to also see it lived out before them on a daily basis.

We must lay aside the sin, but also the weight that so easily besets us and allows the darkness to prevail in our villages, towns, or cities.  May God graciously allow us to see real revival in our day, and may that revival push back the darkness so that the world can see genuine light lived out before them every day.

In His Service,
Danny A. Whetstone