Featured Article: The Swift Swish

Andy Bonikowsky

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil . . . And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written…” (Matt. 4:1, 3-4a)

Some things about this scene I don’t even know how to process — they generate more questions than answers!

For example, Why in the world did Satan even attempt to make the Lord Jesus sin? Did he have the tiniest hope that he could succeed? Did the Serpent really think he could trick his Maker into doing evil? It seems preposterous to answer these with a “Yes”.

And yet he did try.

Could it be that we fall very short of understanding the full degree to which the Lord became man? Was He so boldly human that the tempter saw what he thought was a weak spot in the incarnation? Again, the mind gets dizzy trying to wrap itself around these ideas.

But there are a few things we can nail down with good confidence. One is that the Holy Spirit led Christ into the desert for the temptation and recorded what happened in selective detail. Another is that He was tempted at a level far beyond that of mortal man—these were no ordinary temptations! And then, of course, that He very simply and completely neutralized Satan’s attacks.

Now we might say, “Sure, but He was God! It must have been easier for Him.”

That totally misses the point.

The key here is HOW Jesus won. The Spirit did not lead Him into the place of temptation to see what would happen. He took Him there and recorded the critical facts, so we could witness the event and learn from it.

Christ’s strategy was the one accurate defense against temptation, always relevant for you and me. He cleared the road to victory and paved it for us.

According to the text, the Lord answered Satan in a flash, with the written Word.

There simply was no debate, no argument, no consideration, no deliberation. Nothing separated the temptation from the swift swish of the sword.

And the more you think about it, the more logical the reason.

If when we are tempted, to anger, to lust, to envy, to complain, or whatever, we pause to think things over . . . at that moment we are already finished. It’s as simple as that. It takes no more than the first second of hesitation to begin the nosedive into sin.

But if we have decided beforehand that we are vulnerable, weak, and unable to stand up to the Devil, and arm ourselves with swords of truth that we will instantly use to swipe the head off the temptation…

The Word will rapidly transform our thinking, even as we quote it. It will miraculously cleanse our mind and change our desires. By the time we finish the passage our whole perspective will be different.

One of the main challenges is exercising that mustard seed of faith to draw and swing. It’s not that hard to do if the decision has already been made before the assault. It is supposed to become a spiritual reflex as real as the reaction to duck when somebody throws an object at your head.

So why do we not live in this victory?

Most of the time it’s just a matter of pride. We keep thinking we can manage ourselves…

And the years go by.

Dear Father, the Lord Jesus has left me without a whimper of an excuse. Help me obey. Amen.

Prayer & Dates: October 2015

October Prayer/Praises and Special Dates

Click the link above to download a PDF of prayer requests and praises as well as the birthdays and anniversaries for October. 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 Our President: October 2015

Danny Whetstone“Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 4:34

Our Lord had traveled to an area that was obviously dangerous for Him and His disciples. It appears that His followers did not think that it was a good idea to go, but since He was going they would go also. When they reached their destination the Lord sent them to town to purchase provisions for them. While they were taking care of mundane things—that were certainly necessary for their sustained well-being—the Lord remained by Jacob’s well. He had a divine appointment.

A woman came to get water, and He engaged her in conversation. It would not be long before she would recognize Him as the promised Messiah. She went to town to tell everyone about this One who she met at the well. Many followed her out to see for themselves what this man was like.

When the disciples made their way back with the much-needed food, they felt that He should join them for the meal. They had been traveling and were undoubtedly in need of the nourishment. However, Christ found something that was even more important. He said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me….” He did not fault them for doing that which was only natural, but what He was busy with was even more important. It was His desire to do the will of the Father, and “to finish His work.”

It does not matter how long we have been about the Lord’s work. We must “do” and “finish.” It might be deputation or field ministry that you are involved in presently. The idea of getting the job completed is the same. Surely everyone gets sidetracked from time to time, but we must remind ourselves to lift up our eyes and be reminded of His calling. We do not have to get overwhelmed with sin to fall short of His will. Many have started out right only to be distracted by less important things along the way.

In the beginning it seemed that His ministry would only reach one woman, but soon the followers of Christ would see that reaching that one would result in many trusting the Lord. We will not always see immediate results as they did that day, but nonetheless finishing His divine purpose for our lives is of utmost importance.

May the Lord not only help us to finish the job, but may He help us to love doing it. This is not the time for us to be half-hearted in this most noble cause of reaching the world with the gospel of Christ, and then teaching them to follow Him as they grow in the grace and knowledge of our great God.

In His Service,
Danny A. Whetstone

From the Memo Board: October 2015

We are here to assist you

Often we are asked, “Whom do I contact when I want to get answers to my questions?” If you have a question about a specific area, these are the individuals who can best assist you:

Gifts you received:
Bekah Cmaylo – [email protected]
Naomi Torberson – [email protected]

Funds spent from your accounts:
Kim O’Malley – [email protected]
Naomi Torberson – [email protected]

Monthly Financial Reports:
Laura Cmaylo – [email protected]
Naomi Torberson – [email protected]

Please also continue to use the email address [email protected] to submit financial reports or receipts.

Prayer Letters:
Laura Cmaylo – [email protected]
Bekah Cmaylo – [email protected]

Please be sure to use the email address [email protected] to submit all correspondence related to your prayer letters or address changes.

Mrs. O’Malley manages the entire office. Our entire Staff exists to serve you and your needs. Each staff member has a speciality, but all will serve all of your needs. Your calls and emails are never a burden. We exist to help you as you serve the Lord. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your needs.

Mrs. Workman leaving for another ministry

Mrs. Anna Workman served with us for three years in the office. She enjoyed getting to know many of you. Effective October 1, she is now a church receptionist in Shelby, NC.

Birth Announcement

Viana OrtizCongratulations to Rolando and Hannah Ortiz on the birth of their second daughter, Viana Alethia Ortiz. Viana was born on September 14, weighing 7 lbs. 10 oz. The Ortizes are currently on deputation to go to Mexico.

Housing Allowance Reminder

If you already have a housing allowance in place, this will automatically roll over at the same amount for future years. There is no longer a need to submit a new request every year. If you would like to make a change to the amount of your allowance, please email the new amount to [email protected], and we will present this to the Executive Board for approval. Ordained missionaries who do not have an allowance in place may request one at any time.