From the Heart of a Missionary: May 2020

When I Do Not Understand…
By Tim Germano

What do we do when we do not understand what God is trying to do in our lives? Have you ever asked God “why?” If we are honest with ourselves, we have all done so. In our finite minds and understanding, we can only see what is going on around us or what has already happened. Our infinite God knows what has happened, is happening, and will happen. He has a plan for us.

Habakkuk found himself in a similar situation of questioning and struggle. He asked God how long until He would judge Judah for their wickedness (Hab. 1:1-4). God responded by telling him that He was fully aware of their sin and that He would use the Babylonians to punish them (Hab. 1:5-11). This answer troubled Habakkuk, and he asked how God could use a wicked nation to judge His people (1:12-2:1). God answered him and told him that He would also hold them responsible for their wickedness (Hab. 2:2-20). In chapter three, Habakkuk offers a prayer to the Lord. We can know what to do when we do not understand by looking at how Habakkuk coped with surprising news and challenging answers.

First, he rested in the Lord (Hab. 3:16). He was troubled by what was going to happen, and he even felt rottenness and decay in his bones. He knew that in the midst of difficult times and in receiving challenging news that he could rest. This resting can only happen in the Lord. We cannot have the peace that we need in trying times without the Lord’s help. Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” We can rest in our all-knowing God. He knows what is best for us!

Second, he rejoiced in the Lord (Hab. 3:17-18). Habakkuk stated in faith that even if everything that seemed certain failed (like the harvest, the livestock, one’s livelihood, etc.), he would still rejoice in the Lord. Even when everything around us that seems stable becomes unstable, we can rejoice in our God! We can joy in the God of our salvation! When we receive troubling news about our health or the health of a loved one, we can rejoice in God. When we lose our job or face financial hardship, we can rejoice in God! Our joy is found in God, not our circumstances. Psalms 46:1-3 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” We can rejoice in our ever-present God Who never changes!

Third, he relied on the Lord (Hab. 3:19). After everything that he faced, Habakkuk finished his prayer by stating the “The LORD God is my strength.” Even as a mountain goat can scale the steep precipices and cliffs without fear, we can weather the storms of life and the unknown by relying on God and His strength. There will be days that we feel as if we cannot go on, but we can only because God is with us and helps us! Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” We can make it through by relying on the Lord and His never-failing strength and help.

“Whatever God permits to come into our lives is designed to conform us to the image of His Son. When we see this, it takes the question mark out of our prayers. Our lives are not controlled by impersonal forces such as chance, luck, or fate, but by our wonderful, personal Lord, who is “too loving to be unkind and too wise to err.'” WILLIAM MACDONALD

 

A Selfless Culture: May 2020

by John O’Malley

Click here to view the video version of this article.

Culture is how we do life in context. We can speak of culture regarding a bias, a people group, or a region. Culture is an accepted set of ideas, values, and beliefs.

We see subsets of culture everywhere. We refer to culture as we compare our home country to our host country. We can identify another’s culture more readily than we can see our way of doing life.

If you are in a tribal area, you can identify people from another tribe because of culture’s markers. If you are in an urban area, you can identify people from a specific culture by how they walk, dress, and speak.

Earth is not the only place with a culture. Heaven has a culture.

Heaven’s culture is God’s way of how He wants us to live and behave. We learn of heaven’s culture and how to implement it in our lives from the Bible.

You determine how you implement heaven’s culture. As a leader, you determine the standard of practicing John 13:35. Each believer must practice the word of God.

Our homes are to be embassies of heaven’s culture. Our ministries are to be consulates of heaven. We live our lives as ambassadors of heaven.

Last month, I described World Wide’s office culture, and by extension, the entire mission’s family. We define our culture by one word, SERVE*. Our culture is simple, intentional, and spiritual. We know we are at our best when we SERVE.

The first value of our culture is selflessness.

Selflessness is difficult work. Selflessness is to think the same as Christ. (Philippians 2:5) Selflessness is a mental, emotional, and spiritual decision. Selflessness is being in sync with God. Selflessness asks, “Does what I am about to do meet His goals or mine?”

Selflessness, in the life of Christ, meant every action of Christ, every word of Christ, and every thought of Christ gloriously displayed the attribute of selflessness.

Selflessness is death. (Galatians 2:20) Selflessness is death to my ideas, my ways, and my wants. It is to live with the spirit of death about us. I am crucified with Christ. Selflessness is the supreme act of the love of Christ. Selflessness was His substitutionary death on the cross. Paul states positionally and practically, “I am crucified with Christ.”

Selflessness is deacon work. (1 Timothy 3:13) Deacon work is menial and unattractive. Deacon work is not honorable. Yet, selflessness–deacon work–is vital, necessary, and beneficial. When we are selfless, we purchase a good degree and confidence in our walk and work for the Lord.

Selflessness means no glory for ourselves, only Him. Selflessness has no agenda, no ambition, nor conceit. Selflessness maintains a posture of lowliness in mind. Selflessness means I value you above me. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Selflessness is hard work. I have work to do on me. What about you?

Yours for the harvest,
John O’Malley

*(SERVE is an acrostic — Selfless, Eager, Responsible, Valuable, and Exceptional)

If this article has been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. O’Malley here to let him know.

From the Memo Board: May 2020

Dates to Know

June 1 – April Financial Reports will be due.

July 1 – May Financial Reports will be due.

July 3 – Our Office will be closed in celebration of Independence Day

Family Fellowship Week

We have made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s Family Fellowship Week due to COVID-19. The Lord willing, New Testament Baptist Church in Kinston, NC, will co-host next year with Calvary Baptist Church in New Bern, NC, June 21-24, 2021. Please be sure to mark your calendars now, and make plans to join us in 2021.

Online Giving

WWNTBM is happy to provide online giving options to make it easier for donors to support your ministry. You can direct donors to our website at wwntbm.com/give for details on all the ways they can participate. Please note that the company that processes credit cards does take a small percentage out of each donation to cover costs. Donors have the option to cover those fees if they choose. However, you may see a slightly smaller amount on your support list as a result of this.

Missionary Micro Stories Podcast

Josh Wagar, missionary to Chuuk, Micronesia, has started a podcast to show how God can take ordinary people and use them in extraordinary ways. This is a collection of modern-day missionaries telling stories of God’s work in their lives. Josh is looking for missionaries to interview. If you are interested in participating, you can click here to contact Bro. Wagar. To listen to the podcast you can look for it on Facebook at #MissionaryMicroStories, or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Our Current Missions Family

Click this link to download a PDF of the current list of World Wide missionaries.

Note: You will need to login to SecureCloud in order to view this document.  Once you have logged in, click on the Headquarter Happenings folder, then “Missionary List May 2020.” This step protects people with WWNTBM in restricted access fields.